Mindfulness practice has been proven to be incredibly beneficial for better mental health and over all cognitive improvements. There are countless apps, courses, guided and un-guided practices one can indulge in to start their own and personal practice towards a more controlled and desirable mental life.
So then how is this supposed to work for someone with ADHD? We process so many thoughts at high speed and a higher rate than a neurotypical person. I’m supposed to sit still, listen to someone guide me through my thoughts, become aware of them and put them in categories. Breathe. “In… Out”. Feel the chest and abdomen rise and fall in rhythmic matter. Become one with the body, with the sensation of the breathe entering and exiting my lungs. Become aware of feelings arising. I once read that ADHD’ers don’t have that space between impression and emotional reaction like a neurotypical has. When we register an inner or outer impression, our bodies react with an emotion, not with a constructive follow-up judgement of that impression. At least that’s how it is for me. A meditation practice then becomes a juggle of feelings. A clusterfuck of emotions and thoughts firing at each other, while trying to sit still and concentrate on instructions given by a voice, which essentially just are soundwaves projected through the internet…
Damnit, I’m derailing. My mind is struggling to concentrate on writing this blogpost about meditation. A meditation practice for an ADHD brain writing about meditation. What? Ok ok, let me get back into it, stay with me here!
The past 7 days I’ve meditated every day. At first I couldn’t get this one thought to stop processing in my brain; “why the hell am I doing this?”. I could be swimming in the pool, riding my scooter, spending time with my girlfriend or procrastinating on something I should be doing, like meditating! The practice is supposed to bring you back to a comfortable sensation in the body, like the breathe, when your mind wanders off. It’s very human for the brain to wander off, it’s not only for ADHD’ers. But for us it can happen at such a rate! When my mind drifts off during meditation it usually goes to something I need to do, a task I want to complete, the worry of not having eaten breakfast or brushed my teeth or said “I love you” to my girlfriend or texted my mom to let her know I am O.K or do I have enough money for the rest of my travels or…. The meditation practice is almost over and I haven’t paid attention to half of what has been said… no chance I’m starting over. I’ll try again tomorrow.
I forced myself through the first practices, and after the 3rd practice I started noticing something rather magical. I felt like I Bounced Back from unwanted thoughts and emotions quicker. Unnecessary thought patterns that serve goose-egg, nothing! “Oh look a squirre… Nope, focusing on the road ahead while driving 80 km/h is more important”.
Not only that, but I have developed a tendency to use my feelings as guidance instead of something to act upon. I am getting better at separating myself from the feelings I feel. I can detect anger, sadness, stress, anxiety and say “That feeling is stress. That one is anxiety” and so on. In that way detaching myself from the feeling and emotion, instead of identifying with it and making it my reality.
I’ve also noticed my ability to drift away from pessimistic thinking and negative thought patterns. Using my consciousness to evaluate my thoughts and feelings. And again, being aware of that bringing me a higher sense of Self.
This second layer of awareness brings something even more magical: Joy and happiness. Wow! I can create happiness by simply detecting various feelings in my body? Holy shit!
Meditation has brought countless new amazing experiences just after 7 days. Therefore, I am most likely going to start procrastinating on it now.