Hmmm….. I think maybe I have ADD or something. I re-read my last post, about mindfulness, and realized that it didn’t really say what I had intended. The practice of mindfulness is a good one, in my opinion, and I hope I was clear on how to do it. There were two points that I intended to make, though, that I somehow either didn’t make at all, or didn’t expand on enough. Here they are:
First, how practicing mindfulness helps your ADD/ADHD symptoms:
- Making a conscious effort to notice what’s going on around you helps you focus. It’s taking a pro-active approach to your tendencies towards distraction and forgetfulness.
- The practice of mindfulness requires that you engage as many of your senses as possible: what do you see, hear, feel, smell, & taste? The more senses you can involve, the more likely you are to remember – it gives you more cues, more avenues to memory. This is especially helpful if you are in school, but there are other situations where it will come in handy as well.
- Mindfulness can give you a mental refresher, a break. Taking a few moments to notice the details of what’s going on around you quiets your mind and reduces the endless chatter going on there. That little break can give you a greater sense of calm as well as clarity, and that equals more brainpower.
Second, how mindfulness helps you be a better parent:
- Have your kids ever pulled something over on you because you weren’t really paying attention? Or maybe they use the fact that you don’t always pay attention to convince you of something you said, did, agreed to? What’s even worse is when you realize that you haven’t been paying attention and they were telling you something really important – like how they got an A on a test, or made a new friend. That hurts – both of you. Mindfulness can help reduce these occurrences.
- Picture the last time your child did something that really upset you. Was there yelling, screaming, slamming doors? If so, consider this: it’s not likely that the yelling is getting you anywhere. Next time, try mindfulness instead. Stop yelling and quiet yourself. Notice your surroundings. What this does is allow you to engage the part of your brain that is responsible for critical thinking and problem solving. It allows you to tune into what’s really going on with your child, to remember that their chronological age and their emotional age are not always the same, and ultimately, it allows you to work out a solution that will actually solve things. A real win-win.
I hope this clarifies things a little more, and that you’ll give mindfulness a try.