In my continuing series about alternative treatments for ADHD, we’ve talked about things like diet, vitamins and herbs. There are, however, other therapies that can have a positive effect on ADHD symptoms. I call these the Zen of ADHD, because they are about quieting the mind and focusing.
Meditation is an excellent practice to develop for ADHD minds. Studies have shown that it can be very beneficial in helping quiet the mind and improve focus. A study of ADHD school children found that the kids easily picked up on how to meditate, responded positively to it, and showed improvement in classroom behavior and grades.
Most people think of meditation as clearing the mind and thinking of nothing – an impossible feat for someone with ADHD. What you’re really doing is focusing on one thing (like your breathing) and trying to keep your attention there as long as you can. I find it much easier to use a guided meditation than to simply try on my own. With a guided meditation, you have someone talking to you very quietly, leading you through the process. That way, you just need to focus on their voice and what they’re saying.
Yoga is another practice that can be very beneficial for ADHD. Studies done in both Australia and Germany have noted improvement in ADHD symptoms through yoga. Yoga can increase concentration, help you focus more easily, and sometimes reduce hyperactivity.
There are yoga classes available everywhere, but what I find just as effective (and less overwhelming) is to either buy a book or search online for yoga poses and learn to do a few. You can keep the pace slow at first until you’re familiar with them. Studies show that poses that put your head in a forward leaning or downward position are especially effective for ADHD.
I read recently that Tibetan singing bowls were effective for helping ADHD symptoms, and I was intrigued. To be honest, I didn’t even know what they were.
After some research, I found out that Tibetan singing bowls are used as sort of a different way of meditating or as an accompaniment to yoga practice. I would think that they would appeal to someone with musical inclinations, or hyperactivity.
Sound Travels has some lovely bowls that they refer to as Himalayan Singing Bowls. Here is a picture taken from their site so you know what they look like:
Experiment with some of these ideas and see if any work for you. I think that anything that helps us quiet our mind and focus for a while is valuable.