Mindfulness For Happier ADHD Households
Not just imagination
Increased concentration and alertness. Better sleep. Reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Happier children and calmer parents. It can seem like a pipe dream to parents of complex children. I know I once thought that. But we can start by making these things a reality. How? You will be amazed at the benefits mindfulness can bring to ADHD families!
While it is certainly not a panacea for all symptoms and challenges, practicing mindfulness can help alleviate the stress we face every day. With mindfulness you may not live the dream all day, every day – what fun would that be !? – but you will find a remarkable difference in yourself and your children.
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Begin a mindfulness practice
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be mystical or complex: it is easy to bring your attention to the present and raise awareness. The big question: how ?! A couple of paths to consider:
- Breathing exercises
Practice makes you mindful
It’s not the specific method that matters; It’s about finding a way to get out of your head and calm the distractions. It will be different for everyone.
The key word for mindfulness is “practice”. You won’t be able to meditate for an hour the first time. You may not be able to meditate for five minutes the first time! That’s OK. Take small steps. Literally! If you or your child cannot sit still, try a meditation walk.
I started my own mindfulness practice by making a commitment to be fully there. Not always – I’m only human! – but in manageable pieces. I decided that I would be absolutely present in the shower every day: I would feel the soap on my skin, smell the shampoo, listen to the rush of the water. In this way, I calm down the distractions, worries, and fears that usually go through my head. This is now a refreshing shower!
This is mindfulness: letting go of all “stuff” that can pull you down and drain your energy. It allows you to relieve stress and increase focus to be a calmer, more reactive parent.
Help your child practice mindfulness
Research shows that Practicing mindfulness has powerful benefits for children (especially complex ones!). How can you encourage your children to be more present and aware of themselves?
- Start with yourself. How did you teach your child to speak? By talking to and around her. It’s the same with mindfulness: you teach by example. Many parents have their own practice. If not, cultivate one. Start in the shower! Or take 5 minutes to meditate.
- Let your children see you practicing. If you have a mindfulness strategy or practice, let your children see it. For example, if you feel your stress level rise, say, “Wait a second, honey. I’ll take a deep breath and calm down as I feel myself getting excited. ”Mindfulness can be as simple as taking a deep breath or waiting a few seconds before reacting to a situation. Whatever you do, make sure you make it clear to your children.
- Get them involved. Keep it simple For example, you could all sit together for 5 minutes in the morning. If bedtime is difficult or your child is having trouble sleeping, try taking time each evening to relax to soothing music. The great thing is that as your child ages, they can use these techniques and adapt them to their level of development.
The benefits of mindfulness for ADHD families
Increased mindfulness can help your child become more aware of when they are out of whack and ideally add a step before an emotional outburst. Most of our children go from 0 to 60 in no time. With mindful awareness they can turn 20 and realize, “Wait, I’m upset. I have to stop and breathe. “
When they have a clearer brain, they can use their executive functions in ways that are inaccessible when completely overwhelmed and stressed. You can tap into emotional regulation and behavior management. Maybe not at first, but with regular practice you will be able to do it.
Remember, this is a process, not an endpoint. Try different approaches and see what works. The goal is not to develop your child into a master yogi or a Tibetan monk; It is designed to help them manage their stress or emotions in a healthy way and to be more aware of what is happening around them.
Does Practice Make Perfect? No! But practicing mindfulness makes great changes for the whole family – ADHD and non-ADHD members alike. Life won’t be perfect; there will be bumps, bruises, twists and turns. But you and your children will be much better equipped to deal with this.