The Advantages of Working towards Mindfulness with ADHD
Do you feel like you are always running with an empty tank because you have to live in the past, present and future at the same time? That you can’t enjoy your kids because they are always stressed or you worry all the time? Does the chaos drive away the calm and leave everyone tense and drained? Afraid that it will always be like that?
We hear you! We have many ideas that can help, but here’s a start: Try practicing mindfulness.
Why do you need to practice mindfulness?
Let me guess, you spend a lot of time worrying about your child’s future, right? Fear and worry can be constant companions and keep you from being with your children where they are today. Will they do well in school? Will they find friends? Will they be able to be successful in a job? And if so, will you remember where your car keys are when you’re 25 and late for work?
And if you don’t live in the future, you are living in the past. Maybe you blew up your child last night and now all you can do is think about what you should have done instead of moving on. Already exhausted?
Would you like to calm down from the chaos?
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… And why are your children doing?
Adults often believe that children live carefree and in the moment. Well, maybe, but I’m certainly not raising these children! The reality is that our children experience a lot of stress and pressure to perform, which is compounded when they have ADHD, anxiety, or other “complex” needs.
You can get hyper-focused and consumed with worry: do my friends like me? Do I get good grades? Will I go to the college that I want? Will my sister stop bugging me? How can I get mom to stop yelling at me and be happy with me? Will i ever be fine They simply cannot operate in the present and tend to “act out” as a result of these stressors and thoughts.
Mindfulness is about releasing our children (and ourselves) from their worries and bringing the focus to the present. It can relieve stress and anxiety – which can reduce meltdowns and other chaotic behavior.
Harvest What You Sow: The Benefits of Mindfulness Practice For ADHD
Don’t worry: you don’t need scented candles, shamans, Gregorian chants or expensive yoga mats. All mindfulness really means to consciously focus your attention on the present. Which can be difficult. At first anyway. But the benefits of practicing mindfulness – especially for people with ADHD – are worth it, especially in homes with complex children. What are the advantages? Nice that you asked:
- Emotional stability
- Better quality of sleep
- Reduces depression, stress and anxiety
- Increased concentration and alertness
Mindfulness can create a domino effect – in a positive sense! Emotional stability leads to a quieter home, which leads to less anxiety, which helps with sleep, which improves concentration, which helps at school, which reduces more stress. Which leads to happy children and happy parents.
But wait, there’s more. Harvard researchers found that mindfulness actually creates measurable changes in the brain! Study participants practiced mindfulness for only about 27 minutes a day for eight weeks, and the area of the brain that enlarged (hippocampus) included learning, memory, self-esteem, compassion, and introspection. At the same time, the area associated with stress and anxiety (amygdala) shrank. With mindfulness you can not only relieve symptoms in your child or yourself, but also train your brain for sustainable and positive results.
Practicing mindfulness in a home with ADHD children can help you become calmer parents so that you can react instead of reacting! Research also shows that when someone practices mindfulness, those around them can benefit. How? It encourages practitioners to be more aware of themselves and others. That helps her “React” to a situation instead of “react”. In practice, this means that it can help you strengthen yourself Take a moment to think and calm down before you become a hot mess.
Helping your child start and maintain their own practice can help them manage their ADHD symptoms and learn to manage stress in a healthy way. Start now. With a few simple steps and dedication, you can begin to see the true and wonderful benefits of mindfulness practice – even in the midst of the chaos of ADHD! Mindfulness can help tame the chaos and complexity while creating a loving home that is inviting, relaxing, and fun (at least most of the time)!