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ADHD Adults

Meditation .. Is it really possible for an ADHD???

I tried GYM and Vitamins it really works provided you keep up with the routine ...But meditation ??? are you serious ? Do you really think an ADHD can ever be able to do meditation , Concentration & ability to calm brain are the basic essentials for meditation

For me it sounds like you are asking a one legged person to try Running for good health….


When I was heavily into martial arts, and I mean training to exhaustion multiple times per week, I was able to meditate quite comfortably. That was a long time ago though and with my current tinnitus I can’t meditate to save my life I miss it.

And not to criticize your choice of analogies, but Jeff Keith ran across the US on one leg after he graduated from Boston College. He lost the other to cancer but it didn’t stop him from playing net for the BC LAX team. Funny as hell when he took a shot in the prosthetic leg and the ball would rebound halfway up the field. The resounding ‘thok’ would make spectators who didn’t know him cringe.

Posted by ADDedValue62 on Jul 13, 2014 at 4:40pm

@ADDedValue62 The way you meditated certain drugs can also be used to calm down brain Again drugs come into scene, I started meditation a while back, did it for a month with no outcome, then one day my friend gave me Valium with alcohol and I was able to experience the initial stage of meditation the colors the sounds the peace within I was concious for some time before I went to deep sleep ..... I never did it again ......

Jeff Keith is an exceptional case how many one legged people could be able to achive that, Such exceptional cases exist in every sphere of life but I think they shouldn’t be taken as an example

Posted by Bobby_pk on Jul 13, 2014 at 6:18pm

Yes, and it can be extreme helpful for quieting the “mental gerbils” and improving clarity!

I was a total skeptic myself, because I could never figure out how to do it in my own, but I run a local ADD support group, and I had a local mindfulness meditation expert present at a meeting a few years back. He started with a guided meditation, and had my mind clear and centered in minutes. I was amazed! He showed us simple techniques to do on our own, and I’ve been a believer ever since. I suggest my clients explore it as well. His website is:, and he has some good resources on there.

Good luck!

Lynne Edris, ACG
Life & ADHD Coach

Posted by ADD_Coach_Lynne on Jul 13, 2014 at 7:04pm

It was very difficult in the beginning, but it really helped me in many areas of my life. Being able to stay focused in my work despite of the noise around me was a very direct benefit for my ADHD.

Staying focused for meditation is a bit like watching TV. Watching TV is something that many ADD and ADHD people can stay focused on for some reason. I would say if the meditation included visualization, like a TV show, it would make it easier, but in my case, the best method I know, and the most difficult, was thought to me by a Thailand Buddhist monk who just kept us walking in silence for 30 minutes and then sitting in silence for another 30 minutes. The walk made me fall into some type of trance, and then the sitting was easier.

Posted by najn on Jul 13, 2014 at 8:53pm

I was going to suggest moving meditation but najn beat me to it and Addedvalue62’s comments on karate are in the same theme.
For me practicing karate katas, forms or free moving moves to music are ways to calm the monkey mind chattering. Yoga much the same. That helps expend some energy, make me more aware of my body and then I can let go into mindful breathing and eventually slip away into an non sleep state where my inner chatter and visuals are gone.
Perhaps even more than this sort of meditation I find activities that demand a lot of attention plus movement end up giving me a feeling later of calm alertness. Karate, yoga, hiking, and in the past 3 years I’ve taken up hand drumming. Once I developed enough motor skill to move beyond a drum circle where my early goofs were not that glaring in the din of many drummers, I started to join some local music jam session. I play the Irish bodhran which has a 2+ octave range and I can add some harmony as well as rhythm. So I could replace the function of an upright bass without having anything that big to tote around. The balance of attention needed to listen to others as well as my own playing helps me go into a state some call flow or the zone. I’m using all the stuff I normally would have left to chatter or drift about with. At the end, there is a blissful fatigue that leaves me quiet and refreshed.
On a similar note, I’ve trained dogs for years. High drive dogs like those used for protection work, herding, terriers, need exercise and mental stimulation at a high enough level to work off that mental energy or they will go crazy and take you with. Rather like ADHD. Can hyperfocus or be highly distractible until the right training, lifestyle with appropriate exercise and mix of active training with fetch, jumping, heeling as well as hold still and be patient with sit or down stays even when exciting stuff is going on around.
Too much very high energy work like fetch without the downtime can make them into adrenaline junkies. Pretty much like a lot of AD/HD’ers
Simply holding still and ignoring exciting things going on takes mental energy and can be tiring. And once past that initial stage, the mind can start to relax in the midst of bedlam and pick out what you might need to notice.
Try a number of things that require moving and not moving. It can be easier to get there from here if we don’t try to do it the way most people do.

Posted by Gadfly on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:36am

For those of us who find “traditional” types of meditation to be about as elusive as finding a needle in a haystack, simply taking up a musical instrument serves the exact same purpose.  It does take a certain amount of accomplishment before you’re able to reap the full benefit, but so does wrestling with that elusive “meditative state.”

For me, playing the piano is the equivalent “nirvana” as meditation…if not more so, because it is a “productive” activity.  When I’m “in the groove” everything else in the universe ceases to exist.  And looking back over 45+ years, the only times I’ve been able to achieve anything like “traditional meditation” have been the times when I’ve also been playing the piano daily (or close to daily).

Posted by BC on Jul 14, 2014 at 4:54am

One would think ADHD would make meditation impossible, but many ADHDers swear by it. I think it’s essential to start slow, and give yourself incremental goals—don’t expect to sit down the first time and quiet your mind. Start with mindfulness and work from there.

There are several articles that offer strategies on practicing mindfulness and meditation with ADHD:

Lidia Zylowska has studied ADHD and mindfulness and offered a mindfulness how-to for individuals with ADHD in this webinar too:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 14, 2014 at 6:17pm

I’ve found any repetive activity (yoga, loom knitting[!], walking, etc) to sometimes set me into a trance state.

There’s also visualization. I bought a DVD called Meditation for Beginners by Maritza. You can find it on Amazon. She’s excellent at taking you into the state first by practicing a short yoga routine that takes the practice back to its original intent, which was to help take the mind into a meditative state through movement. 

If you check podcasts, there are also meditation podcasts, several of them by different people. Listen to them—one voice might appeal to you. Meditation doesn’t have to last for an hour. It can last for ten minutes.

Good luck to you. grin

Posted by JavaMonster on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:06pm

As some previous posts commented, I have found that repetitive actions calm my thoughts and help me relax my brain and privide clarity. Walking, painting, cleaning…
I gave up on meditation…too frustrating!

Posted by Bessedwithdiversity on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:07pm

I wish the forum had a “LIKE” button.  grin

It’s so easy to get hung up on the *what” and *how* instead of the goal, which is a quieter, more relaxed state of mind.

I’d also suggest looking into Zen studies. The koans linked to Zen were also designed to help the mind focus inward (pretty sure).

What I tell both of my kids when they can’t relax enough to get to sleep is not to breath from the top of their lungs, but slowly and deeply. How you breath literally does affect the rest of the body. Shallow rapid breathing activates the panic/flight mechanism. Focus on your breath. How do you do that? Move your mind inward to your physical body, feel how your chest expands, which muscles are being used, how the rest of your chest feels, etc. Go as deep as you want or can.

If you notice a muscle or group of muscles are distracting you, tense that muscle up for a little bit, then let it go. Focus on your body. It keeps your mind focus away from those distracting thoughts. And it has the benefit of relaxing those muscles.  :-D

A similar technique is to choose a comfortable position. In that position, start tracing the outline of your body with your mind. Go slowly, don’t skip or generalize the outline. If it’s too much to handle at first, start with a hand. (if you’ve read Dune by Frank Herbert, he uses this as a basis for his far future’s extreme body control by the mind!

Also, it might help *before* trying to meditate and clear your head, to grab a pen or pencil & paper and write down or scribble what’s on your mind—the worries, the thoughts, etc. Try not using a computer or keyboard; you have limited gestures and movements related to typing, and you can’t feel the more direct mind-writing connection that way.  This helped me daughter immensely when she needed to quiet her head down enough to relax.

*sigh* Sorry about the novel, folks. :-[]  I’m not an expert at all, these are just the techniques that have worked for me and my kids.

Posted by JavaMonster on Jul 15, 2014 at 5:54pm

Some variation of breath-counting meditation is the most common and ancient methods of focusing awareness. But counting is usually an insufficient anchor of focus for ADHDers.

I would highly recommend a new acoustic device that amplifies the sound of your breathing which makes it very much easier to stay focused and relaxed for the 5- to 15-minute session. It’s called the Costs about $15 or $20.

I also use it before any stressful situation like taking a test or playing tennis, etc.

Best wishes

Posted by ZenPM on Jul 15, 2014 at 7:16pm

I completely get how you feel!!!!!! I have had the same thought. I’ve tried meditation before and was useless at it. There is one that was recommended to me for sleep before I was diagnosed, where you go through and tense/relax muscles from top to bottom, slowly. I NEVER made it past my knees.

I find the amount of concentration it takes to meditate generally using methods like specific thinking/mantras etc. negates the value. So I have my own things that help me and kind of *are* meditating, without calling it that or ever realising.

One is to listen to music that moves me emotionally, and really listen to each song. Listen to the piano part, or really hear each word etc. It doesn’t matter what I focus on and I can change it around as much as I like, but music (loud, often eyes shut with headphones in bed) is a good one for me.

I think too, if you can be still (or with something to fidget with) and just ‘watch’ your thoughts like you’re watching TV - that is meditation too. It’s not about having none, but just letting them come and go without grabbing them and following them up consciously. Just relax and let your mind wander. That we can be really good at - it’s about doing that and letting it be 100% OK to spend 5/10/15/20 minutes just sitting there mentally wandering - which it usually isn’t.

We can be quite good with being objective within ourselves too, but if you are a self-judger and find it hard to allow the thoughts to happen without judging yourself, do it as a thought without feeling it if you can - *think* that’s crappy, and move on to the next thought - no lingering allowed.

I assign my self-judgment to what I describe as a ‘second me’ in my head. When I imagine her, she’s sitting in a director’s chair, and she usually uses dry and sarcastic one-liners when judging - it lightens the emotion of the judgment. I often find myself laughing at how judgy I can actually be on myself - so much so when I first had this image of it come up as an analogy for someone, I laughed so hard that I could barely explain it. I kept thinking how it sounded like I had multiple personality disorder!

Anyway the key is finding either a meditiation or something similar that does the same thing, I think. There will be something, you just have to look smile

Posted by aylaah on Jul 15, 2014 at 10:52pm

gym, karate, yoga they worked for me sometimes because they exhausted me so much that I didn’t have energy to think about anything. The more tired I was the more focus I got. There are few points: it is difficult to force myself to do anything, when I’m doing things I’m usually very distracted and this is complete fail in meditation and yoga. I’m new here and this post spot my attention, because it sounds so familiar.

Posted by Andrey on Jul 16, 2014 at 8:30am

Thanks for all the great comments, So it is concluded its difficult but one has to keep practicing giving up is no option for ADHD ...........

@aylaah I forgot to mention music really work for me to calm my brain

Posted by Bobby_pk on Jul 18, 2014 at 5:51pm

Many adults with ADHD (and without) find that practicing for shorter periods of time with guided support is very beneficial for developing a mindfulness practice. In that vein many adults have used my mindfulness CDs Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness of Young Children, and Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Teens with great benefit. They feel the practices are short and potent and develop true mindfulness.

Posted by dramy on Jul 19, 2014 at 3:32pm

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