Mindfulness in ADHD is a Game Changer

         If you google the definition of mindfulness, you will see that it refers to “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.”  It is also described as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”  Mindfulness, as it relates to symptoms of ADHD, can best be viewed as using the power of your conscious attention to gain and maintain control of your racing unproductive thoughts and impulsive behaviors.  Concentrated observations of specific events or thoughts can shut out the “noise” of external stimuli, causing them to disappear and to make room for you to observe what you are doing or thinking at any given moment.  For example, when you become lost in an array of competing thoughts, it is very difficult to act with intention and direction.  The results in this case are either “not acting at all” through procrastination, acting impulsively and unproductively, or acting on your various thoughts through multitasking and getting confused and frustrated. 

Inner World and Mindfulness

Mindfulness in ADHD, unproductive thoughts, ADHD symptoms

         Mindfulness is largely about subjective control of your inner world.  When your brain’s energy is occupied with external stimuli, you are allowing your inner world to be knocked off balance.  If you have ADHD, this process can greatly hinder you when trying to transform your intellect and creativity into actions and words.  If you have ADHD, mindfulness can be a game changer in achieving your career and academic goals, improving your self-esteem, and improving your relationships.  In a therapeutic setting, mindfulness exercises focus on three specific areas of your daily functioning: (1) physical activities, (2) sensations and feelings, and (3) mental activities.  Physical activities include social interactions, nutrition habits, exercise, and career-focused and/or academic-focused behaviors.  Sensations and feelings include past and present emotions, which are both inspiring and challenging.  Mental activities include your specific thoughts, perceptions about daily experiences and interactions, emotional triggers, unproductive thoughts and memories.  Mindfulness skills are particularly important in helping you to truly identify and process emotions as they occur and not to push them aside.  Mindfulness skills are key to increasing your self-awareness and self-control.  These skills provide the foundation which is necessary to evolve from being out of control to achieving emotional, cognitive, and behavioral control. 

Viewing the World Differently Through Mindfulness

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         When you can practice mindfulness throughout each day, you have the power to embrace all emotions as they are and not how others think that they “should” be.  However, you must be willing to move out of your comfort zone and to try hard to start viewing situations with no self-judgment and no impulsive pushing down of any emotional responses to these situations.  Mindful awareness can create a continuous sense of empowerment, patience, and self-compassion in all situations.  Most importantly, you can develop an excellent and valuable introspective ability to carry throughout the remainder of your life.  Being mindful also consists of an emotional awareness which enables you to identify dominant emotions, their sources, and current triggering situations which bring out these emotions.

ADHD and Mindfulness

Mindfulness in ADHD, unproductive thoughts, ADHD symptoms

        The symptoms of ADHD can create constant anxiety, due to difficulty with time management, task completion, and organizational skills, as well as the tendency to become easily confused in one’s thought processes.  ADHD individuals often misplace items and forget appointments, which gives the appearance of being irresponsible and incompetent and which can create great anxiety.  Furthermore, ADHD individuals can become easily stressed and overwhelmed by even simple tasks and may face each day with restlessness and fear about keeping one’s life under control.  This lifestyle can cause the ADHD individual to develop anxiety symptoms, particularly self-defeating thoughts, insecurities about achieving life goals, and difficulty with relaxation.  Mindfulness can help you to accept your ADHD symptoms and to actively identify and manage them.  When you apply mindful attention to more of your daily moments, you will find that your anxiety will gradually dissipate.  By implementing control over your thoughts and actions as they occur in specific moments, you will be gradually more competent at staying focused on and completing parental, work, and/or academic responsibilities.

        To successfully manage ADHD symptoms, it is crucial to identify and to “own” self-doubting, irrational, fear-perpetuating, and, otherwise, unproductive thoughts.  By being mindful of your “extra” thoughts, you can then consciously clear your brain’s energy of these thoughts and then either write  down or say out loud the thoughts which are relevant to the present moment.  You can then prevent any dysfunctional ADHD behavioral responses which you have likely experienced throughout your life. Mindfulness also involves exploring how your past embarrassing experiences are contributing to your present difficulties with task completion, self-confidence, and even with establishing life goals.  In sum, mindfulness skills can help you to clarify the negative self-statements and ruminating thoughts which have resulted from your ADHD symptoms.

         It is important to remember that mindfulness skills must be put into action over and over again throughout each day.  Your therapist will assist you in developing a structured and proactive plan for acknowledging disturbing and unproductive thoughts, using thought-stopping strategies when these thoughts create too much emotional pain, using thought-replacement strategies to refocus on the present moment, committing to writing one’s thoughts and feelings in a daily journal, and implementing more effective coping behaviors which have been discussed during the therapy sessions. 

     Mindfulness helps to promote your movement toward more confident and balanced thoughts, which will then result in healthier behaviors in relation to external events.  Through mindfulness, you can “own” your ADHD symptoms and can educate your friends, family members, and coworkers about this neurological disorder.  By doing so, you will greatly decrease your anxiety and other emotional challenges.  Mindfulness can be viewed as an intentional “timeout” which allows you to genuinely experience and reflect upon a specific moment of your existence without judging or fearing this moment.  When you are truly mindful of certain life moments, you are perceiving these moments and yourself with open-mindedness, compassion, and humility.  Most importantly, you can view yourself as a strong and wise “warrior” and not as an ashamed or confused victim. 

Keep reading to learn about the impact of Positive Psychology.


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New Age Psychiatry

         New Age Psychiatry offers licensed and certified psychiatric services through virtual telehealth appointments within the state of Florida. We understand the complexities that come with mental health disorders and symptoms, and we will work hard to help you manage your condition.

         New Age Psychiatry is a modern mental health service in Florida that approaches addiction and other mental health issues with compassion and forward-thinking techniques. New Age Psychiatry offers certified psychiatric services through telehealth appointments in Florida. Some of the highlights of the New Age Psychiatry approach include:

  • Online Screening – We will begin with certified online screening to provide an overview of psychiatric care. We also offer a personalized, specific diagnosis through our psychiatric Telehealth services.
  • Diagnosis, Recovery, & Treatment – Our full range of comprehensive psychiatric telehealth services can aid in treating a multitude of psychiatric illnesses and assist in the recovery process in alcoholism.
  • Telehealth Services – Our psychiatric telehealth services are available throughout the state of Florida and can assist you in psychiatric care through counseling and medication management

Contact us on the web for a virtual appointment. If you prefer to use email, you can reach us at info@newagepsychiatry.com or call us today at (877) 769-5206 for more information.