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Why Practice Spiritual Self Care Daily?

A spiritual connection is a form of routine, which helps to bring people in contact with the divine. According to a clinical study, spirituality is to seek to find meaning in life outside of the person. It is a connection to the world and to explore what one’s purpose is in the world.

What is the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?

Both spirituality and religion share the belief that there is a divine presence or creator, ethics, and awe at our created universe. During a spiritual connection, rather than go through an established set of rituals in a social setting, the relationship is between you and the divine as you reflect and become more aware of that divine presence. A spiritual connection can be the point at which we come fully into awareness of the divine and begin to manifest our desires.

For many people, the first step towards discovering this divine presence is the discovery of the divinity within themselves. Through meditation and contemplation, the mind opens to spiritual truths, which can apply to your life. Time spent alone can awaken spirituality through listening to yourself. Spirituality takes time to connect with the truth within yourself in the space of stillness. 

Of course, the very nature of a spiritual connection is that there are no boundaries. The divine being remains transcendent and not bound by any physical reality. When we believe in the existence of that divine presence within ourselves, then we naturally feel more at ease and peace in our lives.

What is Spiritual Self Care?

Spending time in spiritual self-care encourages more connection with the divine to meet your spiritual needs. Setting up a daily or weekly routine to engage in spirituality will have multiple benefits for your wellbeing. Spiritual self-care can include any activity that helps you learn, grow, and connect with the divine by yourself or with others.

How Can We Benefit from Spiritual Self Care?

Spiritual self-care benefits your health, including mental and emotional well being. Studies show that having a belief in a divine presence is part of what increases life expectancy, reduces stress and depression, and can improve social connections.

By participating in spiritual self-care, you also form an identity with your beliefs that can increase confidence and mental well being. Finding purpose in something meaningful establishes better mental health.

What Forms of Spiritual Self Care Are There?

There are many ways of attaining a spiritual connection. We can access the universe using meditation, prayer, contemplation or journaling, nature, and reflecting on personal experience.

  • Meditation can be the most empowering connection with the divine. Being able to stop ourselves from negative thoughts brings peace and the ability to make more sense of the world and our meaning in it. Without the ability to control our thoughts, our emotions could easily consume us.
  • Instead of relying on logic in an attempt to control our emotions, through meditation, we can transcend chaos. Meditation allows us to let go of our thoughts to find stillness. There are many different forms of meditation. Some involve deep breathing, mindfulness, or guided exercises.
  • Many people associate meditation with spirituality, but there are many more forms of spiritual self-care. If you walk in nature, the appreciation and involvement of being outdoors is a form of spiritual self-care. Walking in nature can connect you to the divine in recognition of the creation of life around you.
  • Taking time to reflect on the meaning of life, your purpose, or what lessons you’ve learned from personal experiences in a journal is also a form of spiritual self-care. Reflecting in this way means that you are open to learning from the past to grow and change.
  • Writing a daily gratitude entry is another form of spiritual self-care. It focuses your mind on what you appreciate in life. Gratitude is beneficial for mental health and proven to change negative thoughts to more positive ones.

Set Up a Daily or Weekly Spiritual Self-Care Routine

Taking time for a daily spiritual connection will benefit many areas of your life and help you feel more at peace and ease. Once you take time to decide what spiritual self-care you wish to participate in, be sure to keep a daily or weekly schedule to keep track of your activity.

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Mindfulness for Couples

Relationships are hard work. People get busy with life and simply neglect to nourish their union. Sometimes it turns into a competition for time between family, work and self-care. With all that happens in a day or even a week, what’s left over for sustaining a relationship? Exactly that, leftovers.

Unintentionally, we often overlook feeding our partners with what is necessary for a healthy relationship. Mindfulness for couples is used, more often than not, in couples counseling sessions by the professionals. Why wait until there’s so much turmoil you need couch time in a therapists’ office? There are plenty of exercises you could initiate now!

First, let’s take a look at the mindfulness concept. In a nutshell, the practice of mindfulness is being present in the moment, becoming aware of the situation at hand and accepting, without judgment, what’s happening. It might sound complicated but it’s rather simple, it just takes practice.

For instance, when an individual is stressed out and on the verge of breaking, a professional counselor trained in mindfulness techniques might recommend a “time-out”. Go to a quiet space, sit down with your back straight and do breathing exercises.

Take a deep breath in through the nose counting to three and slowly exhale out through the mouth counting to five. Listen to your body and simply be aware; concentrate only on your breathing and how it makes you feel.

How Can Mindfulness Benefit a Relationship?

Mindfulness for couples is much the same, only with your partner. No, not necessarily breathing exercises but there are plenty of exercises you can do with your mate that will help develop a greater understanding of their emotional state.

Many of us wait until we are in the middle of a screaming match before trying to effectively communicate, but by that point no one is really willing to listen, words go flying and feelings get mutilated. This is followed by regret and maybe an apology or even the silent treatment; neither of which are healthy and both can be avoided.

Specific Mindfulness Methods

Let’s take a look at some mindfulness for couples techniques that might be useful:

Daily Affirmation

It’s one thing to tell your love that you appreciate something they are doing or have done, but when you give them your undivided attention, look them in the eyes and follow the affirmation with how it makes you feel, it is far more appreciatively received, and it sticks.

To go a step further, your partner would effectively reiterate what you’ve just told them in their own words. For example, “I love it when you rub my back after a long day at work; it makes me feel like you care that I’m tense and want to help.” Your partner would then follow-up with his interpretation of what you’ve just relayed.

Scheduled Date Night

Sounds simple enough right? But there are rules! Put your devices down if you are enjoying a meal together, look each other in the eyes and engage in meaningful conversation. Avoid topics that would cause critique or conflict. Open your ears and hear what your partner is saying without thinking of an immediate response while they are still talking.

If you are going to a movie or a play, hold hands while sitting, share the same popcorn and soda, and then talk about your opinions on the show afterward. Any event will work and if you both don’t share the same ideas on what you should do, alternate.

He wants to see a movie and she wants to have a picnic in the park? Easy. One thing this week, the other next week. Be excited to spend the quality time with one another and fully engage, mindfully and purposefully. Whatever you do, don’t skip out on your mate and reschedule!

Most importantly, if it’s not “your thing”, don’t disassociate. Make an extra effort to consciously focus, experience and participate. Make memories. That is what mindfulness is and does.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Sit down with your loved one and create a list of things that make each of you happy and deliriously in love. Remember when you were dating and he brought you flowers or when she would nibble on your ears? Write. It. Down.

Use a list or even put cut these suggestions out on strips of paper and place them in a jar. Each week grab one out and do it. Suggestions? Hold hands while watching TV. Bring a surprise home after work; a candy bar, a new perfume, a flower you picked from the neighbors yard… anything, but make sure it’s sincere.

Write a love note. Cook and serve a meal. Grocery shop together. These things are simple but could mean the world to your lover.

Mindfulness for couples doesn’t necessarily mean you have to gaze into each other’s eyes and profess your undying affection. There are endless “exercises” you could incorporate into your daily lives that will create a mutual love and adoration. And when you are mindful with your love and adoration guess what happens? You are less likely to explode during the tough conversations inevitable in any relationship.

Mindfulness is the Opposite of Taking for Granted

Engaging your conscious mind to be more mindfully aware of loving and being loved will move your relationship from a should be/could be/would be existence to an “is now” experience.

You both will subconsciously reflect on how loved you are and that you are in this together, thus creating a stronger team and much greater respect for your mate. It’s a win-win! Don’t stop with these few suggestions though. Find what works best in your relationship and for your given situation.

You wouldn’t neglect your body of food or water, right? Relationships take constant work and nurturing as well. Mindfulness for couples is work, yes, but it’s so worth it! Give your relationship the fuel it deserves to grow and succeed!

Mindfulness | Personal Development
  • Why Practice Spiritual Self Care Daily?

    A spiritual connection is a form of routine, which helps to bring people in contact with the divine. According to a clinical study, spirituality is to seek to find meaning in life outside of the person. It is a connection to the world and to explore what one’s purpose is in the world. What is […]

  • Mindfulness for Couples

    Relationships are hard work. People get busy with life and simply neglect to nourish their union. Sometimes it turns into a competition for time between family, work and self-care. With all that happens in a day or even a week, what’s left over for sustaining a relationship? Exactly that, leftovers. Unintentionally, we often overlook feeding […]

  • mindfulness for pain

    Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

    Chronic pain. It’s horrendous, obviously painful, often debilitating and causes a plethora of other issues when conventional treatments fail. Chronic pain sufferers commonly experience anything from anxiety and depression to pain medication side-effects and addiction. All of this on top of excruciating pain that can’t seem to be controlled. Using the mindfulness approach for chronic […]

  • mindfulness for busy moms

    Mindfulness for Busy Moms

    Life with kids is hectic, to say the least. If you’re lucky enough to get one down for a nap, the others will inevitably require your immediate undivided attention, the third snack for the day or your taxi skills to get to another activity. Moms are on the move! They typically don’t get the luxury […]

  • Mindfulness for Bipolar

    Mindfulness for Bipolar

    Many prominent psychologists and counselors are employing Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MiCBT) as a practical approach for their clients. In particular, therapists are using this technique more and more for bipolar disorder. This should not be limited to therapists and professionals in the mental health field. There’s no reason why anyone who is afflicted by […]

  • Mindfulness for Anxiety and Depression

    Mindfulness for Anxiety and Depression

    Anxiety and depression for many can be disheartening, terrifying, and even debilitating. The symptoms of anxiety can strike at any moment it seems and are usually related to a future event that may or may not happen, but the thought of it happening alone is quite enough to start the downward spiral. Depression seems to […]

  • Mindfulness for ADHD

    One can argue mindfulness for ADHD is a bunch of hooey just as easily as they can deny ADHD even exists, but when Dr. Lidia Zylowska and her team blew the minds of disbelievers with a 2008 study, many doubters had to reassess their position. Over recent years mindfulness has caused quite a stir in […]

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Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

mindfulness for pain

Chronic pain. It’s horrendous, obviously painful, often debilitating and causes a plethora of other issues when conventional treatments fail. Chronic pain sufferers commonly experience anything from anxiety and depression to pain medication side-effects and addiction. All of this on top of excruciating pain that can’t seem to be controlled. Using the mindfulness approach for chronic pain may be just what the doctor didn’t know to order.

Mindfulness is, in a nutshell, paying close attention and maintaining direct focus. Being unafraid to gracefully embrace a moment, good or bad, and know that it’s okay to let it go. Yes, it sounds terrifying to a chronic pain sufferer to pay more attention to the pain. Don’t stop reading! It will become clear how mindfulness for chronic pain can be highly advantageous and even help eradicate pain almost completely when practiced properly.

Practical Mindfulness Methods

A common relaxation technique over the years has been to tense up each part of the body, individually, count to 10, and then release your hold. The object is to notice exactly how tense you were to begin with, and to physically feel the tension go away. You would typically start from head to toe and gradually work your way down each body part until your entire body is completely relaxed.

For instance, you could start with your face by crinkling your forehead, squeezing your eyes together, pursing your lips and clenching your teeth. Inhale through your nose, hold the tension as tight as you can for 10 seconds and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Feel the muscles relax in your face and head.

Feel the tension and stress leave your body. Notice how you can actually feel the blood start to move again and how revitalized yet relaxed and calm it makes you feel. How completely aware you feel. This is the same premise as mindfulness for chronic pain.

The idea is to get closer to the pain, acknowledge it, appreciate it, and let it leave. Accept that the pain is there, without judgment, which is the hardest part really. Naturally we associate chronic pain and all that tags along with it as negative.

Focus On the Relief From Pain

But just for this exercise, try and view it neutrally. Shake hands with the pain as if it’s the first time you’re meeting a new neighbor. Visualize the pain. And when you exhale, let the pain move on.

Substantial pain relief may not be immediate, but if you are mindful and continue practicing mindfulness for chronic pain, the decrease in pain will gradually happen. It takes practice and focus, but it’s well worth the reward considering the damage other treatment modalities can potentially cause to your body, mind and spirit.

It also helps to alter your mindset on the pain itself. Your approach should be to understand your pain, individually describe the sensations you notice with and without the mindfulness exercises, and create a deeper awareness of balance.

If you enter this with the only idea that your pain needs to be “fixed”, if you aren’t extremely successful on your first shot of meditation, your mind will interpret that as “failure”. And mindfulness for chronic pain is so much more than simple success and/or failure.

Mindfulness will help you achieve a more accurate perception of the pain. You essentially retrain your brain to calculate pain differently. Think about it; your mind doesn’t actually feel the pain, but it sure tells you on a scale how bad it might feel.

In order for your brain to differentiate the intensity of pain, it first had to send signals all the way down to the core of the pain, which was then interpreted as even greater pain. It’s like poking a really bad bruise. Ouch!

Mindfulness and Pain Connection

Food for thought: Mindfulness for chronic pain isn’t about eradicating pain. Mindfulness is a phenomenal and powerful modality to help you live a full life even with the pain. Your focus is no longer on the outside obstacles but on accepting what’s going on inside your body and having a different relationship with it.

You can choose your reactions, believe it or not, and mindfulness for chronic pain assists in just that. With practice and determination, you can and will alter your pain response. Think of all the added benefits like less narcotic pain medication, less chance for addiction to medications, as well as decreased anxiety and depression symptoms.

What about the fact that you can begin again to live a meaningful, active life without spending the majority of energy on avoiding any pain breakthrough?
Mindfulness for chronic pain has endless potential and the results can effect multiple areas of your life. There’s really no reason not to try it.


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Mindfulness for Busy Moms

mindfulness for busy moms

Life with kids is hectic, to say the least. If you’re lucky enough to get one down for a nap, the others will inevitably require your immediate undivided attention, the third snack for the day or your taxi skills to get to another activity. Moms are on the move! They typically don’t get the luxury of scheduled breaks or the end of their shift.

Which is exactly why mindfulness for busy moms is essential! When you think about it, being a mom is all about balance. Whether you work outside the home or are a stay-at-home mom, you’ve got a ton of things to accomplish on any given day with a mental checklist and any number of screaming kids in the background offering constant distraction.

Mindfulness for Self-help

Somehow, you pull it all together and make everything happen for everyone else, but what about you? To keep balance you’ve got to find a way to take care of yourself, because if mama falls apart, the whole operation falls apart!

Mindfulness has become such a popular method for lowering stress levels and helping with all sorts of medical and mental health issues. But mindfulness for busy moms might just be the real jackpot here. Sometimes finding a yoga class matching our skill level seems just as impossible as allotting the time to get away and show up for the class itself.

The same applies to running out to a spa for a massage, not to mention massages aren’t exactly budget friendly these days. And forget about a weekend getaway or even a girls’ night out; that’s entirely too much planning and don’t we already do enough planning for our own crew?

Mindfulness Can Fit to Your Schedule

The best part about mindfulness, other than the obvious and immediate release of tension, is you can do it first thing in the morning, smack dab in the middle of the day, the end of the day and at night. You can practice mindfulness once a day or find mindfulness moments for busy moms all throughout the day.

Yes, mindfulness can be just that simple. It’s all about being in the present moment and being aware of what’s happening right now. You take a moment to embrace the moment and allow it to happen, without pondering how it should or could be different.

Here are a few ways to incorporate mindfulness activities into everyday life any time of the day:

1.) Deep, cleansing breaths. Ok, this one seems pretty obvious and probably at the top of all the lists. It’s easy, quick and can be performed all throughout the day. But for busy moms, this one is particularly helpful first thing in the morning before you’ve even gotten out from under the covers.

Here’s why: Your mind is already processing the days’ activities before you even get out of bed. Take three or four deep breaths, count the seconds of each inhale and slowly count out the exhale. Even if you hear the kids pitter pattering down the hall or fighting over the bathroom, take this couple of minutes no matter what. Allow yourself to exist, without worry or contemplation, fear or anticipation. Just breathe and be.

2.) Bring on the java! Maybe coffee isn’t your thing, but whatever is, take a moment to sit down and enjoy it. Here’s how to do it mindfully; find a quiet space and don’t dive right in. Maybe while everyone is busy getting ready for school or maybe during snack time when all the littles have their mouths full of all those healthful snacks.

Get your cup of goodness, sit down and take a mindful approach. Smell the aroma, notice how you feel before you’ve taken the first sip, take care to appreciate the first sip in all its splendor and how it feels going down. How does it taste? Is the cup warming your hands? These simple measures to keep focused on this exact couple of minutes, without distraction, is exactly what mindfulness is all about.

3.) Hide. It sounds ridiculous but it might just save everyone’s sanity that day. If you’ve ever gotten to the point of breaking, before you scream and yell and later regret it, go hide. Run to your favorite closet (consider the pantry, there are probably cookies in there) and just be with yourself.

No little people begging for your attention or squealing on each other. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Take in your surroundings. After a couple minutes of solitude you are more likely to respond rather than react to the situation.

The world isn’t going to fall apart if you appear to disappear for a few minutes during the day, but your state of mind surely could crumble if you don’t make time for yourself. These are just a few suggestions to help you get started and more comfortable with the concept of mindfulness.

You could also incorporate meditation, prayer, journaling, or a brisk walk (even if it’s just the perimeter of the backyard). Maybe coloring or spending a few minutes crocheting is more your style. The point is to find the mindfulness approach that’s most effective for you as a busy mom.


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Mindfulness for Bipolar

Mindfulness for Bipolar

Many prominent psychologists and counselors are employing Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MiCBT) as a practical approach for their clients. In particular, therapists are using this technique more and more for bipolar disorder.

This should not be limited to therapists and professionals in the mental health field. There’s no reason why anyone who is afflicted by bipolar disorder can’t apply mindfulness and reduce its symptoms within the comfort of their own home.

Mindfulness focuses on the here and now using our senses to become present in the moment. Many times during the day we experience the same mundane tasks and our brain unknowingly goes to autopilot.

Picture your drive home from work. Every single day. The same route. Passing by the same streets and houses and buildings. You’ve got the radio on the same station, as always, and your mind is off somewhere in the distance. By the time you get home you have no real recollection of the drive or how you got from point A to point B, but you did. On autopilot.

And during that drive you probably spaced out and thought about a ton of things. Perhaps you revisited an unpleasant conversation with your boss and thought about all the things you wish you would have said. Or you could have been scrambling your brain trying to figure out what to cook for dinner as you forgot to lay out something this morning. Whatever the case, you weren’t in the moment.

Mindfulness helps us control where are thoughts go and how to reel them back in when they slip back into autopilot. It helps us to become aware of sensations and thoughts and emotions occurring right now.

Mindfulness for bipolar specifically helps stop:

  • The “Autopilot” cycle.
  • Worrying about the future.
  • Reliving the past.
  • Regretting decisions long past.
  • Obsessive thinking.

Bipolar, as you are probably aware, has peaks and valleys of complex moods. These can be similar to anxiety and depression symptoms. However, in bipolar these moods are much more prominent and can even encompass delusional thinking. The depressive symptoms can be extreme and boundless, often including thoughts of suicidal ideation.

To get control of these moods would be life-changing for those dealing with bipolar disorder.

Potential benefits of mindfulness for bipolar:

  • Improved attention and focus.
  • Decreased worry and rumination.
  • Less emotional reactivity.
  • Greater self-compassion.
  • Better stress management.

This isn’t an easy way out or a fix-all solution to every symptom. Employing mindfulness takes times to develop the techniques unique to your situation, to your particular set of needs. It’s a daily practice, not something you can just pick up and try out whenever you have a break and need a little bit more help.

But the great news is, it does work. Maybe it won’t eliminate all of your symptoms or stop an episode of mania from happening, but if the mood could be even a little less intense and frightening, mindfulness is worth it.

Getting started with mindfulness practices is much like anything else, you jump in and find what fits for your lifestyle. The first and easiest step is to find the anchor that works best for you.

Common Mindfulness Meditation Anchors

  • Breathing – counting inhalations/exhalations
  • Body sensation – paying close attention to how your body is feeling right this second, wherever you are, how your feet feel, legs, arms, neck, face… everything. Are you sore? Energized? Exhausted? Hot or cold?
  • Mantra – a set or words or phrase on repeat either out loud or in your head.
  • Movement – a meditation walk or some stretching exercises, or even yoga.

The point of the anchor is having something you can mentally grab hold of and create an unbreakable focus. If your mind moves and slips into autopilot, gently pull yourself back to your anchor. It’s going to happen, again and again.

The goal is to be in control of your mindfulness experience. Accept what’s going on in the present moment even if it’s uncomfortable and realize it’s fleeting. It will pass. You’ll give yourself less attachment to the storm brewing because of the bipolar and be able to focus more on working through the sensations and mindful decision making.

It takes time to develop a good mindfulness for bipolar routine, and lots of practice. The outcome is worth the time spent. Not only will you feel better about your bipolar symptoms and moods, but mindfulness will spill over into your everyday life offering an overall peace and confidence.

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Mindfulness for Anxiety and Depression

Mindfulness for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression for many can be disheartening, terrifying, and even debilitating. The symptoms of anxiety can strike at any moment it seems and are usually related to a future event that may or may not happen, but the thought of it happening alone is quite enough to start the downward spiral.

Depression seems to be a slower beast in onset, takes a little longer to combat and commonly closes in on past events and things and/or situations we regret. In any event, mindfulness for anxiety and depression can significantly reduce the symptoms and potentially slow down the frequency of invasive thought patterns in general.

Mindfulness is all about being in the moment, accepting the moment, and then moving past the moment. Mindfulness helps a person pay closer attention to their internal and external surroundings any given moment. The very act of focusing on what is happening and how it is affecting them as it happens, leaves the conscious mind with less time and space for the anxieties of what may or may not happen, or for dwelling on things in the past.

In it’s most basic form, mindfulness for anxiety and depression is about training your brain to accept what’s happening without complicating the matter by adding forecast or re-hashed imagery. These imaginings and ruminations inevitably will exhaust your mind and body, delay recovery and invite more frequent outbreaks.

Practical Applications of Mindfulness

Picture the first thing you do when you get up in the morning. Okay, after you hit the snooze four times and thrown the covers back over your head. You’ve probably already started worrying about all the things you’ve got to accomplish today, and if you don’t get them done, you’ve failed. Anxiety starts nearly from the moment you open your eyes.

Mindfulness for anxiety helps us accept the anxiety we’ve dished out to ourselves, and then move past it. Okay, yes, we’ve got a lot on the to-do list, but if we aren’t able to get it all done, there’s always tomorrow. The world won’t end. You aren’t a failure. You’ve already got a frown on your face and your brow is furrowed, heart rate is escalating, and you haven’t even gotten your hindquarters out of bed yet.

Instead, focus on how good it feels to get that first big morning stretch and how amazing and cool and fresh the carpet feels between your toes. Keep going, with positive, mindful thoughts. Be aware of what’s going on internally and externally, remember? In this moment. Stay in this moment. Don’t allow anxiety to suck away your time like an aimless vacuum. Acknowledge it, accept it, and be mindful in the thoughts after that moment. It takes practice, but it’s worth it!

Mindfulness for depression is a different story, yet similar in tactic. The object is to be purposeful in thought, right? Be mindful. So when you get home in the evening and realize you were only able to check of four of the 10 items on your list of chores for the day, it might be a trigger for depression. You’ve failed, yet again. You can’t get anything right. How will you ever get that list accomplished. One day at a time, that’s how! Just like every other human being!

When you feel depression rearing its ugly head, the first step is always to accept it. Be real with it. Depression is about things in the past, and unless you are a time traveler you can’t change the past. So once you’ve acknowledged that you are in fact depressed about something, get back to the present moment, as quickly as possible.

Practice giving your attention to breathing; shorter breaths in, longer breaths out. Think mindfully about what is happening in this very moment, inside and outside of your body, in place of allowing the depression to monopolize your thought process.

Give mindfulness for anxiety and depression and try. You’ll be surprised with the results! Like most things in life, it’s going to take some practice. Be patient with yourself as you figure out the best methods of mindfulness to help combat your particular levels of anxiety and depression, too.
Charles R. Swindoll said, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Being aware of your minute to minute existence will help you learn to control your reactions, which will greatly help in overcoming the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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Mindfulness for ADHD

One can argue mindfulness for ADHD is a bunch of hooey just as easily as they can deny ADHD even exists, but when Dr. Lidia Zylowska and her team blew the minds of disbelievers with a 2008 study, many doubters had to reassess their position. Over recent years mindfulness has caused quite a stir in just about every life aspect, but mindfulness in ADHD deserves a special look. Here’s why!

In Dr. Zylowska’s 2008 study “Mindfulness Meditation Training in Adults and Adolescents”, 78% of participants who practiced mindfulness awareness reported a reduction in ADHD symptoms. That is an incredible statistic!

Mindfulness Avoids Regretful Ruminations

First, let’s go over the mindfulness concept as a whole. This approach, which uses meditation as one of its tools, encourages an individual to pay special attention to here-and-now moments without judgement. In practice, this means avoid thinking back and pondering what could have been, and don’t freak out over the future, just be here. Right now.

That’s not to say mindfulness is suggesting we ignore past or future events in total, but dwelling on them will rob us of time, and time is something we can never get back. There is certainly no problem with learning from mistakes if it leads to a better outcome.

However, there is no value in bemoaning what could have been, or holding on to bitterness and regret. This is especially so where events or actions where beyond our control, whether they were enacted by others, Acts of God, or natural events. Beware of “if only” statements.

To employ mindfulness to its best advantage, if non-productive past and future thoughts intrude, allow the thought, replace it, and move on. With purpose.

Mindfulness for ADHD, as one could imagine, is a dream come true for many. There are parents refusing to medicate children for fear of side-effects, and adults trying to find a natural way to cope with ADHD to avoid being addicted or dependent on yet another prescription. Stimulants are the first prescribed line defense for ADHD, and yet they don’t work for everyone. Sure, Omega-3 and Omega-6 are great, but is that going to fully fix the problem? Probably not in most cases. Managing ADHD symptoms is challenging at best.

The researchers in Dr. Zylowska’s study knew what they were doing. You can’t put ADHD participants on a rigid schedule and expect them to stick to it. They made special adaptations to the study so it would be successful:

  1. Started with shorter mindful meditation practices and gradually increased.
  2. Incorporated visual imagery as ADHD folks are typically very visual learners.
  3. Helped combat ADHD negative self-talk.
  4. Emphasized mindful awareness with right-here-right-now, non-judgmental practices.

Distraction and focus. Those are the key components of both ADHD and mindfulness, oddly enough. Although they are working at opposite ends of the spectrum and fighting for different causes, so to speak, they both primarily juggle the same tenpins.

In mindfulness for ADHD the idea is to push your thoughts back to the present moment and regain focus on the task at hand. ADHD sufferers are constantly challenged by intrusive thoughts pulling their attention in one direction or another and they often lose sight of what is happening right now.

Beginning another task, completely unrelated to the first task, is par for the course in ADHD patients. By the days’ end they’ve got multiple unfinished tasks, have spoken a plethora of self-deprecating comments, and are left feeling discouraged and defeated.

We all have goals, right? That’s the object in our day-to-day life efforts, and long-term, to obtain or attain our goals. However, not everyone has the ability to keep their nose to the grindstone and hammer out results one after the other.
Mindfulness with ADHD helps strengthen attention span, it helps manage emotional surges and it helps in achieving goals. Of course, the person with ADHD will be resistant to focusing and consider this approach quite a workout. Studies, including the milestone one mentioned above, have proven that with time, patience and practice, the ability to immediately redirect themselves can become second nature.

When focus is mindful and redirected back to the present, tasks get done. When tasks get done, jobs are kept and paychecks keep coming. Homework gets done and GPAs stay good. Chores are finished before parents get home and nobody gets grounded. Laundry gets done, folded and even put away!

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when distraction gets beat down by focus through the use of mindfulness by those suffering with ADHD. It may mean little to those who aren’t directly affected, but to someone with ADHD, or maybe even more so, the parent of a child with ADHD, this gives incredible hope for dealing with the condition.