View Full Version : Can't meditate/pray - impossible to relax


thegreenjudy
07-21-11, 05:55 AM
I am personally a religious person but I find it really impossible to sit down and meditate/pray - no matter what I do. I don't expect miracles but as I find it so hard to relax and this is a very important aspect of my life I am desperate to find a solution. I am ADHD-PI but when I am about to do something that requires to sit down and relax and concentrate I get fidgety and anxious and I just can't help it..my mind is very cluttered and I can't have a straight thought.

Has anyone had similar experiences and knows what to do?

anonymouslyadd
07-21-11, 06:05 AM
Hey green. I know exactly what you are talking about. I'm combined, and I struggle to meditate. I do practice all the time though. I've created a blog on this subject:

http://www.addforums.com/forums/blog.php?b=11487

Once you realize how much it benefits you (with practice), I think it gets a little easier to put up with the struggle. If I need to move, then I move. The most important result for me is that I am calmer. Also, if I'm having a really sh*** day, it can help erase negative emotions.

thegreenjudy
07-21-11, 06:19 AM
Yes I guess practice is important...it's probably so hard because it takes so long to make progress. Not sure if you are on meds? (I'm not) do they help you in any way?

anonymouslyadd
07-21-11, 06:23 AM
Yes I guess practice is important...it's probably so hard because it takes so long to make progress. Not sure if you are on meds? (I'm not) do they help you in any way?

I am on meds. I take the generic of Adderall 20mg twice/day. The meds do help. Sometimes, I think the act of trying to focus is what makes me calm. So, yea it's hard, but the rewards are good.

love my family
07-21-11, 06:26 AM
After being on meds for about a month, yesterday was the first day that I was able to lay outside in the sun for about and 1 1/2 hours. I prayed and relaxed. I was so excited that I was able to do that.

I'm going to try and do it everyday. Before when I tried to relax a million thoughts came into my head about the kids, chores, etc. Then it wasn't worth trying. I was just getting myself worked up.

Looking forward to today's time. Hopefully not to hot out. :)

thegreenjudy
07-21-11, 08:42 AM
Sounds good - I only ever treid Ritalin but it only made me depressed :-(
Wonder if there is an alternative...

Lunacie
07-21-11, 09:07 AM
Same thing here, I've found that active meditation works very well for me. When I'm doing something like mowing the yard (back and forth, back and forth, back and ...) or walking in a quiet setting like a park, the active part of my mind is occupied with keeping me in motion and the meditative side of my mind is free to just listen to that little inner voice of wisdom. Even rocking or swinging gently can be enough activity to do active meditation.

Abi
07-21-11, 09:10 AM
God / The Universe will forgive you.
Extenuating circumstances.

String
07-21-11, 10:34 AM
You're not alone. My prayers are all over the place in that I lose my train of thought and forget I'm praying after the first line or two and find myself doing something else. Meditation is also hard when the ADHD is firing on all cylinders.

I've tried writing down my prayers, like on the computer. That helps a little. I've been practicing meditation again lately. With some practice, I can slow down and mellow out my thoughts.

If anyone has good ideas about praying and meditating with ADHD, let us know.

stoph276
07-21-11, 11:07 AM
Same thing here, I've found that active meditation works very well for me. When I'm doing something like mowing the yard (back and forth, back and forth, back and ...) or walking in a quiet setting like a park, the active part of my mind is occupied with keeping me in motion and the meditative side of my mind is free to just listen to that little inner voice of wisdom. Even rocking or swinging gently can be enough activity to do active meditation.

I too am religous. I get a lot more out of worship when I'm running the sound system. Maybe we ADDers need active prayer and meditation like your post suggests.

Here is a good article on a Prayer Labyrinth. Often you can locate one near you.

http://www.mathewsumc.org/html/growth/labyrinth.htm

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=prayer%20labyrinth&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi

thegreenjudy
07-21-11, 11:07 AM
Well, yes I find it easier to think and meditate if I do something like cooking etc. But I can't do that all the time and sometimes it is just more appropriate to sit down and be quiet...
Sometimes my hubby has a nap during the day and he just wants me to lie next to him. I find this absolutely impossible!!After 5 minutes I apologize and tell him I really have to get up or my head is going to explode..haha (or my chest rather...that's where I feel the impatience...)..can you imagine what it is like when I just want to meditate on something specific???

thegreenjudy
07-21-11, 11:09 AM
God / The Universe will forgive you.
Extenuating circumstances.

:p:p:p

stoph276
07-21-11, 11:10 AM
http://labyrinthlocator.com/locate-a-labyrinth

bruukswuzheer
07-21-11, 12:54 PM
I am personally a religious person but I find it really impossible to sit down and meditate/pray - no matter what I do. I don't expect miracles but as I find it so hard to relax and this is a very important aspect of my life I am desperate to find a solution. I am ADHD-PI but when I am about to do something that requires to sit down and relax and concentrate I get fidgety and anxious and I just can't help it..my mind is very cluttered and I can't have a straight thought.

Has anyone had similar experiences and knows what to do?

I had had the exact experience over the last 25 years or so, intending to pray but having my mind so scattered and meandering that I've often felt hopelessly unable to "connect" with God in any way quiet.

I have a couple of things to share about this:

1. Like another member has shared, doing something while trying to pray / meditate has been very helpful. I lead worship and play the guitar. I have found this is the height of my ability to focus and actively involve my mind in concentration and meditation.

2. I have found that meditative "training" has been priceless in helping me to command my mental resources. although not a "cure", the techniques and exercises I learned through the "Silva Mind Control" method has helped me immensely.

3. Relaxation, and the ability to command myself to relax in a very systematic fashion (Silva Method) has come to my aid many times. I can't say enough about the benefits of meditation and relaxation on my day to day activities and performance.

Unmanagable
07-21-11, 12:58 PM
I think part of the solution could be in the bee's eyes on your avatar. lol

stoph276
07-21-11, 01:03 PM
I looked at the Silva thing just now. Couldn't focus and wrote it off as something I'll never sit down long enough to understand.

thegreenjudy
07-21-11, 03:12 PM
I think part of the solution could be in the bee's eyes on your avatar. lol


lol! yeah I think my bee and your dog could become good friends :D

Just looked at a website explaining Silva and I had the same problem as stoph...could you explain it in a nutshell?

Song of Mercy
07-21-11, 04:31 PM
I put my headphones on and listen to worship music or listen to a church show, at the same time I play runescape because it is so repetitive on some things when leveling up it only takes a teeny bit of focus.

By combining the activities I find myself able to hear the music or hear the message.

I also put on worship music and walk around and pray.

As to your hubby, that is practically abuse for him to expect you to do that. However you might try working on your meditation while your there. For me, I used to think of a flame with three layers for the idea of the trinity coming with fire and power. I love doing this because at the same time I am hoping to hear God. So again, two activities in one. Now, I dont do the fire thing anymore, I visualize Jesus holding me on his lap and us just loving to be together, and I do hear from Him. This is something that took time to develop and was 1000% worth the effort.

Or, while on the bed of mandatory stillness you might run snippets of scripture through your head which is still a kind of meditation, if you cant remember entire scripture, try and just call to mind the parts you do remember. For me stuff like The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom are snippets I can recall. I do not need to remember where it is or exactly the words or the entire verse, I can however do what is commanded to "think on these things."

All of these action, for me, are a type of offering. They are a challenge. Sometimes I ask the Lord to accept them as prayer and I feel confident that He does.

thegreenjudy
07-21-11, 06:44 PM
As to your hubby, that is practically abuse for him to expect you to do that.

I'll let him know that :-)

Thanks for your tips - yes one some occasions I find it easier to pray. For example when I walk through the park..it just doesn't happen very often. So I am selling my laptop to spend less time online!! I am really trying to reduce every activity that winds my brain up unnecessarily.

The only time I can pray properly is with my eyes open..sometimes, on a very relaxed sunday morning I can pray in the old fashioned way :-)

I too hope that God forgives me my unorthodoxic way of praying...haha...
I guess he is bigger than my heart, isn't he..?so he knows what's going on;)

now I just have to find a way to concentrate when I go to our meetings and they say a prayer ..I can't do that either..

doiadhd
07-21-11, 07:33 PM
Purposely move slower,a good one is breathing. Take 3 deep breathes in blow all of it out of thee lungs posture upright and stretch the arms about whilst holding the breath out. Maybe only do thus if in good health. The problem is remembering to do so. . . Like now,i shall try. Thanks for reminding me.

ADDapting
07-22-11, 12:16 AM
I am personally a religious person but I find it really impossible to sit down and meditate/pray - no matter what I do. I don't expect miracles but as I find it so hard to relax and this is a very important aspect of my life I am desperate to find a solution. I am ADHD-PI but when I am about to do something that requires to sit down and relax and concentrate I get fidgety and anxious and I just can't help it..my mind is very cluttered and I can't have a straight thought.

Has anyone had similar experiences and knows what to do?

The first thing that came to mind is, why don't you pray about it? The way I see it, God knows our struggles, he loves us and wants to help. Your sense of desperation shows the desire in your heart to connect with Him.

Maybe the traditional sitting, kneeling approach to prayer just isn't for you. Sometimes that works for me, but more often my best praying is while I am walking and just talking with God like I would a dear friend who knows me and loves me. That feels more genuine to me than using certain words and it is when I am most real, that I feel that connection to God most strongly.

I think God hears our prayers whether we are relaxed or tense, focused or scattered. Very often, a feeling of peace is the result of prayer, not a prerequisite for it.

Meditation Tips
07-22-11, 03:14 AM
meditation helps you to relax yourself..i love doing meditation

Lunacie
07-22-11, 08:40 AM
meditation helps you to relax yourself..i love doing meditation

Nothing helps me to relax, I have cormorbid Anxiety Disorder. I've recently started taking Celexa and it was wonderful for the first couple of weeks - but unfortunately it's not helping with the anxiety as much now. All my life people have been telling me to relax! Believe me, I would if I could.

thegreenjudy
07-22-11, 08:54 AM
Nothing helps me to relax, I have cormorbid Anxiety Disorder. I've recently started taking Celexa and it was wonderful for the first couple of weeks - but unfortunately it's not helping with the anxiety as much now. All my life people have been telling me to relax! Believe me, I would if I could.

I have to admit I never got diagnosed with anything...but I strongly believe that I have an anxiety disorder as well..I just don't talk about it much..I am sorry that you feel that way, I know it's awful :(

@ADDapting: yes, I've been doing that but I have to do it more consistently..at the end of the day he won't perform a miracle just for me .. I wish he could take the ADD away!;)

@MeditationTips: Well, erm..yes I know...it would be great if I could get to that stage in the first place (please relax in order to learn how to relax..haha..what an irony :p)

DaneV
07-22-11, 10:04 AM
Being able to meditate is something you have to "learn". At first I wasn`t able to do it either, because like you I got more anxious when I sat still and trying to relax.

The most important thing for me is not trying to relax. If you expect/want the meditation to be relaxing you`ll try to force yourself in relaxation which causes even more stress.

Just lie down, put some relaxing music on and observe your anxiety. If stressfull thoughts appear, just look at them as a third person and let them be. If you look at these thoughts/feelings objectively, and dont judge them, you will not get cought up by them. This is the whole point of meditating imo; because if you practise this enough, it will become a habbit in your daily life, making you more calm.

Also guided meditation mp3`s/CDs can help to learn the process.

AniDragon
11-22-11, 04:12 AM
I've always had trouble focusing on prayers, especially lately. I'll start off with the prayer in mind, then that'll remind me of something my friend said, which will remind me of this story that I'm writing, and goodness, I should be planning out the next chapter...

The typical ADHD tangeant of thoughts, basically.

But, I'm planning on starting to pray the rosery soon, so that'll make things a bit more goal oriented, plus it'll give me a physical object to hold on to, and that might be enough.

I never thought of trying to pray while playing some sort of mindless game (someone mentioned gathering in runescape, I think?). With how much spider solitair I play, I could probably get lots of praying done in that time.

AuntOtter
11-23-11, 12:36 AM
I had the same problem for what seems like forever. I wouldn't call myself religious, but i do have some fairly strong beliefs. I've meditated to some extent since I was 15, but I always had difficulty clearing my head for more than 20-30 seconds at a time.

About a year ago though I got something called a Tibetan Singing Bowl, and it has made a WORLD of a difference. If you've never heard of them, the idea is that you've got a metal bowl and a wooden rod-ish thing called a striker. You drag the striker in a circular motion around the outer lip of the bowl repetitively and after a few seconds a humming tone starts to build. It maintains the drone in kind of an oscillating way until you stop the motion.

This bowl was kind of a panacea for me as far as meditation techniques go. The sound drowns out most other things. Also, the motion is goal oriented and takes focus to maintain, so it also virtually stops my mind from thinking at all. Then after a few minutes the repetition becomes thoughtless too, and I can meditate or just think things out in quiet.

The bowls can actually be pretty cheap too (I saw a few on amazon for about 20 bucks). They all make different tones though, so just buying any one mightn't be the best idea. I paid a little extra (about $60 I think) to find one that made a note I found relaxing. You don't want to be stuck with something that makes your skin crawl. Fingers. Chalkboards. Etc.

However, obviously they're traditionally Buddhist, so if you're looking for something to resonate with one particular religion then maybe it's not for you. Personally, not being at all Buddhist myself, I think anyone would find them soothing on an aesthetic level, regardless of their beliefs.

rickymooston
11-26-11, 11:48 AM
I am personally a religious person but I find it really impossible to sit down and meditate/pray - no matter what I do. I don't expect miracles but as I find it so hard to relax and this is a very important aspect of my life I am desperate to find a solution. I am ADHD-PI but when I am about to do something that requires to sit down and relax and concentrate I get fidgety and anxious and I just can't help it..my mind is very cluttered and I can't have a straight thought.

Has anyone had similar experiences and knows what to do?

You don't need to concentrate!!! Your problem is, in my biased opinion that you are expecting both to be "work". It is also wrong to assume that you "can't fidget".

Hi, lets differentiate prayer from meditation.

I am PI too and I can try to tell you how I have done both. (I used to be a Christian).


The above is your problem.

How to meditate

1. Sit down
2. Look at a blank wall
3. Let your mind do whatever it will naturally do.

Your mind will wonder, images will naturally come to it. In essence you are allowing it to flow and getting rid of after effects of whatever.

How to pray

1. Prayer is a conversion ([b]Ritutal prayers also exist. This involve reciting fixed words/phrases

2. You don't need to "close your eyes". (Read up what apostle Paul says about constant prayer.)

3. You might feel better doing it alone.

4. Tell the God you believe in what is on your mind.

rickymooston
11-26-11, 12:24 PM
Nothing helps me to relax, I have cormorbid Anxiety Disorder. I've recently started taking Celexa and it was wonderful for the first couple of weeks - but unfortunately it's not helping with the anxiety as much now. All my life people have been telling me to relax! Believe me, I would if I could.

Hi

This sounds rather difficult. :( I don't have anxiety disorder ...
Depression and anxiety are rather confusing because they are caused by such a combination of things. Some of these things are neurological but others involve thought patterns. I assume, for people with an anxiety disorder, the physical makes them more vulnerable to the non-physical component? In terms of the neurological, I hope you find more effective medication.


In terms of the anxiety, have you tried expressing yourself? People with trauma disorders do this with some benefit. Art, writing, etc. Note: I'm not trying to make the silly claim that this will "cure" anything. However, if this part of you is constantly screaming to "come out", it may be helpful to express it in some controlled way.

In terms of meditation, it may not necessarily "help" you with anything in particular (its not magic) but you can try the blank wall idea without any bells or whistles. For me, it helps my mind get things together. Try it with no "training", no "expectations", and see how it effects you. It does do something for me but obviously doesn' "cure" my ADHD.

Sorry if the above isn't helpful. I don't have anxiety disorder. I have found some things that do work sometimes with my ADHD. Meditation according to somebody's rules doesn't help me much but just simple natural meditation does. In fact, my ADHD mind does it naturally.

I have tried "UM". Its o.k. but not really my style despite the fact that I am a Taoist. The bells don't suit me at all. I may even find them annoying.

Lunacie
11-26-11, 12:49 PM
Hi

This sounds rather difficult. :( I don't have anxiety disorder ...
Depression and anxiety are rather confusing because they are caused by such a combination of things. Some of these things are neurological but others involve thought patterns. I assume, for people with an anxiety disorder, the physical makes them more vulnerable to the non-physical component? In terms of the neurological, I hope you find more effective medication.


In terms of the anxiety, have you tried expressing yourself? People with trauma disorders do this with some benefit. Art, writing, etc. Note: I'm not trying to make the silly claim that this will "cure" anything. However, if this part of you is constantly screaming to "come out", it may be helpful to express it in some controlled way.

In terms of meditation, it may not necessarily "help" you with anything in particular (its not magic) but you can try the blank wall idea without any bells or whistles. For me, it helps my mind get things together. Try it with no "training", no "expectations", and see how it effects you. It does do something for me but obviously doesn' "cure" my ADHD.

Sorry if the above isn't helpful. I don't have anxiety disorder. I have found some things that do work sometimes with my ADHD. Meditation according to somebody's rules doesn't help me much but just simple natural meditation does. In fact, my ADHD mind does it naturally.

I have tried "UM". Its o.k. but not really my style despite the fact that I am a Taoist. The bells don't suit me at all. I may even find them annoying.

I've had anxiety disorder my whole life and for the most part I just deal
with it. But it sure is frustrating when other people tell me to "just relax"
and I simply cannot do that. I'm even a restless sleeper.

The Celexa was working pretty well but I could not stop eating and gained
10 pounds in a month, so I talked to the doc and switched to Zoloft (both
in generic form). I do feel I'm more relaxed than before when there isn't
any stress. In fact I'm able to sit and watch television without needing to
be busy with something else (cards or puzzle book or sewing) which I
could never do before.

I learned to do a form of active meditation, which is allowing the thoughts
to flow naturally by keeping my body active (mowing the yard, taking a
walk, even just sitting in a swing or rocking chair).

rickymooston
11-26-11, 02:14 PM
You can't blame people who haven't experienced what's inside your head from projecting. Its a natural thing to do.


I learned to do a form of active meditation, which is allowing the thoughts
to flow naturally by keeping my body active (mowing the yard, taking a walk, even just sitting in a swing or rocking chair).


Then you can meditate. You just don't meditate according to the instructions intended for an NT. :D

As for what you describe as "active"; I do this too. One form I do would be identical to what you describe!!! Whatever meditation I do may come with fidgeting ...

In terms of my thoughts, what I do sitting down and staring at a wall is also the same in that i let thoughts flow.

In terms of "relaxing", fighting your natural tendancies, will probably make you feel more tired. This was why I mentioned expressing your feelings. I have no clue in hell whether or not it would help but if you brain is struggling to cope with anxious thoughts, fighting them requires effort. Letting them be expressed might as a side effect help relax/understand.

I'm glad you have some medication that sounds like it helps.

Lunacie
11-26-11, 04:29 PM
I didn't say that I can't meditate. :confused:
I said I can't relax.

Sandy4957
11-26-11, 11:10 PM
The most important thing for me is not trying to relax. If you expect/want the meditation to be relaxing you`ll try to force yourself in relaxation which causes even more stress.

This was a critical realization to me. TBH, I didn't figure it out with respect to meditation and I don't pray. I figured it out with horsebackriding. But it's the same thing. It's also the same with yoga, for example. And standing on a Bosu ball. When you try, you do it less well.

I'll bet that the same applies to dancing. Or perhaps martial arts. Anything physical where you let your body figure it out.

So I used to "meditate" when I would ride my horse. Unfortunately, she's gone now. :( But that helped me.