View Full Version : ADD and meditation or relaxation yoga


tergesa
07-25-11, 02:08 PM
I am having one of THOSE days. My ADD has been getting considerably worse over the past month or so. I was on 50mg of Vyvanse (started in February), and it was keeping me up all night, so I switched to 40mg in May. I stopped taking it a few weeks ago because it seemed to be completely ineffective. Since starting it again a few days ago (I knew this would happen), I have the worst anxiety EVER. Typically the anxiety starts to quell after a week or two of being on the meds, which I assume will happen this time. I take either .25 or .5 mg of Xanax when this happens, which typically helps, but not today (my anxiety today is amplified by the fact that I got no sleep last night, took a Vyvanse this morning, and am now just a wreck and the Xanax didn't help, but I refuse to take more right now).

Now to my point. I'm convinced by reading research and talking to my doctor and friends who practice it that meditation and/or relaxation yoga would likely calm me down a lot. My question is, has anyone here had success with either of these? The problem for me is, because of the ADD, I can't focus on either one. I start with good intentions and less than 5 minutes into it, I've lost focus and I give up.

Has anyone on this board been able to focus on meditation (I'd rather do meditation, as I can do it at work, as opposed to yoga which would have to be done at home or in a studio)? If so, how were you able to focus on it without your mind trailing off within 60 seconds?

Etcetera
07-25-11, 02:15 PM
I sometimes meditate. People may think that you can't, because you have ADHD and so on and can't focus on anything, but personally, I think that's a bunch of crap.

You have to allow your mind to wander. Don't get stressed out on it. Don't do it too long. Go in a comfortable position, in a quiet and dark enough room - or use headphones with meditational music (even best, because it quiets out the background noise). Focus on your breathing. Visualise it. Good energy coming in. Bad energy coming out.

When you notice your mind wanders, do not feel bad about it. Even "normal" people can do this now and then! When you notice, just re-focus on your breathing. Sometimes, I have to re-focus often, but eventually, I do feel a bit more relaxed.

Don't get me wrong. When I meditate five minutes, easily four minutes of those are spent thinking instead of focusing on my breathing. And that's okay.

No matter what technique you learn or use, the most important lesson is to accept your racing thoughts and embrace them. Don't fight them. Just re-focus.

LordranBound
07-25-11, 02:28 PM
Meditation definitely helps. Some of the meditation I have practiced is "body scan" meditation (progressive relaxation), vipassina (insight) meditation, walking meditation and yoga. Try the first two, but if you really have a difficult time, the second two can be a bit easier for those of us with (over)active brains.

tergesa
07-27-11, 01:33 PM
I sometimes meditate. People may think that you can't, because you have ADHD and so on and can't focus on anything, but personally, I think that's a bunch of crap.

You have to allow your mind to wander. Don't get stressed out on it. Don't do it too long. Go in a comfortable position, in a quiet and dark enough room - or use headphones with meditational music (even best, because it quiets out the background noise). Focus on your breathing. Visualise it. Good energy coming in. Bad energy coming out.

When you notice your mind wanders, do not feel bad about it. Even "normal" people can do this now and then! When you notice, just re-focus on your breathing. Sometimes, I have to re-focus often, but eventually, I do feel a bit more relaxed.

Don't get me wrong. When I meditate five minutes, easily four minutes of those are spent thinking instead of focusing on my breathing. And that's okay.

No matter what technique you learn or use, the most important lesson is to accept your racing thoughts and embrace them. Don't fight them. Just re-focus.

Thank you so much. I'm going to give it more of an effort. It's desperation time.

tergesa
07-27-11, 01:34 PM
Meditation definitely helps. Some of the meditation I have practiced is "body scan" meditation (progressive relaxation), vipassina (insight) meditation, walking meditation and yoga. Try the first two, but if you really have a difficult time, the second two can be a bit easier for those of us with (over)active brains.

THANK YOU for the specifics!! Looking them up now...

LaVieEnRose
08-03-11, 04:00 PM
Meditation doesn't come easily to me either. I'm sitting there trying to decompress and things keep popping up that I need to take care of by the end of the day or did I leave my flat-iron plugged in? or .. :o someone I might be crushing on.. or any number of a million things.

Whether this is an ADD thing or not, I don't know. I mean to say, I think it can be hard for NTs to quiet their mind, but the thinking thoughts that are going in every direction is probably an ADD thing. I speak tentatively because I don't feel educated enough to say for sure.

But whether it is or isn't, I'm in the same boat. :D I noticed I have Meditation For Dummies sitting on my bookshelf... that I've never touched since buying it several years ago. But what's helped me, and what works for me is guided meditation. There are mp3 downloads of them, but there are also YouTubes too, where someone talks you through relaxing and breathing and keeping your mind on the sounds of the background noises, eg ocean waves or soft music.

Prayer can be nice if you do that sort of thing. It doesn't even have to be a dialogue between you and God or a higher being, but just being able to focus on a personage you're just kind of getting on that energy level with and connecting.

The only other thing that comes to mind is that a friend here introduced me to electronic music.. I don't know if there's a name for the specific genre, but I was listening to a song the other night and closing my eyes, it was just transporting to a different state. It's like hypnotic in a way, but not.. it's like you don't think thoughts because there's so much stimulating your brain.. but it isn't intrusive whatsoever.. hahaha I don't know how to describe it. Send me a PM if you want more info on that.

All I can say is, that I've come to a greater awareness of what's healthy and what isn't, and quieting my mind with these different techniques.. even for just 5 minutes in the middle of the day, *feels* healthy. It definitely has physiologic effects, and my stress levels plummet. It's powerful! This brings to mind a thread about neurogenesis (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98745). Very interesting stuff.

Good luck to you. :)

Kunga Dorji
09-15-11, 08:13 AM
I am having one of THOSE days. My ADD has been getting considerably worse over the past month or so. I was on 50mg of Vyvanse (started in February), and it was keeping me up all night, so I switched to 40mg in May. I stopped taking it a few weeks ago because it seemed to be completely ineffective. Since starting it again a few days ago (I knew this would happen), I have the worst anxiety EVER. Typically the anxiety starts to quell after a week or two of being on the meds, which I assume will happen this time. I take either .25 or .5 mg of Xanax when this happens, which typically helps, but not today (my anxiety today is amplified by the fact that I got no sleep last night, took a Vyvanse this morning, and am now just a wreck and the Xanax didn't help, but I refuse to take more right now).

Now to my point. I'm convinced by reading research and talking to my doctor and friends who practice it that meditation and/or relaxation yoga would likely calm me down a lot. My question is, has anyone here had success with either of these? The problem for me is, because of the ADD, I can't focus on either one. I start with good intentions and less than 5 minutes into it, I've lost focus and I give up.

Has anyone on this board been able to focus on meditation (I'd rather do meditation, as I can do it at work, as opposed to yoga which would have to be done at home or in a studio)? If so, how were you able to focus on it without your mind trailing off within 60 seconds?

I could not do this at all prior to medication.

I then learned progressive muscle relaxation- Always with a CD- which did help in bringing me back to task.

The next step was learning to do a basic meditation- which I did via Alan Wallace's "Attention Revolution" workshop.

That really helped- especially his "settling the mind in its natural state" technique.

He has a talk on the web which does a 5 minute version of this as the intro to the talk- this is worth looking up- as his instructions are so precise:
http://www.sbinstitute.com/node/122
The introduction is at the start of track 5.

In the end I found being properly trained in a technique called Mindfulness Integrated CBT was what did it for me.
This is essentially a body scanning approach, which then uses the body scanning to train in emotional regulation.
2 things really helped- proper instruction, feedback and accountability to my instructor- and for a long while- using the support of a CD- to help bring me back when wandering.

Unmanagable
09-15-11, 08:26 AM
I came across a 21 day challenge on the Choprak Center's website. It was a free trial offer at the time I tried it. I found that was the only form of meditation I have been successful with thus far.

It has made significant changes in my anxiety level. These meditations are guided and they emphasize that if your mind wanders, then so be it, that just means you are supposed to be thinking of whatever the thought is in the moment. Comfort is the first thing they have you focus on. Then mindfulness, then breathing, etc.

Many folks think they have to sit cross-legged, Indian style, and are already uncomfortable from the beginning, so they don't give themselves a fair shot at enjoying it.

I strongly feel I would be unable to feel this success w/o my medication. It would be great to reach a point when I feel I don't need the meds, but if I'm meant to take them continually, I will.

Satsang with Mooji is another tool I use. Mooji has vids on you tube you can check out. I enjoy listening to his messages (choosing whatever topic my head and heart needs to hear that day), then turning on Native American Flute music and meditating and praying for whatever is weighing on my heart that day.

I really am pleased and amazed at myself being able to meditate and feeling such powerful, positive effects from it.

Kunga Dorji
09-15-11, 08:47 AM
I came across a 21 day challenge on the Choprak Center's website. It was a free trial offer at the time I tried it. I found that was the only form of meditation I have been successful with thus far.

It has made significant changes in my anxiety level. These meditations are guided and they emphasize that if your mind wanders, then so be it, that just means you are supposed to be thinking of whatever the thought is in the moment. Comfort is the first thing they have you focus on. Then mindfulness, then breathing, etc.

Many folks think they have to sit cross-legged, Indian style, and are already uncomfortable from the beginning, so they don't give themselves a fair shot at enjoying it.

I strongly feel I would be unable to feel this success w/o my medication. It would be great to reach a point when I feel I don't need the meds, but if I'm meant to take them continually, I will.

Satsang with Mooji is another tool I use. Mooji has vids on you tube you can check out. I enjoy listening to his messages (choosing whatever topic my head and heart needs to hear that day), then turning on Native American Flute music and meditating and praying for whatever is weighing on my heart that day.

I really am pleased and amazed at myself being able to meditate and feeling such powerful, positive effects from it.

I think the important thing is to get the spine as straight as possible.
Cross legged is great- if you can do it without discomfort- but a firm chair will do.

Cross legged and hands touching does increase left right brain interchange- but you can do without it.

Kaimei
09-15-11, 08:55 AM
I was doing yoga and meditating for about a year for awhile. I'm not sure about the effects on my ADHD - it was about 5 years ago, and I was clueless about my ADHD - but it did have a pretty tangible effect on my depression and anxiety. I knew about those, but I wasn't medicated, and overall, I definitely felt an improvement in the way I felt mentally and physically.

Since then, I seem to have lost the ability to meditate by sitting still, but I'm trying to get back into it. Walking meditation, though, has always been an option.

For work or other times when I needed five minutes to chill my brain out, I used to get prints of mandalas, or labyrinth patterns. You can use a labyrinth pattern much like a mandala and follow it with your eyes, or trace it with a fingertip or something. Doing that slowly while pacing my breathing always helped me a bit.