A co-occurring issue like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can impact your recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). Some people with ADHD have trouble remaining focused during rehabilitation. You might wonder what coping skills and techniques can help you stay present and motivated during treatment. According to Cureus, “Management of ADHD is done primarily with pharmacologic therapy, often stimulants and with psychosocial interventions” like therapy and relapse prevention. Newport Beach Recovery Center works with every client to create a personalized care plan to address co-occurring issues like ADHD using proven methods, including mindfulness-based techniques.
Why Is It Important to Maintain Focus During Recovery?
You must focus during therapy sessions and group activities to get the most out of them. If you have difficulty sticking with a schedule, following instructions, or staying in the moment, withdrawal symptoms and ongoing recovery might be harder for you to manage. Recovery requires sustainable motivation for change and achievable goals to keep you engaged. Therapy and other treatments provide resources and skill development to ensure you have the tools you need to maintain long-term recovery. Mindfulness exercises are an excellent way to decrease stress and remain focused during treatment. ADHD does not affect your ability to learn and use mindfulness techniques.
How Does ADHD Affect Concentration?
ADHD affects a person’s ability to manage their time and focus on specific tasks. According to the Journal of Neural Transmission, “Symptoms of inattention, such as distractibility and concentration difficulty, are core features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” External stimuli are extremely distracting for individuals with ADHD, making it essential for rehabilitation programs to take place in a controlled environment.
Newport Beach Recovery Center uses evidence-based methods to ensure you have access to therapy, medications, and structured settings that encourage healing. Mindfulness techniques assist clients with ADHD who might otherwise feel disengaged, bored, or distracted during sessions. If you have difficulty focusing on your recovery due to side effects or symptoms of ADHD, you can use mindfulness as a coping tool. The more you practice mindfulness exercises, the easier it will be for you to avoid distractions.
How Does ADHD Impact Treatment and Aftercare?
According to the previously mentioned article in Cureus, individuals with ADHD “show patterns of persistent impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention.” To effectively engage in rehabilitation, you must have the ability to focus and retain information. Essential skill development, for example, requires practice, consistency, and control over behaviors. Some people with ADHD find it challenging to achieve these goals.
Unmanaged ADHD can affect treatment and aftercare in the following ways:
- Decreased motivation
- Reduced ability to cope with stressors
- Increased risk of relapse
ADHD may make establishing and maintaining new routines difficult unless you manage and treat the symptoms.
What Are Some Easy Ways to Improve Mindfulness?
Mindfulness takes practice and repetition. You can learn to incorporate mindfulness-based exercises into your recovery by staying consistent and practicing them daily. Below are four easy ways to improve your mindfulness.
#1 Practice Makes Perfect
Mindfulness exercises are repetitive, and that might make them feel boring for some people. However, it is essential to remain motivated. Practice makes perfect. Setting aside a specific time for mindfulness training can help you create healthy routines that will keep you on track during difficult moments in recovery. Exercises you can practice daily include:
- Silent meditation
- Guided meditation using recordings
- Deep breathing
- Muscle relaxation exercises
#2 Increase Your Self-Awareness
Improve your self-awareness by being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and habits. You can determine what underlying motivations may cause certain maladaptive behaviors by monitoring them closely. The more you understand your emotions and reactions, the easier they are to control. Self-awareness involves accepting all parts of yourself, even those aspects that might make you feel shame or guilt. You can engage more fully in recovery if you allow yourself to connect with all parts of yourself on a deeper level.
#3 Be Mindful While Doing Activities
Focusing entirely on the moment when exercising or participating in other activities will help train your brain to practice mindfulness automatically. You can use almost any action to practice mindfulness. Exercises like walking, biking, or swimming can keep you centered and aware of your body. You can achieve mindfulness by doing the following:
- Focusing on a single thing and allowing everything else to fall into the background
- Not focusing on anything in particular and letting yourself feel and sense everything in the moment without judgment
- Letting yourself slow down and savor the feelings, sensations, and thoughts you experience during the activity
#4 Practice Relaxation and Meditation Techniques
Meditation can take many forms, and you can work with your therapist to find one that works best for you. Mindfulness meditation that involves simply monitoring sensations and thoughts often has the best outcome. The more time you spend in meditation, the easier it will be to train your body to breathe deeper, relax more fully, and let go of mental distractions. Learning meditation and relaxation techniques can help you regain control of your emotions and ADHD symptoms.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder exists along a spectrum, and some people may have difficulty maintaining focus long enough to benefit from individual or group therapy. You can choose to overcome distractions by using skill development and other tools. If you have trouble staying in the moment, mindfulness-based techniques like meditation and deep breathing can help. Newport Beach Recovery Center offers a range of mindfulness-based alternative therapies. You can use these techniques to help you retrain your brain to slow down and remain focused on healing. With time and practice, mindfulness-based exercises can increase your motivation, self-efficacy, and self-confidence. To learn more about our services and programs, call us today at (888) 850-0363.