Do Mindfulness Techniques Work for Individuals With ADHD?

Do Mindfulness Techniques Work for Individuals With ADHD?

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.

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Every Day

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Every Day

 

“Mindfulness is a way of being present: paying attention to and accepting what is happening in our lives. It helps us to be aware of and step away from our automatic and habitual reactions to our everyday experiences.”

– Elizabeth Thornton

The effect of substance abuse can change how your brain interprets the world around you. Treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) usually includes mindfulness exercises or therapy to help you connect with your thoughts and feelings. According to research published in PsychOpen, “Mindfulness can be defined as attention to and awareness of the present moment.” Newport Beach Recovery Center uses mindfulness therapy and exercises to encourage self-growth and increase self-awareness in individuals recovering from SUD.

What Is Mindfulness?

Being mindful means having full awareness of yourself and the world around you without trying to classify what you feel or think. Mindfulness is truly being in the moment and accepting your internal and external experiences without judgment. According to Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, “Mindfulness . . . has proven to be beneficial across a diverse group of psychological disorders as well as for general stress reduction.”

Mindfulness can be incorporated into almost any activity or mental exercise, making it excellent for every level of care during rehabilitation. The increased self-awareness provided by mindfulness makes it a perfect way to improve self-efficacy and encourage a more positive self-image. How you think about yourself and others will impact the trajectory of your recovery. Mindfulness allows you to focus on how you feel in the moment without putting pressure on yourself to act or think in a certain way.

Health Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been a central part of Buddhist philosophy for approximately 2,500 years. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), “Many people who practice mindfulness report an increased ability to relax, a greater enthusiasm for life, and improved self-esteem.” Meditation and mindfulness have become more prevalent in the last few decades, and now almost every facility that treats SUD offers some form of mindfulness-based therapy.

Other known health benefits include:

  • Decreased stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced symptoms of chronic pain
  • Improved immune system response

In addition to physical health benefits, mindfulness also offers mental health benefits. The benefit becomes even more noticeable with mindful meditation.

Mindful Meditation Heals the Mind-Body Connection

The mind-body connection grows stronger when you practice mindfulness every day. You can retrain your brain to focus on the world around you when you begin to feel stressed. In addition, meditation also makes it easier to focus and utilize coping skills. During mindfulness meditation, your body will naturally feel more relaxed, and symptoms of anxiety or depression often decrease. According to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “[T]raining in meditation and mindfulness practices can change brain activity” and support positive mental health.

5 Helpful Mindfulness Techniques

You can use mindfulness techniques in your day-to-day life to improve your overall well-being. Below are five ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your routines. You can work with your therapist to determine which method will benefit you the most.

#1 Mindful Actions

You can use mindfulness to make almost any action more meaningful. Usually, mindful actions require the following:

  • Focusing on a single aspect of the activity
  • Maintaining awareness of thoughts and bodily sensations without trying to control them
  • Remaining judgment-free while allowing yourself to feel whatever emotions accompany the activity

#2 Mindful Thinking

Also called radical acceptance, mindful thinking involves letting yourself be completely in the moment and experiencing your thoughts without judgment. You may tune into a single idea, belief, mantra, or mental image. Many people practice mindful thinking while meditating to decrease distractions and allow the mind and body to achieve a state of relaxation.

#3 Grounding Exercises

For people prone to dissociation, staying present can feel impossible. Grounding exercises keep you present, and they activate specific regions of the brain that can help decrease stress and anxiety. Standard grounding techniques include:

  • Scanning your environment and cataloging the sensations you intake
  • Focusing on a single sense and using it to explore the environment around you
  • Describing an object in extreme detail (e.g., look, texture, temperature, shape, smell)

#4 Muscle Relaxation Exercises

Sometimes your body reacts physically to mental stress. Muscle relaxation exercises involve focusing on tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups, usually starting at one end of your body and working your way to the other. This allows you to release tension. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has some excellent instructions for relaxation exercises that can help you focus and feel calmer.

#5 Be Mindful of the Moment

Pay close attention to the people, places, and things around you. Be mindful of the moment and allow yourself to absorb the experience. You can do this in treatment, alone at home, or in a crowded public space. Giving yourself permission to focus on nothing except that single moment in time can feel free and reduce overall stress.

Mindfulness can help you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, symptoms of a substance use disorder, and other conditions. The mental and physical health benefits of mindfulness increase over time and can last for a significant period. This makes them ideal for relapse prevention and stress relief. Mindfulness can also take many forms, and the versatility of the exercises makes them an excellent tool for rehabilitation and ongoing recovery. Additionally, most of them you can do anywhere at any time. You can collaborate with the care team at Newport Beach Recovery Center to create treatment and aftercare plans that incorporate mindfulness-based therapies and holistic alternatives like yoga or meditation. To learn more about the treatment programs and services offered at Newport Beach Recovery Center, contact our office today by calling us at (888) 850-0363. We can help you improve your overall health and recover from the damaging effects of SUD.