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Mindfulness and the ADHD Mind – Radio Show Recap

April 11, 2012

Last week on my radio show, Living an ADD Life, my guest Shanti Douglas  from 8 limbs Holistic Health and I explored the connection between mindfulness and stress management for the ADHD mind.  After talking through the connections between ADHD and stress during the first part of the show, Shanti offered her expertise to help us understand what mindfulness is, how it works, and how it can help people with ADHD.  Here are some of the most memorable points from our discussion.

1 Loving Kindness

The concept of loving kindness is not necessarily a foreign concept to me, Shanti provided a really powerful visualization that illustrated just how important this can be for ADHDers.   Many of us spend a lot of time judging ourselves and acting as our own worst critic.  We hold ourselves to impossible standards and are more harsh towards ourselves than we would ever be with others.

Shanti’s Recommendation: Picture a puppy.  Test out your inner messages on the puppy.  If you wouldn’t say it to the puppy, you shouldn’t say it to yourself.

2 There is No Right Way

One of the most powerful messages about mindfulness for people with ADHD  that came up during the radio show is that there are no rules, there is no right way to do it.   The key to developing a mindfulness practice is being aware of what’s happening around you, to experience the present without judgement.

Shanti’s Recommendation: Remember, if there is no judgement, there cannot be a right way.  If there is no right way, there is no way to be wrong.

3 The Power of Visual Cues

For me, this was the most powerful revelation of the radio show.  I asked Shanti how to start a mindfulness practice.  She recommended that you commit to finding small moments, like when you are brushing your teeth, to just be present.  I laughed a little and explained that those of us with ADHD often struggle to remember where we left our keys or what day it is, how could we possibly remember that we committed to being present.  Her recommendation, using things like a stop light or stop sign to remind you to stop and ground yourself in the present, was a light bulb coming to life moment for me.   This is a great idea for creating a natural trigger for many things in our ADHD lives.

Shanti’s Recommendation: Find natural triggers like stop signs and stop lights to remind yourself to check in, take a breath, and pay attention to what is happening in that moment.

A special thank you to Shanti for sharing her wisdom, experience, and insight with me and my listeners and for being such a wonderful guest.  To listen to the show, click here.

To contact Shanti and learn more about what she does, visit her website at 8 limbs Holistic Health or email her at shanti@8limbsholistichealth.com.

Turning Leaf Life Coaching offers coaching for ADHD and Life Transitions over the phone and in person throughout NH, ME, MA, and VT.  For more information, go to www.turningleafcoaching.com.

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