Wherever you turn for your media, the message is the same. We’re in love with the idea of mindfulness. On 60 Minutes, a skeptical Anderson Cooper is transformed into a “paying attention to the moments of my day” mindfulness-practitioner. The cover of TIME boldly proclaims a “Mindful Revolution.” And, Parade magazine tells us that mindfulness is the No.1 Health-Booster in 2015. Try a Google Search and you’ll discover that mindfulness seems to solve everything: from losing weight, dealing with chronic pain, making better business decisions, having more satisfying relationships, to improving our sleep.
This mindfulness craze resonates for many people, but especially those with ADHD. Because a mindfulness practice can help us pay attention better, resist distractions, be less impulsive, remember what we are doing in the moment, and regulate our own emotions, it is helpful whether we have ADHD or not. But it holds special interest for those with ADHD.
People with ADHD are seeking alternative ways – aka non-pharmacological ways – to treat their ADHD symptoms. They ask: Should I take fish oils? Does playing brain games actually help? What about acupuncture?
I answer these questions cautiously. Sometimes alternative treatments work for some people and sometimes they don’t. Research is pretty clear on many (Yes, it might be worth a try to take high-quality Omegas 3-6-9). But nothing, not even ADHD medication, works for all of the people, all of the time.
So, when Dr. Lidia Zylowska and her team of researchers released their groundbreaking study, Mindfulness Meditation Training in Adults and Adolescents in 2008, they created quite a stir.