Mindfulness and ADHD: Benefits

 

For some time, it’s been well understood that mindfulness-type meditation practices can be beneficial in stress reduction. Recent research has also demonstrated benefits of yoga, mindfulness and meditation for a variety of ADHD-related symptoms as well. (And incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily life isn’t as tough as you might think!)
Here are some of the documented  benefits of mindfulness for ADHD management: 
  • Working Memory: A study reported in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health demonstrated improved speed and accuracy on tests of working memory and inhibitory control among 30 young women following a 20-minute session of Hatha yoga. 
  • Anxiety, executive functioning: A study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience found that volunteers experiencing only “normal” daily anxiety reported as much as 39 percent decrease in anxiety after four 20-minute sessions of mindfulness training. Brain imaging before and after the training also showed changes in areas associated with executive functioning. 
  • ADHD symptoms, stress, reactivity: Research – reported in the Journal of Child and Family Studies – on an 8-week mindfulness training for children aged 8–12 with ADHD and parallel parent training demonstrated significant reductions in parent self-ratings of ADHD symptoms as well as ratings of ADHD symptoms in their children pre-to post trainging and from pre-training to a later follow-up. Parents also reported a significant reduction in stress and overreactivity from pre-training to the follow-up. Although teacher-ratings showed non-significant effects on ADHD ratings for children, stress within the home appeared markedly reduced.
  • Attention, anxiety, depression: Research reported in the Journal of Attention Disorders demonstrated positive impacts for 8 adolescent and 24 adult participants in an 8-week mindfulness training course on self-reported ADHD symptoms, test performance on tasks measuring attention and cognitive inhibition, and measures of anxiety and depressive symptoms.
  • Numerous symptoms: In her book The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD, Dr. Lydia Zylowska reviews research demonstrating benefits of mindfulness practice for the following common ADHD-related symptoms:  attention control including under distracting circumstances, memory, reasoning, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional regulation, communication and relationships.
Interested in exploring the benefits of mindfulness for yourself or your teen? I offer a 9-session tele-class course based on Dr. Zylowska’s work.
For more information, or to sign up, see http://www.lizahmann.com/mindfulness.html
References for additional information: 
Nauert, R. (2013). 20 Minutes of Yoga Can Tone Mind As WellAs Body(review of study from Journal of Physical Activity and Health).
Nauert, R. (2013). Meditation That Eases Anxiety? BrainScans Show Us How. (review of study from Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience).
Zylowska, L. (2012). The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD. Boston, MA: Trumpeter.

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