Led by Dr. Lidia Zylowska‘s ground breaking research a few years ago, the ADHD community is quickly learning that mindfulness is an essential part of good ADHD management. Much of the success is related to educating the general public about what mindfulness is and is not. As Dr. Zylowska suggests, it is not about emptying the mind but rather noticing thoughts and feelings as they pass through you. It’s not about sitting completely still, rather mindfulness can be incorporated into any daily action like exercise and driving a car. You don’t have to be a yogi or attend a $5000 retreat to become practiced at mindfulness. It’s really just paying attention to what you are paying attention to. The key is to do so in a nonjudgemental way.
Coaching fosters mindfulness by inviting clients to develop their own neutral observer. Building new habits comes from building new awareness. It is the neutral observer who is necessary for building awareness based in fact and evidence. The action-learning model of ADHD coaching creates a positive context that elicits the client’s own curiosity and creativity. Curiosity is the only seed you need to start practicing mindfulness. The challenge for Global Creatives regarding mindfulness is exacerbated by working memory and a dynamic attention. But even a micro mindfulness session can set you back on the right course.
I invite all of my clients to practice mindfulness for the sole purpose of facilitating ‘the pause’ moment so important to having different outcomes. ADHD collapses the pause moment into a tiny space that then gets missed, disrupting our ability to build awareness and use that awareness as a resource. Mindfulness creates space which in turn creates the pause to choose a different path.
It’s true that what we pay attention to grows. The goal of mindfulness is building good awareness. It is a process but it is also a muscle to build and practice with.
As I prepare for my keynote at ACO at the end of the month I realize how much mindfulness practice bolstered my own ADHD management.
- I wasn’t very good at first but I got better with practice.
- I found out I could do it just about anywhere – the check-out at the grocery, riding my bike, reading to my child.
- When I dropped the ball and stopped the practice I could always restart and re-engage the process.
Interested in learning more about mindfulness? Read the related blog post, Fostering Mindful Change.