In a previous blog, I discussed executive functioning deficits with ADHD, specifically how these affect impulsivity, working memory, attention, and organization. It is also known that stress interferes with executive function and emotional regulation. It turns out that there are many exploratory studies on the benefits of meditation and relaxation. It is a common means of coping with stress and improving emotional regulation, most commonly anxiety. But, are there also benefits for improving attention deficits?
Although there are many forms of meditation, researchers generally classify them into two categories: techniques of concentration or techniques of contemplation. In meditation practices involving concentration, such as Zen meditation, the focus is on a specific event, image, or sound, trying to direct all attention to a single focal point. Contemplative techniques include mindfulness meditation practices and the goal is to be aware of any thoughts and sensations while trying not to become actively involved in the thoughts.
There is a growing body of research on the beneficial effects of meditation as a stress-coping mechanism and improving brain function. Stress and anxiety can overwhelm and lessen the effectiveness and productivity in individuals. These can also contribute to poor impulse control, difficulty with attention, impair working memory, and exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD.
With that in mind, many of these meditation techniques are easy to learn and requires only 10-15 minutes twice a day. There are also findings that suggest changes in the brain within a short period of time. This is particularly encouraging for individuals who are seeking an effective non-pharmacological intervention for managing stress and anxiety associated with ADHD and impaired executive function!
If you are interested in some basic relaxation techniques, visit this website: http://www.squidoo.com/relaxation-techniques-to-ease-stress