Most people accept the fact that meditation can offer a plethora of rewards — serenity, health and more — to those who practice it. However, did you know that meditation could also be useful for children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? There are different types of meditation for children, but in this article we are talking about transcendental meditation (TM).
Most people would think that this would be an unlikely group to benefit from the meditation process. After all, ADHD children often have a hard time sitting still and staying quiet for a long period of time.
Researchers started to think beyond the box to determine found out two things:
The great thing about transcendental meditation is that it doesn’t demand a person to concentrate or to gain control over their thoughts. It’s a rather unique kind of meditation and can be easily mastered with a little bit of practice. Thus, it’s ideal for any child, but especially those who have ADHD.
This type of meditation is useful in reducing stress and boosting brain function – which is what doctors recommend for children with ADHD. So, with that in mind, one has to wonder why it was never used previously.
Children enrolled in a school that catered to language-based learning disabilities took part in the study. While the sample was small, the findings were extraordinary. So much so, that additional studies were called for. The children participated in TM. During the study, they were subjected to EEG tests to determine their brain’s electrical activity while carrying out various tasks such as focus, impulse control, computer-demanding attention, etc.
Here’s what researchers learned about the students involved in the study:
This means, according to researchers, the transcendental meditation methods taught the brain how to carry out tasks.
For many years, school-aged children have been using TM, with actress Goldie Hawn as a big supporter for the method. She started her own TM program and introduced to schools throughout the U.S., UK and Canada.
Teenagers diagnosed with ADHD have been using a modified version known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which does involve several TM methods.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (in short MBSR) is a unique mixture of body awareness, meditation, and yoga exercises. It enables your body to resolve stress in an easy and natural way.
Mindfulness is a word that is used today in different situations to describe a state of consciousness where you are paying attention to the present moment, while at the same time being fully open toward what’s happening and willing to be with you are.
These techniques are something which a person can accept as something very close to their true nature. In fact, this kind of meditation is always available to us. We may be walking, playing, or working, and yet at the same time being connected with our inner essence and feeling as if time has stopped. This profound state of wholeness and aliveness usually eludes us, but we can learn to capture it with the help of meditation.
The study is the first where TM was noted to help with brain function.
Another controlled study found an improved brain operation and reduced symptoms of ADHD in students practicing Transcendental Meditation. The researches published their findings in a paper called ADHD, Brain Functioning and Transcendental Meditation Practice. This study demonstrates the ability of this type of meditation to help students with attention related problems.
Over a period of six months the researches followed children with language-based disabilities in Washington, DC. The results of this study indicated that ADHD students practicing TM meditation had improved brain operation and processing abilities, as well as improved language-based skills.
Yet in another study a group of middle school students with symptoms of ADHD meditated two times a day. As much as 50 percent reduction in anxiety, stress, and other ADHD related problems were found after just 3 months of practicing.
In reality, you don't really have to follow scientific research to know how useful transcendental meditation can be, or any other type of meditation for that matter. You just need to start meditating. And stick to it for some time, or even make it your day-to-day practice. It's that simple. And soon enough you will be amazed at the plethora of benefits and how well you will feel with yourself and with the people around you. If you are persistent, before long you will find out that while meditation was once just a tool for dealing with health problems, now it has transformed into something precious and beautiful that brings you joy and satisfaction independently of any problem.
I know that from my own experience. There's nothing better than being able to relate with your own true timeless self.
So, it may be safe to say that if children and teenagers can effectively use transcendental meditation to help them get through their days, so can adults with ADHD. Do you have ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms? If you do, you may want to consider trying TM for yourself to see if it helps you.
sunny breeze is a member of sunnyray's staff.