“your mantra is based on personal experience, and holds power as an individual and unique expression of what you most desire. Whether it be aimed at manifesting security, deep connection, pervasive self-confidence, or release from suffering, the only requirement of mantra is that it is authentic.” Via Oprah.com
People with ADHD are not, as a whole, particularly mindful.
Living in the moment is not the problem.
We have a hard time with reflection, or capturing the moments and really feeling them as they are happening.
Our brains are already 3 steps ahead, so it is quite difficult to stay focused on bodily sensations and awareness “in the moment.”
I didn’t want to write one of those articles called, “I meditated every day for 30 days and this is what happened.”
But I did meditate. In fact, I have been trying to practice mindfulness and meditation for a couple of months now. Here is my original article on mindfulness.
Meditation is not easy for me, and I am no expert. But I am getting better, and more than that, I am feeling calmer. Less irritable, too.
Recently, I started thinking about mantras for ADHD and wondering if using one would help me to get through stressful moments.
When I am at work or out in public I do not want to sit with my legs crossed and start meditating, you know?
A personal mantra is an easy way to take a moment and center yourself when you need to.
Creating a personal ADHD mantra
Not to sound like a broken record, but journaling can give us a lot of clarity about what is working and not working in our lives. Here is my article on how to get started with journaling.
If nothing else try brain dumping. Just sit with some paper, or on the computer, and empty your brain. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just write.
Do this a couple of times before you move to the next step.
Look for Powerful Themes
Next, after you spend some time journaling or brain dumping, read through what you have written. Look for meaningful words and themes.
Things like “scared” “sad” “hopeful”. If you look at several entries at one time you will probably see a pattern to your writing.
Is your thinking focused on your family? Or is it about your career?
Are you going through a period of personal growth? Or personal pain?
Get on Pinterest or Google and search for quotes on the topics relevant to your life.
Read other people’s thoughts on life, parenting, and love. Absorb their energy.
What type of words are you seeking – inspiration, courage, or comfort?
Visualize yourself sitting and reciting a mantra. How do you want to feel and in what situations do you most need a mantra?
Here are some suggested mantras for ADHD from my lovely community members:
Choose love. Breathe deeply.
I am doing the best I can.
One step at a time.
Progress no perfection.
It’s ok to be imperfect.
It will all work out in the end.
Just keep swimming.
This too shall pass.
Do it scared. (stolen from Brene Brown.)
Nothing is ever as bad as you think it will be.
The other day my son had a runny nose and as I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw him smear a boogie on my car window. I wanted to scream.
But I didn’t. I took a breath and told myself, “screaming is not the same as teaching.”
In the moment, I made up my own parenting mantra.
I knew that if I screamed it was highly unlikely that my son would learn anything. I calmly asked him if he needed a tissue, and then gave him one.
I asked him why he had done that and he told me he didn’t know. He did clean off the window when we arrived at home.
Obviously, it would be easier to lose my sh-t. But using the mantra was fast and effective.
Here is an article on creating your own parenting mantra.
Finally, keep in mind that developing your own mantra is a process. The mantra itself can be changed as many times as necessary to fit your circumstances.
In fact, like me, you might need a different mantra for different areas of your life. This is totally normal and fine.
Meditation has done a lot for me. It has helped me to manage my emotions and appreciate my physical being a bit more.
Meditation is hard, it takes consistent practice. Consistency is hard, too!
If meditation is not something you can commit to, a personal mantra is an easy and effective way to center yourself when you need to.
My favorite guided meditation apps:
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