Are You Impulsive? How Meditation Can Help

Are You Impulsive? How Meditation Can Help


[tap tap tap] Oh Hi! Sorry. I forgot I was doing a video. I saw my phone and I thought, “I want to know what that person said.” So I opened up my phone. That’s call “Impulsivity”. [intro music] Those of us with ADHD tend to be really impulsive. As soon as we have a thought we act on it without thinking about, oh, consequences. It’s not that we don’t think, it’s that we think and then react to that thought too quickly. Thought: Oh look! A cookie! Reaction: [eating noises] Thought: This person insulted me. Reaction: [smack] You can see where we might get into trouble. The key to curbing impulsivity is to create some space between the thought and the reaction. One way to do that is to meditate. Wait! Wait! Before you click away. There are a lot of misconceptions about meditation that might make us feel like, as people with ADHD, it’s not really right for us. Let me set these misconceptions straight. “Meditation is spiritual.” Nope. Nope. “Meditation requires that you empty your brain of thoughts.” Nope. Nope. Nope. This is really cool when it happens but it’s the exception not the rule. You will have thoughts but you don’t pay attention to those thoughts. Some people think of their thoughts like clouds passing by. They enter… they leave. They enter… they leave. Three! “Meditation takes years to get good at.” Nope. There are no meditation olympics and for good reason. It’s literally impossible to fail at. As long as you’re meditating, not planning a trip to China, congratulations! You’re benefiting from the power of meditation. Four! “You have to sit still to meditate.” Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! Nope! If you need to move your arm ’cause it’s falling asleep, move it. If you need to fidget because you can’t sit still, fidget. If you’re uncomfortable, adjust. If you’d rather not sit at all there’s even walking meditation. There’s literally no excuse not to do this. Now for the cool science stuff. Meditation actually changes your brain. Studies on meditation have shown that in as little as 8 weeks gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, which is the part that we have trouble with, has increased. And in the part of the brain responsible for stress, it’s called the amygdala, gray matter actually decreases. Meditation can improve focus, increase working memory, and curb impulsivity. Three of the biggest issues we have as people with ADHD. (Why did nobody tell me about this???) So, I’ve convinced you. You’re ready to meditate. Maybe not tell anybody about it but you’re ready to try it yourself. What’s the next step? How do you meditate? Full disclaimer: I am not a meditation teacher. There are a ton of great resources, articles, videos, there’s even an app called Headspace that will help guide you through it but I’ll give you the basics. [soothing music] Step one: Get comfortable. Get into a position that you can be in for the next ten, twenty minutes however long you want to meditate for. Most teachers recommend sitting with your back supported and your head free. That’s mostly so you don’t fall asleep. You can be cross-legged or have your feet on the floor. Whatever’s comfortable for you. Step two: Focus on something other than your thoughts. It can be a mantra, your breath, the sensation of your feet on the floor anything but what you ate for dinner last night, how much you hate your friend Jane, and where you’re going next Summer because those are thoughts. Step three: Stay focused on whatever you’ve chosen. I know. I have trouble staying focused, too. Here’s the good news: Your attention will wander. It’s expected. This is a normal part of meditation. It does not mean you’re doing anything wrong. So, step four: Bring your attention back. Remind yourself of what you’re focused on. They enter… they leave. They enter – that’s a really cool cloud. I want to think about that cloud. Alright, breath. They leave. By training you to observe your thoughts rather than react to them meditation helps to create that space between having a thought and doing something about it. This is just a brief overview of meditation. I’ve included links in the description below that can help you get started. Try it out. Let me know how your own meditation goes. Hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, comment below and the brain says “subscribe” so that you don’t miss next weeks video because you forgot because that’s what we do. See you next week. Bye brains!

100 comments

  1. I like to just zone out and sit in the shower for ages. i don't know why. No windows, complete darkness with just that wonderful sound of the water. Same goes for when it's raining outside.

  2. But there is also juggling balls that help to improve the gray AND white matter in the brain. It also improves concentration and coordination. Btw, juggling is a workout for the body. It's like going for a walk.

  3. 1:15 careful with that. Apparently, for people with OCD ( actual diagnosed OCD), meditation can paradoxically be really stressful. If I understood it right, where for most people, thoughts will be like clouds passing through, people with OCD will occasionally have the equivalent of an extremely stable super cell of a thought. It won't leave and it will drive them down into the depths of their anxieties.
    It doesn't always happen, but when it happens it can be devastating.
    (I myself do not have OCD, I'm just paraphrasing from somebody who does and who, as a result, really dislikes meditation)

  4. many problems happen for me because of this… like wasting money (buy something very quickly that i don't need) ..fight with my girlfriend because of nothing!! or something that i misunderstand… its worse. because nobody accept this behavior
    thank you for great video!

  5. Here's my question: if ADHD is a neurodevelopment delay, why don't we ever "catch up?" I'm 51, and still…

  6. "How does tape work" me : how does tape work? How…does…tape…?🤔*starts searching through comments to see if anyone has the answer* forgets I was even watching this video* remembers when opens youtube three hours later when I came back to search something I'm now curious about that I found when researching how tape is made

  7. Im wondering how come when in class my legs feel like if i don't move they will like fall off or something and I have to stand up which i cant do on every class. Oh btw your fidgeting video inspired me to make lego fidget spinners

  8. @2:48 that's funny bc that was actually what I was thinking about. My dads birthday was yesterday so we had his favorite dinner, I have a friend named Jane who complains way too much, and I'm going to Europe next June.

  9. Yeah this isn't the first time I heard I should meditate so I guess I should start meditating.

  10. Important question: what if not acting the impulsive way makes you feel really bad and acting on irrational thoughts makes you feel good?
    Maybe not so important, but really important to me.

  11. I have been told to do meditation not more then once. I think I need to do it and more often!

  12. I meditate since I was 12. (sometimes very regulary, but nowdays not every day ) I think, this is one of the things, that keep me productive, although I have ADHD. There are even meditations while moving! My favourit is the walking meditation, great help to become present. 🙂

  13. Meditation really helps. I used to try this like 3 months ago before your videos. For your viewers I'd recommend sport, too (most running) since doing sport thoughts appear, but stress decreases and people need to be focused on controlling their muscles, as well good to get tired from hyperactivity 😉 It might be a reason recovering faster next day than most people for those with ADHD people..wait did I do training today? Oh, yeah… And thank you for cool videos which are really helpful! <3

  14. Thank god you've included proper captions, not the auto generated crap.
    If I'm hyperfocused I'm fine, if not I usually require both audio and text in order for info to really sink in

  15. I tend to break things and immediately regret it. I don't even think or want to do it I just do it. A few days ago I threw a cheap but sentimental ring that belonged to my sister and lost it. I felt horrible and didn't even want to do it. I just did it

  16. I love guided meditation for falling asleep. I really can't shut off the thoughts, especially when I messed up something important. But I know when I have slept I will get to a solution faster. But I can't fall asleep for the life of me. Guided meditation helps me really well, because I can concentrate on the other person talking and reminding me to concentrate on my body or some imaginative surroundings etc. etc.

  17. Lol the other day I was walking out a shop with my friends when another customer set off the security alarm. God knows why I did it but I randomly started sprinting at full speed out the shop cause i knew it'd be lols. My friends were unimpressed

  18. PLEASE MAKE A VIDEO ABOUT ADHD MEDICATION COMEDOWN (Especially Ritalin) And how to deal with them.
    I know why they happen (dopamine-endorphin release link) but how do they go away? (if they ever do)

  19. And for me, the problem with meditation is that I get bored. I can concentrate on breathing or a mantra for about 2 mins tops. And then minutes feel like hours. And I feel like I'm wasting my time.But if it does all that to my brain, it's not a waste after all.
    But how do you NOT get bored?

  20. I used to meditate every day and I noticed that my memory was better and I could focus better after a while. Meditation came in handy for my pain medication free labor and delivery. I should go meditate. It's been a while.

  21. So I was just meditating and I had an awesome idea! maybe, dunno if it would work, anyhoo, Imagine using sound design to help you learn to regulate emotions or refocus throughout the day. the idea is basically….. you know how sometimes music makes you feel certain emotions based on what type of music it is? you could use it to actively practice regulating it in real time with the music and then when you're putting in all the effort the music subtly changes to trick you into thinking you've succeeded, you would get a massive dopamine hit and your brain would learn to love regulating your emotions better 😀
    dunno if it would work, anyone passionate about sound design?

  22. Lol I got distracted by a google search off of this video and when I came back she said, "bring your attention back."

  23. Has anyone else tried meditative exercise? It works really well for me because I can always feel my heartbeat (weird, right?) So that's what I focus on. Just keep moving and it seems like all of my problems melt away. Might be a little unorthodox but it works.

  24. I love your channel i just got diagnosed with adhd and i have mixed feelings about it. Your channel is helping me cope with it. I've cried so much about how my life would have turned out if i knew sooner. I just want to say thank you.

  25. Well, I have achieved the literally impossible, I failed at meditation, I tried it and got a full on panic attack

  26. I guess i arlready meditate because inorder of me to fall asleap I must close my eyes foucus of my breathing and dooze off. the meditation usually lasts for 15min-1hr

  27. Hi everyone,
    if you may improve from ADHD with meditation, can you get worst?
    if so, which activities would drive this?

    Thank you! 🙂

  28. I am watching these videos and reading about ADHD … and often tears show up. I am 70. This is the first time I have begun to see just how influential this is. I thot it was just Brain Bounce, and Distractable. I just never realized how much, how VERY MUCH of all that gives me hell, comes down to a chemical mess up in my brain. Jeeeeeeeezzzzzz

  29. I have inattentive type ADHD so I’m not even hyperactive but I took my vyvanse and drank coffee to get me focused and out of my sleepy funk which helped me get a lot done but now it’s midnight and WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Can’t calm down but I have to get up tomorrow morning for a doctors appointment lol gonna TRY to meditate but WOW I’m jazzed.

  30. So I dont know if this is meditation, but it has, at least, a similar effect. I play guitar, amongst a few other instruments. after you understand the notes in scales and what not you can do this thing, it's called improvising. What you do is you get on youtube and pick a video called a backing track. they range from about 3 to 20 minutes, and are in every key and tonality you can imagine. As long as you stick to the notes in the key you've chosen it will sound nice to you. Just play anything and everything with flying fingers. Yes it's very hard to get down but once you do…I cant describe the feeling. theres is no thinking, all the static that cloud my mind throughout the day… gone. no white noise and no fleeting attention. For atleast 45 minutes a day my brain is quiet. it took years for me to do something like this with out some kind of out side help. it turns my whole day around! all the anger, frustration, and self doubt rocket out of my amplifier! when it's all over it's just me and silence for just a moment. and in that moment, I am equalized, I feel free. if that isnt meditation that idk what is. Music has given my random thoughts a direction. if my mind is wandering or if I'm thinking negative thoughts. I shift my focus to something constructive. So instead of going nuclear on my coworker I figure out what G majors tritone is… it works pretty well.

  31. I've tried meditation off and on, but sometimes, I just get too caught up in my stress/scattered thoughts, so this video was definitely a helpful reminder for me. Thank you! 🙂

  32. That's why I walk and say a rosary. Our Lady loves her ADHD children, keeps them ALL safe +

  33. sorry, may I have your permission to put this video link on my website? so that I can recommend others to watch this fantastic video!

  34. New game on Steam called Playne helped me out with having a regular schedule. Fun and engaging. 10/10 would recommend for anyone with adhd looking for a way to get into a routine.

  35. Hey hun. Love your videos. I was diagnosed last year. Please can you let me know if you have one about how adults internalise their hyperactivity? I am trying to support my brother who is also seeking a diagnosis x

  36. Once, as an example of my impulsivity, I looked at a mailbox that had shells glued to it, and though, “wonder if I would break those off?” Turns out, the answer was yes, and it took approximately .5 seconds to realize that this was a terrible idea and then to feel incredibly guilty for breaking the persons mailbox

  37. I'm glad I found this channel, I'll be 41 in April and the ADHD is getting out of hand. It's never been this bad and makes it hard to finish anything! I also have to be yet another to comment on those incredibly green eyes! Not something I see often. 🙂

  38. Do I have adhd because I spent this whole video reading the comments and forgot about the video 😅

  39. Now if only there was a form of meditation that could keep me interested for long enough to try it…

  40. Yes.. meditation takes times.. i moved from a busy city to an island . I always watched the sunset, sunrise. But i was never there..my mind is always somewhere between the past or future. A lot of thoughts!! Distraction the sounds, book, phones.. And I can't sit still. So its been 3 years i do this. I can said that finally im in the moment (im here). Its gets easier now. At the beach, under the tree, my sunglasses with my mat(its not a mat i forget the word,lets consider it mat) . I sit close my eyes.. and let the thoughts pass..not thinking about the pass or future . Only the sounds of bird,the ocean, the sun heat, the wind. If there's sounds of people voice around (i still learning to let this not to distract me,but its getting better now) . 10min-20 min..done! Its a great feelings. For the passed 5 month. I learned to enjoy swimming .after i meditate on the land , i proceed with swimming and let myself float (i do meditate for few second when im floating ) .i do this once a week. My minds relax these days. And i didn't fall to depression ,i still had melt down but not that bad like i used to. The last time i had it was on my birthday on January. Nature helps a lot! Thank God!

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