[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!