Meditation - Chicago,IL

Updated on October 03, 2012
M.M. asks from Chicago, IL
9 answers

I am thinking of trying meditation , I really need some input if it would help M. with the issues I am facing.Is it possible to learn to meditate without going to any classes? I really don't know how to go about it, any online resources that I can use for guidance? I always feel there are 100's of things going on in my mind at a given point of time - from the past or future. I feel like I am living anywhere but the present. I am kinda in a dream world, with constant thoughts in my mind. I so want to live in the present , enjoy my son growing. I have to try hard to give him 100% attention, it's kinda I am with him , playing with him but still my mind wanders here n there and I have to fight it back. My husband jokes about it and asks M. - what movie is going on in my head :) Because I am always thinking about something - necessary things, uneccessary things. Sometimes I make stories in my head about how it would be if a certain event happened or happens in the future. It's like living in a fantasy land. I would have understood if I were still a teenager, but I am now 30! Yes I also worry a lot, have mood swings. I used to snap at my husband for no actual reason to the point where he would tell M. that it's again that time of the month again , and he needs to be careful. And yes , that time of the month seems much worse - I am getting angry for no reasons, hardly have patience with my son , feel sad for things that have happened in the past(which at other times don't affect M. much).I am trying to keep a control on my mood and reactions a week before my periods now that I am aware of it. And when I have nothing to think about or worry about , i am looking up things online , facebook, mamapedia. Feels like my mind wants to be occupied with something or the other , than live in the present. I am wondering if mediation will help M. gain control over my mind and focus on things which are important to M.. I feel like i am living my life, having loads of fun yet missing out on a lot because I am physically present mentally absent most of the time. For ex: my son is playing right here and I so wnat to play with him , but unable to close the laptop and typing this question is taking preference over my son.
I am not sure if this post even makes sense to anyone , but please do let M. know about the meditation :) Thanks!

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answers from Seattle on

The first half you described (including mood swings), you realize, is TEXTBOOK ADHD-i (adhd-inattentive), right?

Best online source there is, but the hands down best book I can recommend is "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!?" by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. I recommend it to parents all the time, but it's actually for/about ADHD in adults. Written by people in the field who actually HAVE ADHD.


As far as meditating? Eh. If you have ADHD then it's unlikely to help much. Most people have to expend energy to think... and their natural resting state is completely clear. ADHD types have to expend energy to be clear headed, and our natural resting state is with 5 or 6 thought streams (or more) constantly running. So for neurotypical people meditating helps them clear away the thoughts and focus in the present. For ADHD people, it's hit or miss, and more often... miss. Or actually makes things worse.

One thing SIMILAR to meditation that helps most people with ADHD is "switching gears". That means NEVER (if you can help it) switch from one activity to the next. INSTEAD, take a 5-10 minute break between activities to 'transition'. Go sit outside and stare at the clouds. Go to the bathroom and daydream. Sit in your car and listen to music. Read a chapter in a book. SOMETHING that creates a "line" or "space" / "switch gears" between one activity and the next. Sort of like walking down the halls between classes. It gives our minds a chance to wrap up and move on... instead of just tossing one more, and one more, and one more ball into the juggling until you're so crosseyed you shut down and just turn inward.

Personally, I like going outside. First got into the habit smoking... but I still do it even now that I'm not smoking. If I don't take the time to switch gears, before long, I can't even SEE the world around M.... because my mind is spinning too much, so I end up turned inward and just 'going through the motions' with my body. Heck, sometimes I can't even go through the motions. BUT if I head out to my porch, and just sit and prep myself for the next "thing" to do (and start that mental rolodex spinning) then I can pop up! and move onto the next thing fully engaged.

So it's LIKE meditation... in that it's clearing one's mind. But it's a LOT shorter (just a few minutes) and fairly constant... and OPPOSITE of meditation you TRY to think instead of trying not to think. Think of what's coming up next (okay... dinner, or okay... shower and get dressed, or okay... bills, or okay... lay down and play trains).

TIMEOUTS are also part of the coping skill set of most ADHD types. We have VERY intense emotions (higher highs, lower lows, and looooooonger capacity. Most people only feel something for a few seconds and it starts to fade. ADHD types tend to feel full on for minutes to hours, until another emotion also at full strength, replaces it), and we can hyperfocus on them... which is something like a spiral. Feeding off of itself. Timeouts allow us to shift gears EMOTIONALLY. Start getting snippy, horny (with nothing to do with it), no patience, embarrassed, sad, etc.... head back outside (or wherever) and take a 5 minute sanity check and get the happy back.

As a side note to both changing gears & timeouts... ADHD types tend to get VERY cranky when we CAN'T change gears. Because it's exhausting and frustrating to have so many things going on mentally, without the chance to table them. You may find simply switching gears between tasks will actually reduce a lot of your general frustration.

Assuming, of course, that the giant flashing neon sign saying "ADHD-i" in they mental hyperactivity... does mean you're ADHD-i or ADHD-c (c is combined adhd-i and adhd-h)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This book is excellent for learning how to meditate. It was developed at Google by one of their engineers. He turned it to a class at their company and then a book. Its called Search Inside Yourself.

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answers from Chicago on

Straight meditation - where you sit quietly and clear your mind - may be a real challenge at first. Though if you do go that route, they say you can start with just 5 minutes and work up to 20, so it's not like you have to stare at a candle for an hour to get benefits. But that said, you might benefit from something like Tai Chi which is meditation in movement. Or running, where your mind clears and it becomes very meditative once you get into it. I find doing something repetitive that allows meditation to come works better for M. than trying to force a blank mind and no thoughts. Whatever you choose, good luck to you. Meditation seems like a good start. But you might also consider talking with a counselor or therapist to sort out some of the issues that you mention. If they're interfering with your life, it might be worth getting some feedback and good guidance. It can be a lot to do on your own.

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answers from Anchorage on

When I meditate I like it to be totally silent, others like soothing music. While some prefer the dark, I like candle light. I have been doing this a long time so I can now be in any position, but in the beginning it helped to lay on my back. Start by closing your eyes and breathing deep in and out, focus on the breath, then start to relax your body. Start at the top of your head, feeling your eyes relax, your mouth, your neck then shoulders, working your way down your body, letting your breath get deeper and deeper. This may be as far as you get the first few times until you learn to really let your body relax. Once you have mastered total relaxation then you can move on to more focused meditation, such as pushing out negativity or calling in healing, what ever you need.

If you have a friend who meditates sometimes it helps to have someone talk you through the steps the first couple of times.

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answers from Los Angeles on

check out the books: Driven to Distraction
Healing ADD

see if any of those speak to you.

I'm not a personal fan of Meditation. I could never do it. And I'm at peace with that.



answers from Peoria on

I can totally relate to this. I don't really know that I am ADD but I am definitely a busy thinker. I have really intense emotions during PMS too. I hate it because there is not much I can do to control it even though I am aware of it. I don't think it is worth being on meds either because I'm fine the other three weeks of the month.

Anyhow, I was kind of the same when my boys were little. I tried doing meditation/praying, etc, but I found that my mind usually ended up drifting in lots of other directions instead of calming it.

Anyhow, a couple of things for you that helped M..
1 - Ask yourself why are you on Mamapedia and not playing? It sounds silly but for M., I found the reason was that I felt more useful, helping people solve their problems, reading and learning about new things. Try and have an activity for yourself that allows you to use your mind or make you feel productive or whatever it is that you are seeking.
2 - Find activities that your son does that you like. Let's face it, zooming cars around the room all day long is pretty darn boring for an adult woman! I used to like racing the cars with my son, or playing hide-n-seek or reading books. I also found that scheduling activities outside the home helped, story times, playdates, music classes, etc. Even if we went grocery shopping, I would chat with him while he was in the cart.
3 - Have him help you with some of your activities. My boys used to love helping M. pull the sheets off the bed. They could jump into the comforter when they were done which they loved. They liked helping loading/unloading the washer with M., throwing clothes in and taking things out. He might be a litle young for baking but maybe he can add some ingredients if you let him.
4 - Schedule time with him every day. Sometimes if I didn't make myself sit with them and color or do something for a half hour or more each day, I would find that the whole day went by and I didn't spend any quality time with my kids at all. Then I'd beat myself up about it.
5- Put Post-Its around your house with a visual cue, i.e.: a picture of a baby. You know when you see it, you should go sit with your son.
6 - Put reminders in your phone! Block out time every day for different activities. You will be amazed how those little beeps can keep you on track.
7 - Remind yourself every morning when you wake up how lucky you are to have this time with him! He won't be little forever. I have to remind myself too so that I don't regret my actions or inactions.
8 - Accept that this is who you are. It doesn't make you a bad person. You're already doing what you can to change it. Just keep working at it.

Good luck!

PS --I'm supposed to be in the kitchen right now getting ready for mine to come home and here I am writing on Mamapedia! :)



answers from Chicago on

Hi Jenny,

I know how you feel! I have been there and I am moving out of it and it feels so good to be present with my son and everything around M.. I have ADHD too and it is possible you do too, but I am going to suggest you don't focus on that. I personally don't like labels and I don't think you need another thing to worry about. Maybe try a few things first and if they don't work than you can look more into ADHD and coping.

Most importantly you have to commit to doing what you say you are going to try. When we can't stay present it is classic to try something once or twice and be on to the next. Commit to following through for a certain period of time to allow yourself to pick up a new routine. You are trying to break the on to the next...on to the next mentality. Start small too because if you put too many changes in your going to get frustrated and move on to "next thing" never completing what you started.

I just read this book (How to Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant) and I think it is an amazing simple book with a big truth. It gives you the steps to take and I have never read a more simple simple way to change your life. Love this book...everybody should read it.

It does give a very very simple way to meditate. I think sometimes when we start to meditate especially if we have issues with being present we make it too complicated. Or during the process we are too worried if we are doing it right etc. Your mind is racing when you first start and you beat yourself up thinking you can't do it. Well it takes practice you have to keep at it and commit to it.

Another book I recommend is Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now.

Be easy on yourself this is not going to be a snap your fingers, meditate for a week change. But if this is truly something you want to change than commit to it and the steps to move you out of it. Be consistent and keep moving forward.

Best of luck!



answers from Honolulu on

Meditation is good, even the Wii has a yoga/meditation segment on it.

Try Tai Chi.
It encompasses, focusing and movements which while being in tune with your body and mind.
Its also great exercise.

Also see your Doctor to address the hormonal/PMS based issues you have.
These are physiological based, issues. Which causes some women to have hair-trigger moods.



answers from Cleveland on

I am a library junkie and i will read any books i can get my hands on. i lilke this subject although i don't make the time to do it too often. i have found some cool books, expecially audio cd's.

there was one about Breathing, it wasn't all medatative budha, but just how lifesustaning and important breathing Fully can be.

there is abook called I can make you thin by paul McKenna you can goggle him, the book comes with a cd too, anyhow there is a chapter on oh ,, retraining your body, using tapping on pressure points. that might be good for you if you have trouble focusing.

so my suggestion is to try the library and look for a book on cd that you can listen too while you try.
you might want to check out some relaxation music too.

I don't know much about aromatherapy but lavendar is very calming so a lavendar candle might be nice.

It sounds like you know your mind is whirling, would journaling help? maybe if you were writing just what ever comes to mind you would be capturing it??

I'll also say you aren't alone, I said above i love to read, and I would prefer to be reading than talking or playing or doing the dishes, like that book ( or mamapedia) is just so adictive be casue it isnt' real, it's just my fun safe place to go. but your post is a good reminder to tune back into my real ife.
Good luck to you.

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