Mindfulness significantly improves attention for adults with ADHD

I recently came across a 2016 paper from  Germany reviewing the impact of MBCT for the treatment of ADHD in adults. The paper demonstrates how a mindfulness intervention makes functional changes in brain areas that are suggested to be impaired in adults with ADHD; and in addition, patients readily accept mindfulness meditation. The researchers concluded that:

There is promising preliminary evidence that mindfulness meditation employed as a neurobehavioral intervention in therapy can help ADHD patients to regulate impaired brain functioning and thereby improve self-regulation of attention and emotion control.

[See Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and the Adult ADHD Brain: A Neuropsychotherapeutic Perspective ( 2016 Bachmann et al)  here  https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00117/full  ]

Bit  let’s step back – what is ADHD and how many adults are impacted by this condition?  Well,  ADHD is a neurobiological disorder described by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity. According to the U.S. CDC, 7.8% of children aged between 4 and 17 years have been diagnosed with ADHD; and the National Comorbidity Survey says that, 4.4% of US adults aged between 18 and 44 years have matched the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD.  So it’s an issue for about 1 in 20 adults.

So I dug a bit further and found a meta review (i.e. a review of published trials of Mindfulness intervention to treat ADHD)  – “The effectiveness of mindfulness-based intervention in attention on individuals with ADHD: A systematic review” (2017 by Clara et al published in the  Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy).

This review identified six studies investigating the impact of mindfulness based interventions for adults with ADHD. The results all “showed significant improvement in attention” in this age group.  Moreover, three of the studies were randomized control trials, providing strong evidence that the positive results were due to treatment effect.  The researchers said:

“For adults with ADHD, mindfulness-based intervention improves attention deficits significantly.”

Note also that it was found that mindfulness based intervention was popularly in adults with ADHD – previous studies have shown the reluctance to follow pharmaceutical based regimens.

So ADHD is significant problem for some adults – yet mindfulness is a very effective, low cost and low-risk treatment – so wouldn’t it makes sense to try it?

Finally, let me just add that the research on childhood ADHD is less clear – I wonder if this is a problem with the terminology and delivery of MBCT – there is a Chinese study that demonstrates the effectiveness of a mindfulness intervention specially designed for such children: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-016-0660-3

The Rezl Life Community

This is a short message to tell you about The Rezl Life Community – it’s a place where we can share ideas, information and experiences;  where we can help, encourage and learn from each other.

Our Rezl app uses something called “Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy” (or MBCT) – which was developed at the universities of Massachusetts and Oxford.  Scientific research shows that MBCT significantly reduces anxiety and low mood; it increases job satisfaction and life satisfaction; it improves concentration – increasing productivity and reducing mistakes; and it makes people more open to the views of others. For elite performers MBCT increases their level of performance and “flow”; and for leaders and aspiring leaders…. Rezl will develop the skills to manage in “challenging and disruptive business environments”.

Now we want to make it easier for Rezl users to share their ideas and experience.  If you have questions about Rezl, about mindfulness or about how others have succeeded in dealing with specific challenges…  then this is the place for you.

So whatever your situation, then you can benefit from the collective experience, knowledge and support of our community…  and you can help and encourage others too.

To access the Rezl Life Community you can just tap the community button on the navigation bar at the bottom of each Rezl page – it looks like a small crowd of people -or,  you can use a browser on any PC or phone. Just go to www.rezl.life.

And remember that the Rezl Life “Conversations feature” enables you to set up a “group chat” for you and your friends so that you can exchange ideas as you journey with Rezl together.

We hope that you’ll join us… To help yourself – and to help others. Try it now. See you there.

The effect of becoming more mindful.

Many research projects have looked at the impact of mindfulness upon Resilience and upon other cognitive characteristics.  Besides building up your resilience, mindfulness is shown to have other positive benefits. All for just 10 minutes on four days per week.  What have you started to noticed about yourself?

Mindfulness builds resilience so that people are better able to deal with stress and pressure. There are many reasons why people can feel stressed – too much work, slipping behind, feeling that we are not as good as our colleagues or feeling that we are unable to produce work to the quality we want.  Some are particularly stressed by feeling that they are letting people down or not reaching the expectations of others or not reaching their own expectations.  Yet a mindful approach can allow us to pause, to avoid becoming overwhelmed by such feelings or by the anxieties that may be generated in such situations and so that we are more able to decide on a sensible way forward.

If you are experiencing any of these issues then please access the Pressure and Stress sessions within the Rezl toolbox.

Mindfulness is shown to increase concentration so that we are not distracted and this increases productivity and reduces mistakes.  Studies have shown a significant reduction in errors by people trained in mindfulness.

Mindfulness makes people more open to the views of others so that ideas are not dismissed or ignored and mindful people are more prepared to consider the ideas and concerns of others. Research has shown that teams with mindful team-members are more effective and more likely to collaborate towards achieving team goals.

Mindfulness increases empathy.  Mindful people are more likely to respond to others with compassion and understanding meaning that mindful team members are more supportive of their colleagues leading to better outcomes.

Many studies show that mindfulness improves self-esteem. We can see that self-compassion is an import trait and being more able to avoid becoming overwhelmed by our emotions increases self-confidence and builds our self-esteem.

Mindfulness can increase life satisfaction with an outlook that is less driven by ego. We are less likely to compare ourselves with others and end up feeling negative about our lives, our jobs etc.

A study showed that the three measures of Job satisfaction were improved by an average of 18% as a result of a mindfulness programme.

Mindfulness based congestive therapy has not only been designed to help everyone improve their resilience but also help those experiencing anxiety and depression.  It helps avoid emotional responses to situations that may trigger episodes of anxiety or depression and helps people to remain objective when such reactions arise.

Similarly the techniques of mindfulness have been shown to be effective in those dealing with chronic pain or even conditions like tinnitus.

Studies of change management situations, involving jobs, systems and processes – have shown that mindfulness significantly increases people’s capacity to deal with stress and change positively. Where “no change” is not an option, it is important to embrace the change process….positively.