What are The Benefits of Yoga for ADHD?
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly known for affecting children, although it affects many adults, too. An estimated 8.4 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults have ADHD, and symptoms typically change as a person ages. As a result, adolescents and adults alike may experience difficulties forming relationships and battle antisocial behaviors.
For a long time, the answer to managing ADHD symptoms has been medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. However, there are other options. Behavior management strategies can help minimize distractions and increase structure and organization. Research shows that meditation and yoga are great ways to calm your mind, process situations, and improve focus. Unlike other treatment options, mindfulness meditation and yoga doesn’t require a prescription.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is an ongoing inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity pattern that interferes with functioning or development. Inattention is the inability to focus, hyperactivity involves excessive movement, and impulsivity is when someone hastily acts on something without thinking. This consists in struggling to stay on task, constantly moving, even during inappropriate times, and having little self-control.
Individuals with ADHD are at risk of struggling with other conditions such as learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, or substance use. The disorder is more common in males, and females primarily experience inattention symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
Adults are typically unaware they have the disorder. This is because symptoms are not as clear in adults as in children. However, undiagnosed adults recognize that everyday tasks can be challenging for them. Therefore, a person is only diagnosed when the symptoms are severe enough to cause ongoing problems in numerous areas of their life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), people with the disorder could have symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity separately or combined. Symptoms of inattention may include but are not limited to:
- Making careless mistakes
- Not listening even when spoken directly to
- Having difficulty following through on instructions or finishing chores, schoolwork, or duties for work
- Losing necessities such as keys, a wallet, a phone, glasses, etc.
- Struggling to meet deadlines or manage time
- Forgetting to run errands, return phone calls, pay bills, or keep appointments
Hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Fidgeting, squirming, or tapping hands and feet
- Feeling restless and running or climbing at inappropriate times
- Talking excessively or blurting out answers at school, work, or during games
- Having difficulty waiting for one’s turn in lines or sitting in traffic
- Interrupting during a conversation
- Difficulty prioritizing duties or responsibilities
The causes of ADHD have not been found, but there is evidence that genetics may be a contributing factor. Three out of four children with ADHD have a relative with the disorder. According to scientists, being born prematurely, brain injury or the mother enduring extreme stress during pregnancy are also contributing factors. Therefore, it is essential to seek a thorough diagnosis if one suspects they may have this disorder.
How Can Yoga Help?
Natalie Nevins, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor, states, “The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body.” There are a number of physical benefits, including increasing muscle strength and tone, improving circulatory health, protection from injury, lower stress levels, and more. However, one of the best advantages of yoga is how it helps one mentally through the incorporation of meditation and breathing. “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, centers attention, and sharpens concentration,” Dr. Nevins states. It’s no wonder yoga can benefit those with ADHD who feel restless or struggle to focus on tasks or activities. Yoga can help people stay present and at the moment while controlling unwanted impulses.
A 2017 study cites the difference between yoga and other physical exercises: yoga steers people to master breathing techniques, postures, and cognitive control. In return, this promotes self-control, attention, body awareness, and stress management. Further, yoga increases low-frequency brain wave activity, which is associated with the deepest levels of relaxation. Additionally, those with ADHD could have a smaller or reduced prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for decision-making, planning, and focus. Therefore, regularly practicing yoga can strengthen the prefrontal cortex and assist a person with ADHD in regulating these functions.
Overall, given the abnormal attention and over-impulsivity characteristics linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yoga exercises prove beneficial for ADHD treatment. It’s a great alternative to treat ADHD, especially if you or a loved one are experiencing unfavorable side effects from medications or cannot stay on a regular treatment plan.
If you struggle with ADHD, you are likely experiencing other physical conditions or illnesses such as stress, sleep disorders, anxiety, or depression that can hinder all areas of your life. ADHD undeniably presents challenges for adults that can be tough on one’s personal and professional relationships. At Alter Wellness Care, we help design a treatment plan to help you improve your daily habits, learn to recognize and use your strengths and maintain relationships. Our patient and caring staff are prepared to encourage you to take advantage of these techniques to become more productive and organized and, more importantly, improve your self-worth. You may feel like ADHD is holding you back from success or even completing simple tasks, but we can help you work through your symptoms. Find out how you can enhance the quality of your life by calling us today at (866) 311-3510.
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