ADHD & Self-Regulation: Mindfulness

Mindfulness has reference to as paying attention towards the extant moment. For instance, sitting around a table talking to one another requires a certain level of concentration, which qualifies to be termed as mindfulness, however, people often act on automatic pilot, which is related to distraction or thinking about other things. Additionally, mindfulness may be defined as an attention, which allows streaming of certain information that becomes part of the people’s experiences, which bring awareness to inform their choices and actions (Zylowska 2012b). In her article dr. Lidia Zylowska affirms that attention shapes structure and function of the brain hence influencing the people’s lives. Essentially, people are not fully present or fully noticing when being together unless they have awareness and actively direct their attention to what they are doing. As such, mindfulness practice intends to bring attention to various aspects of the existing moment (Zylowska 2012a). In perspective, mindfulness means having curious and open attitude inviting an explicit investigation without preconceived judgments, expectations, and excessive reactivity.

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Further, Zylowska (2012a) denotes that mindfulness creates flexibility and novel awareness in thinking, which is recognized for decreasing stress and as a result improved psychological wellbeing. In essence, mindfulness has the potential to instigate self-regulation that comprises a vital tool in ADHD where individuals face difficulties of self-control. For example, practicing mindfulness demands paying attention towards thoughtfulness and directing to the current moment. Therefore, mindfulness has the potential to strengthen the people’s ability by creating awareness to where their attention is. Further, it permits the individuals to notice when their attention is high-jacked by distractions providing an opportunity to realign it. In this regard, people suffering from ADHD find difficulties with this process where they are required to return their attention to what they are currently doing. Despite the challenges faced, this process should be realized with acceptance and curiosity to train the individuals in regulation skills (Zylowska, 2012a).

In addition, for individuals suffering from ADHD it is important to practice emotional self-regulation (Zylowska, 2012a). Through diverting attention towards the current moment, particularly realizing body sensations while experiencing emotion, fosters the observation of emotional reactions from novel perspectives. In this way, the process helps in the discovery of new levels regarding the individuals’ feeling. Besides, they learn to reassess their emotions and resist impulsive actions. Thereby, individuals have more choices regarding what they do and are not directed by biological wiring, habits or knee-jerk decisions. Thus, they entail non-judgmental and open attitude to foster dealing with emotions in a balanced and compassionate manner. As such, they stand a chance of adequately managing their stresses or conflicts in a novel, transformative, and thoughtful way (Zylowska, 2012a).

Consequently, it is significant that people suffering from ADHD, especially adults learn the various self-regulatory mechanisms to enhance the focus of their attention towards the things they do on a daily bases. In fact, should the people fail to regulate, contain, and refocus their attention from distractions and other perspectives that are not a matter of current discussions, they might face challenges in handling important situations. Thus, individuals should train themselves a variety of strategies to self-regulate attention and emotions to keep focused on the matters at hand.



Zylowska, L. (2012a). Using Mindfulness to Manage Adult ADHD. Retrieved on March 20, 2017 from

Zylowska, L. (2012b). The mindfulness prescription for adult ADHD: an eight-step program for strengthening attention, managing emotions, and achieving your goals. Boston: Trumpeter.