Skip to content


How To Meditate With ADHD

Read time 5 mins

My name is Maude Hirst, and I am a meditation and breathwork practitioner, and founder of Energy Rise, where my mission is to make meditation accessible to all. Through my research into the science behind meditation, one fascinating thing I discovered was that meditation impacts the same areas of the brain as ADHD. The medical community have gotten on board with this, and doctors are now realising how important meditation can be for those with ADHD.     

You can watch a FREE introduction video discussing ADHD and meditation here

 To discover which types of meditation work for people with ADHD, I partnered with get dopa to run breathwork and meditation workshops for adults with ADHD. This gave us an incredible opportunity to explore different practices which I will discuss below.

I hope this article helps you understand different types of meditation and find one that works for you.  

If you have ADHD, meditation might not seem like the most likely part of your self-care routine. The racing thoughts, fidgeting hands, and boredom that you may experience in life might seem a world away from the calm, centred, and occasionally candlelit world of meditation. If this sounds like you, then read on, because, even if you have ADHD, I can help you find a meditative practice that will help you access the inner peace and calm that we all crave sometimes.  

You might find it interesting to watch the video of my conversation with get dopa founder Matt, as he discusses his own ADHD journey 



So, what is meditation and how can it help?  

In a nutshell, meditation is a practice of being with yourself, switching your focus away from external distractions and into the present moment, when our minds may naturally be inclined to focus on the past or the future. This is achieved by using breathwork and awareness techniques to help you calm your mind, body and nervous system.  

Meditation can be practiced alone, in a group setting, or with a therapist or coach. It’s important to note there is no one ‘right’ way to meditate. Although we may have a certain image of what meditation looks like, in reality any activity you do can be meditative if you’re completely present and in the moment.  

Meditation is believed to work by training the brain to focus and redirect attention. It can also help to improve self-awareness and emotional regulation. These skills can be helpful for people with ADHD, who sometimes have trouble focusing and struggle with emotional control.  

The benefits of meditation  

I want to help you experience being a calmer, more focused version of yourself by sharing what I’ve learned about meditation for ADHD that actually works. Here are some of the ways in which meditation can help:  

  • It has been shown to increase dopamine levels as well as decrease cortisol levels. This helps to elevate your mood and promote a sense of calm  
  • It helps to strengthen your prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain associated with executive function). This can improve your planning abilities, decision-making, problem-solving, self-control, and working memory  
  • It can help with impulse control 
  • It helps you relax, physically and mentally  
  • It can decrease stress and anxiety levels   
  • It brings about better sleep – often this is something that people with ADHD can struggle with and is hugely important to your overall wellbeing.  
  • It promotes self-confidence and compassion  
  • Early studies indicate that meditative practices can help symptoms of ADHD by activating brain regions associated with sustaining and directing attention.    

The different types of meditation practices   

My work has shown that, whilst there isn't one single best meditation for ADHD, there are several different techniques that have been shown to be helpful. Not every kind might suit you, and you may need to experiment before you find one that works for you.  

Here are a few different types that you may wish to try:  

  • Breathwork    

This refers to meditation techniques that intentionally channel and focus on the breath. The way that we breath directly impacts the way that we feel, so by consciously using your breath, you can adjust the way that we feel. Breathwork is intended to release toxins when you exhale, and helps to improve your circulation and generate more oxygen-rich blood  

  • Visualisation   

This is a way of using imagery to help focus and calm the mind. Examples include guided meditation (where you are led through a series of positive scenes and images), and chakra meditations (where you are led to visualise through the different energy centre’s of your body).  

  • Mantra   

This approach uses the repetition of phrases (or mantras) that can be spoken, chanted, whispered or repeated in the mind. This helps to promote focus and intention and allows us to switch our focus away from the over-thinking mind.  

  • Movement  

As the name might suggest, movement meditation incorporates physical movement. This can be a helpful option for people with ADHD who find it difficult to sit still for long periods. Movement meditation can be practiced in many ways, from gently allowing the body to move while you are meditating to more active practices like yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi.  

  • Walking  

Walking meditation is the practice of bringing your focus to the act of walking. It helps to cultivate mindfulness and can be done anywhere. While you walk you would make a conscious effort to notice the ground under your feet, the colours around you and the way that you are breathing.   

  • Body Awareness   

Also known as ‘body scan meditation’, this technique involves systematically giving attention to different parts of your body, noticing any feelings or sensations as you do so. Think of it like a head-to-toe mental X-ray.  

What I’d like you to remember is that whilst there isn’t one singular best meditation for ADHD, through working with get dopa and running meditation and breathwork workshops for individuals with ADHD, we found that the techniques that resonated most with people were the more stimulating, active breathing techniques.  

Tips for meditating with ADHD 

  • Starting small. If this is your first time meditating, start with short sessions. Five to ten minutes at a time is fine. You can gradually increase the length of your sessions once you get more comfortable with your practice.  
  • Focus on your breath. One of the simplest ways to meditate is to focus on your breath. Feel your chest rise and fall with each inhalation and exhalation. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath.  
  • Find a quiet place. Choose a quiet place to meditate where you won't be interrupted. This will help you to focus and relax.  
  • Be patient. Meditation is a skill that takes time to develop. Your mind may wander, and that is completely normal. Meditation is about knowing what's happening in your inner world and learning to redirect your focus again and again.   
  • Remember - the best meditation for ADHD is the one that works for you.  

Overcoming the challenges of meditation when you have ADHD  

While meditation can be hugely beneficial for people with ADHD, it’s not without its challenges. Here are a few tips for overcoming the issues that some individuals with ADHD experience when embarking on their meditation journey:  

  • Fidgeting is okay. If you find the need to fidget during meditation, that's OK! Don't judge yourself. The important thing is to keep your attention focused on your breath or your mantra.  
  • Don't get discouraged if your mind starts to wander.  It is natural to experience a wandering mind during meditation. When this happens, gently bring your attention back to your focus without judgment.  
  • Be patient. Meditation takes time and practice. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. You’re already doing so well by starting on this journey, so treat yourself with the compassion and kindness you deserve.  

Ready to give meditation a try for yourself?  

That’s great! Here is a FREE video – breathwork practice for a busy mind. 



Conclusion and resources  

I hope this article has helped you to understand that, despite the challenges of having ADHD, it is still possible to practice mindfulness. There are so many benefits, such as helping to improve your focus, attention, and emotional regulation. It may take some time before you learn to meditate effectively, so start small – pay attention to what’s around you – you’ll be surprised how quickly you learn to be more mindful. 

About the author  

Maude is a breathwork and mindfulness meditation practitioner and facilitator. Following a challenging period in her own life, she started exploring the benefits of yoga and meditation, and saw how transformative they were for her mental health and wellbeing. As a result, she created Energy Rise whose aim is to make meditation accessible to all.  

Maude is a natural partner for get dopa, both sharing a belief that ADHD should be managed holistically. Her workshops have been transformative for our attendees, and we want more people to experience the power of meditation. Join the Energy Rise community now and get 50% off. Simply enter code GETDOPA at checkout.   

get dopa smart supplement

get dopa now