7 ADHD Mindfulness Exercises for Kids, Teens, and Adults (2023)

Living with ADHD can be a learning journey, to practice mindfulness, to slow down the world. It may seem like you always move too fast compared to others.

Whether you have ADHD or a loved one, you can sometimes find it difficult to help other people understand the condition. Luckily, when you do, medication and therapy can help with the most intense symptoms and bring you to a level of clarity that allows you to enjoy life.

However, as with many conditions, sometimes you want a quick and easy way to treat your symptoms without having to rely on therapists or medication.

Anyone who has dealt with a developing illness or a chronic illness knows that calling doctors or constantly taking medication becomes exhausting for your health. Using traditional methods, mindfulness exercises can give you a boost when you’re feeling exhausted.

Mindful activities are perfect when you're out in public and feeling restless, or when you need to relax at home. There are countless versions for the many situations you may encounter on a daily basis. So don't feel lost if you can't use a favorite coping skill in a particular environment. There's probably another one you can practice that's more discreet or doesn't require additional tools.

Regardless of what you need to achieve through mindful activity (calmness, happiness, or self-knowledge), there will be a solution, and to get you started, here are seven mindful solutions that have helped others.

sensory observation

7 ADHD Mindfulness Exercises for Kids, Teens, and Adults (1)

When your brain is in overdrive, taking stock of your surroundings can be an effective way to calm down. What are you seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling and tasting right now? Is there a sensation, object, or scent that you haven't noticed before?

People learn to turn things off to get through the day, and this can be doubly true for people with ADHD. Your mind can wander in many directions when trying to do something, but sensory observation techniques can help prevent this.

For example, start by looking at the world directly around you. Pick an object from each color of the rainbow, or target all the green elements in a room. Mindful observation focuses on observing the environment as it is, without judgment or off-topic thinking.

The STOP method is a well-known sensory observation technique that consists of four steps:

  • arrest prison:If you're feeling stressed, anxious, or upset, stop what you're doing for a minute or two. You may need to physically remove yourself from the situation and move to a place conducive to peace.
  • Give yourself a break:Take a few deep breaths to regulate your body and calm down. Your mind may be ready to get out of the situation, but your body may still be feeling the effects.
  • Perceive:Look around. Even if your surroundings aren't particularly fascinating, you can always find something small to focus on. Maybe there's an oddly shaped stain on the wall or a thread in your sweater. Do you smell pleasant or unpleasant or nothing at all? Are there any sounds other than breathing and heartbeat?
  • Continue:After watching for a few minutes, you can continue the rest of the day with a new perspective.

Other variations on this technique includeconscious walkingit's himsitting method, but they all embody the same basic principles. Testing your sensory skills can help you ground yourself in a moment and avoid being swept away by racing thoughts. When you experience the world on multiple levels, see it, smell it or touch it, you become attached to the present.


Ideal for people of all ages, yoga encourages you to balance your breath and mind and keep your body in one place. The goal of yoga is not to force you to sit still, but to practice awareness of your body position.

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Taking control of your body is one of the first steps to establishing power in other aspects of your life. After all, your body is the vessel that transports you every day and supports all your necessary functions. Finding a new physical affiliation can also help you improve your mental and emotional confidence.

This was the result of an eight-week study of children with ADHDYoga had beneficial effectsin the sustained attention and control of participants' impulses. The children attended two 40-minute sessions per week as part of an after-school program and did no othersLifestyle Changes. The exercise group had better accuracy and reaction time on two cognitive tests.

This study suggests that adding yoga to children's everyday lives can make a difference without requiring major lifestyle changes. It may seem like an overly simple solution, but the impact can be huge. With 8.4 percent of the childrenhave ADHD symptoms, a few minutes of yoga a day can bring calmer minds to thousands of children.

If you're just starting out in yoga, try beginner poses like these to get started:


Whether you're an adult or a teenager, coloring can be a surprisingly fun way to calm turbulent emotions and create a peaceful moment.

Art lets you explore multiple mediums like oil paint, crayons, watercolors, and more. You can follow preset layouts in a coloring book or express your creativity with a blank canvas. However, using a book helps you focus on staying within the lines, which often improves a person's self-control and fine motor skills.

Mandalas are popular designs due to their complex structures, but any artistic motif will do. You can find coloring books featuring animals, intricate landscapes, or familiar patterns like paisley and plaid. Having a creative outlet gives you the space to express what's on your mind at any given time, and working with thoughts and emotions in this way is essential to understanding yourself and your ADHD.

Many people say that writing is the perfect way to express yourself, but art might be a better option for you. It all depends on what medium you respond to best.

Art therapy is a widely accepted form of medical practice in general, although distinct from staining or painting in its own time. It requires you to work with a certified therapist who will help you discover how your creations relate to your cognitive and emotional state.

Glitter pot exercise

7 ADHD Mindfulness Exercises for Kids, Teens, and Adults (2)

A glitter bottle activity can be a creative way to teach younger children with ADHD how emotions work and how to manage them in a variety of situations.

Fill an empty glass or container with water and add a few tablespoons of glitter. Close the lid, shake the bottle and watch the glitter swirl and move. The glow mimics your feelings when angry, worried, or scared. These feelings are difficult to control and often difficult to pinpoint or localize. You may feel scattered and powerless, like you can't control your emotional consequences or behaviors.

The glow returning down is what happens when you finally settle down and feel good again. However, you don't have to wait for your body to regulate itself to feel relaxed. You can take responsibility for your behavior in the present and practice coping skills to help you manage your feelings.

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Sometimes their emotions get the best of them, but you don't have to let them dictate your actions. The consequences of negative actions are like the spread of glitter: far-reaching, confusing, and difficult to erase.

One way to teach children healthy emotion regulation is to:let them practice their skillsin social contexts. Observing and learning is one aspect, but doing it in real time helps keep the lessons going. Praise or reward him for his positive behavior and let him know that negative actions are inappropriate. Ask them questions like: What actions can you take to change your emotional responses next time? How does unpleasant behavior make others feel?

Students and adults alike can benefit from thisCreating structure through time management; more specifically, through the use of lists, planners, and calendars. You can often overestimate or underestimate how much time a task will take, or you can become hyperactive or feel inadequate in getting the job done, which can lead to procrastination. Taking regular breaks and recording sessions can help you stay on track and avoid burnout or blowouts.

4-7-8 breaths

Sometimes breathing is the only thing you can do when you're overwhelmed. It requires no special tools or equipment, just you, yourself and your lungs.

The 4-7-8 breathing method developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, is one of many exercises people use for anxiety, ADHD, and more. To practice, breathe in slowly through your nose for four seconds and hold your breath for seven seconds. Then exhale through your mouth for eight years.

The technique itself is not always the most important thing when it comes to breathing exercises. This method is great to start with, but you can move on to others if it doesn't work for you. if you do that7/11 Styletreat himechoing breath, all of these breathing exercises have the same purpose: to calmnervous system.

Deep breathing stimulates oxygen production in the body, which allows more blood to flow to the organs. You'll be able to think more clearly with a constant flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which can make a difference in reducing ADHD impulsivity.

The vagus nerve (an essential part of the digestive system) responds when you take a deep breath, bringing the parasympathetic nervous system to life.

The parasympathetic controls heart rate and digestion and regulates stress levels. When you're experiencing a serious scare, the SNP will calm your racing heart and sweaty palms.

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Diaphragmatic breathing, which uses the diaphragm, activates the PNS and helps you focus, relax, and control your impulses. An eight-week study byDiaphragmatic breathing in adultsshowed that the participants had less stress and better attention.

Study participants also experienced a decrease in negative emotions, showing how mindful breathing can help improve emotional state. Combining this exercise with other positive activities can go a long way in elevating your mood and cognition levels.

body scan

The body scan gives you a better awareness of your physical being. As you can imagine, it's based on yoga, but you don't have to strike a pose to do a body scan.

It encourages you to identify areas of tension or discomfort in your body and gradually release the fear until your whole being relaxes.

It's also associated with meditation, which emphasizes the idea of ​​letting sensations come and go without focusing on them too much. It encourages you to identify areas of tension or discomfort in your body and gradually release the fear until your whole being relaxes.

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Body scanning takes some practice for people who have never done it, but it becomes second nature after a few sessions. A guided meditation script will come in handy here, whether you're attending a class or listening to a recording on YouTube.

The speaker will likely first walk you through the first few steps of deep breathing to calm your nervous system. When you're more relaxed, practice bringing your attention to each part of your body: head, shoulders, arms, stomach, etc.

Some scripts teach you how to release that body tension, while others ask you to acknowledge it and move on to the next body part. Just spotting it can be easier for beginners because you don't have to worry about cleaning up every little annoyance. Furthermore, acceptance is a fundamental principle of mindfulness. Rather than berating yourself for physical anxiety, you can learn to see it for what it is and lessen it later.


7 ADHD Mindfulness Exercises for Kids, Teens, and Adults (4)

Teens and adults with ADHD can get closer to nature by taking care of them.A gardenIt can teach a teenager to care for another living being and it can also help establish a routine. Routines foster habits that can make mindfulness a part of everyday life.

Those aren't the only benefits: Green itself can have a significant impact on a person's productivity, focus and health.

This was shown by a systematic overview of how young people deal with natureMany showed better mental healthafter experiencing nature scenes. Ten of the 35 studies included children with ADD/ADHD, whose symptoms improved due to accessibility and direct contact with nature.

In this regard, several studies have shown how natural landscapes make people happier, reduce their stress, lower blood pressure and much more.

Forest bathing also flourishedin Japan for decadesfor its beneficial properties. If you're not convinced, all you have to do is take a few rays: vitamin D is vital to numerous bodily functions.

If you don't have a green space for a full garden, you can make a small one out of empty containers or terracotta pots. Some cities also have community gardens where you can interact with others through your shared connection to nature.

Search for mindfulness and contentment

Dealing with ADHD has its ups and downs, but you don't have to let the lows get you down forever. An integrative approach to mind and body means combining wellness systems that enable you to live in abundance.

Whether that means taking medication and doing yoga, or therapy and gardening, there's a treatment program that's right for you. Try something new and find out how it can improve your everyday life!

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