« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#138: Dr. Stephanie Sarkis, Meditating While Having ADHD

2018-06-06
Stephanie Sarkis, an author and expert in ADHD, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder and chronic pain, brings a unique perspective to her work because she herself struggles with ADHD and anxiety. Working mostly with adults, from college-age on up, Sarkis said she began recommending mindfulness meditation to her clients and then began a practice herself when she read about the possible benefits and saw positive changes in those she treated.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see Ten percent happier vodka Dan it's become a sort of turn refrain. You hear this from people all the time I have eighty d, I don't think so I mean in many cases, are being that they actually have a diagnosis, but they, you know we we often just feel completely attend General Lee challenged, Paul, then a million directions because of technology, the pace of modern life, etc, etc. Of course, some of us do actually have ADHD or a dvd diagnosed or undiagnosed, including several people in my life. So what are you? What do you do? If, if, if you this condition. Well, we ve got an incredible expert
who has suffered with it herself and treats people. who are dealing with it and can talk about attention all issues as well for them for the rest of us Stephanie Circus is her name and you're here. A lot from her coming up for Though one item of business and then your voice mouse, so the business, I have spent much of the last few hours toddling back and forth between observing. Can U S new album and watching the amazing new video. As for in new course on the ten percent happier app. We ve got this new course up its. I have in my opinion, one of, if not the best courses- oh we ve ever done it takes, All of these, never before seen behind the scenes moments from the meditation tore the Jeff worn, and I did not long go where we crossed the country and a big, silly bus and met
sort of wanna, be meditated and talked him to them about term about, their challenges, and it said all of this great behind the scenes, footage that we ve never released and also pairs it with incredibly use teaching on all sorts of issues from how to establish healthy habits, which is a huge problem for people dealing with you know who want to set up a meditation habit for finding time in your life to meditate. If Europe, a new parent creed. activity dealing with this dress of of of being really scheduled business. And also I you there are some really intimate and somewhat embarrassing moments where I talk about some, my own inner demons, so I've edge
really proud of the team who put this together. I love this course. It's it's really great and you can find it. the ten percent happier app if you're a subscriber and if you're not well about it. That's the best we are now to voice miles and before we do the voice, males, here's my usual caviar, which is that I am not a meditation teacher nor a nor am I a mental health professional. Nor have I heard these voice males in advance. I do my best to answer as a journalist and fellow rank and file meditate her- so here we go. Here's voicemail number one idea, Alan calling from LOS Angeles thanks so much for the work that you do. I recently started many feeding of found. Your part cast conversations with gas In writing. My question it's in your experience with battle.
The pressure or anxiety if you have found that process of carbon Behavior authority help far how's the it's going through your day and identifying when to just note and be mindful of the thought: circling it for your head, verses using fee he's here and I'm taking the time to stop and analyze the thoughts and challenged the negative assumption behind them. Think so much space, so cognitive behavioral there for those who were for the uninitiated is a type of. I think I'm saying that regulates the type of psychotherapy type of mental health treatment. I have not really done it so really well equipped to talk about it in detail, but I think I can generally speaking, answer your question, which is if they are.
But to try to and no floundering. So correctly. What is it you know in in meditation practice? You are noting your thoughts, none edge mentally and letting them go. So you might note you might have a flurry of self judgement. I have a lot of that in my practice. You know you suck at this. How come you can stay with the breath? Why you so sleepy blah blah blah and so you might noted as judgment and then let it go. That's generally how meditation practices taught in C B. T ended traditional therapy, which you are encouraged to really analyze? The thoughts which is a united GO serve very much related to mindfulness in and it can be powered by mindfulness. but it also employs upon
or the brain that in meditation were not emphasising so much witches analysis and meditation. We're emphasising places in my experience were emphasising gesture. The raw data of your senses, as opposed to getting stuck in and even that term I just at getting stuck in your thinking, processes So I actually think the answer for me walking around in my daily life when I'm off the cushion so to speak, is not back which, as you know, were in actual meditation Probably not gonna do a lot of analyzing of the type of thinking. I'm doing. Maybe I old. Maybe if something you know a really is seemingly useful, incite, has arisen about that. Quality and frequency of my thought patterns. May there will analyse it begins. speaking. You know my training is. I just note that I'm thinking maybe note the kind of thinking
judging anger whatever and then going back to my breath or whatever it is. It's my primary object of meditation, but off the coast. I think, actually the analysis is very helpful and this is where meditation can be known can lead you to be, a better human being to be much nicer, you yourself and others, which is that who can notice if you're just walking around that you have this habitual pattern, say of judging people based on how they look at the big one, people on their skin color. On on your guesses about there. Socio economic status. On on their gender and and that's it? the interesting thing to notice and I think, a cognitive. You nothin analysis about why you're thinking. These ways can sort of decoupled you for
your conscious biases and unconscious in the kind of stories you're habitually telling yourself. So I think that's a perhaps on skilful way of saying to me, I don't see a conflict and it can be a little. I can imagine where or get confusing in terms of how to deal with your thinking processes during meditation. But when you're in meditating in Europe, is trying to be as my fullest possible in the rest of your life. I actually think that's a great time too, to bring to bear. the skills that we learn and either traditional therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, so there may be mental health experts out there who were screaming at their at me right now, because I've messed up that answer, but I I think I think I've given you the right answer, but somebody else should lead me. A voice mail. Tell me if I screwed up,
Ok, voicemail number, two. They big fan you and SAM Harris, your brother from another mother, where the primary influences for me to start in meditation practice couple years back in two and a half years later, I have a regular daily practice. So thanks for that too, somewhat related questions. First, when speak about mindfulness meditation. You tend to describe it as focusing on him, and then, when you get distracted, does noticing and coming back to the breath, it seems to me based on my reading of Buddhism and my meditations. That's almost or of a concentration practice that you're describing than a mindfulness practice wondering if you speak up at all about the kind of next step mindfulness practice, maybe a kind of expanding their awareness to notice whatever Iraq's financing and not just the breath and coming back to it. second question. I'm curious in your study.
Buddhism if you'd come across a practice called chipped Anup I know you, I became her mind ass, which is a direct, it is of the passenger practice, but I come across Teachers have recommended me at the time who pass in practice, which I think is something along the lines of weariness of awareness itself, which extremely confusing, so just curious, if you know about that, and if he could speak to that and the differences between that and the personal thanks again. Okay, well there's a theirs, but they're. So on the first question: yes, when I talk about the meditation for beginners, I really try to whittled down to its basics, which is set with your eyes closed. If, if you know what I've your eyes closed, you can get more,
a little bit if you want and try to bring your full attention to the feeling of your breath coming in and going out and then when you get distracted start again and and then again and again, because you will get distracted a million times and that's not a problem. more failure- that is just the nature of the mind and the whole game of meditation, is to know When you come distracted and start again and wise that a victory failure, it's a victory, because when you see how crazy you are. You are less likely to be owned by it. So you are correct when, when you say that when I described the basic instructions from meditation, it can come off as just a concentration practice by which you are training, mostly our ability to stay on on task, which is to stay with your breath. The repeated exercise trying to focus on one thing at a time getting, a sturdy again getting lost story again boost your ability to concentrate,
There is an end again, I know I do this a lot of nerve apologizing for my lack of experience and I wanted to good again because I can only speak from. I am not united admit, said a million times and adaptation to directly sort of regarding paid to the best of my memory. What I've been taught but there is a lot of mindfulness in that a So what it's in the moment that you see you ve become distracted. You see? What's distracted you and you let it go that is, and by let it go. I mean you just you don't get sucked up into adored You actually may notice you ve already been sucked up into whatever story, your time, are yourself in that moment or whatever pain in your boy. You're feeling and then the stories you're telling about the paid in the body, but seeing all that, seeing how the mine works in those moments that you
are sucked out into a story, and it feels a certain way just seeing that can create the other big skill of meditations, others, concentration and then there's mindfulness and unmindfulness is the skill of knowing what's happening in your mind, right now, without getting carried away by it and so even in those basic basic instructions, barriers this other skill of mindfulness. But then, of course, do you know very quickly? even in an early meditation practice, you move beyond the basic and structures that are, as I often recount them, men and bear in mind the reason why I were count them. The way I do is just because I'm often talking very trying to rapidly described the practice to large groups of uninitiated people. So that's why talk by the way I do, but the other move that a lot of meditation teachers will tell you to do it,
early practices, if you're getting distracted with you when you're getting distracted by something persistent like power, a motion or a feeling in your body of restlessness or discomfort there, the movies to turn into that too, to make that the object, that's the technical term. The get way to say it is the focus of your meditation meditate on that soap. Hey it's a pain in your knee. You might just hurt her instead of focusing on your breath, which may be difficult to get a really strong pain in your knee. Bring your full into the feeling of that pain in your knee and there's a lot to be learned there. That would wear that can build your mindfulness muscles. You will see that the pain is constantly shifting in moving that. The lesson of that is that every is impermanent. Nothing is solid and everlasting
you will also see that the mine tells all sorts of stories about the painting unique. I got this just to get worse, and I'm never gonna be able to do this and actually never to be of an amended be there for me, never going to get the medal skills that I need in order to succeed, and then I'm going to live under a bridge. So that's a mental process known as punch. which is the sort of moviemaking we do that usually ends up and a very accurate and a horrific ending. All of this is again falls. Under the category of mindfulness, which is again is the scale of what's happening in your mind, without getting carried away by it, being able to see your various mental processes without being owned by them without necessarily taking debate and acting on them. Just because you experience anger, doesn't mean you need to act on it, so yeah I think the great question- and I hope I have made clear- why I generally described the beginning structures the way I do, but I think aid
a lot of mindfulness baked. Writing them properly interest and be there are moves. One can make that are not. You know, dramatic variations of those of those basic instructions that will really take it from a pure concentration practice to appear on this practice, but I think also one thing last thing to say: is that each important? You? U it hard too much mindfulness. If you have no concentration, show its importance in the early days of meditating to really build you're some men, EL stability so that you can get you get it. sense of what, going on in your head with some clarity and then that allows you to to break it down and see how it enjoying in and see how it is done,
produces this serve proliferating, thought process and all the things that we do under mindfulness, which you know it kind of self awareness that really can chew It's the way you relate to the world. The second question I can give a short answer Duke I've never heard of that term. I did briefly. While you were what was the term again, it was she Tawny, Passanha, which definitely sounds like a buddhist term. I had never heard it before I quickly like did it rapid Google, while you were talking, and I do it's. A aid is translated as contemplation on the mind, so I can say a little bit about contemplation of the mind. I don't know A welfare state is because I've never really talk about it before, but
Much of what we do in meditation is is were paying attention to objects. Will we call option in meditation, so usually will one very common object is the breath, but also we can pay attention objects, like emotions and physical, sensations, too that's generally the the the whose wherein in meditation, we're looking at something, and in that there's a kind of duality. It's us looking at some thing, the the up, a very interesting move to make him meditation is too turn the lens around and look at. What is the mind that is knowing these things. So what exercise that my teacher Joseph Goldstein often recommends which I found to be incredibly useful and interesting, is closure.
as an listen to all the sounds that are available to you that are honorable to you right now and then ask yourself what is here and where is the court on quote me whose hearing everything and you will find anything, because it's nothing and that not finding is a really interesting, and healthy process, so the argument goes- and I found it to be very much So much of you you, you are bumping up against a fundamental mystery of the universe, which is the mystery of consciousness. we know that the lights IRAN for us. We know that we are aware of. whenever we are aware of right now that of the hearing, my voice or seeing whatever's in front of you, if you have site, feel
your body in whatever position it happens to be in right now. We know that we are that that we are evening. Data from various senses. What we don't know in what scientists have never been a figure out is who or what is knowing it, and that is so that for me, the contemplation of the mind, incredibly interesting thing on many levels and one of the other things it doesn't aside from being interesting, intellectually, is that it can overtired of bread. down this sense of solidity, we have around ourselves and this fiction really on one level, this fiction of the self. You know one level. Of course we have a son. we have to put our pants on in the morning in and make dense deployments, etc, etc. But on some deep, the level there isn't really a solid self in there and seeing that fiction can sort of get you to declare a little bit, because that fiction of
There is some you in there that you need to defend and protect all the time can can help. You live with a little bit more ease man with good questions as well again like. I really wish. I really hope I didn't grew them up. If you want to call it asked me the questions that I struggled to answer you should the number is available in the show notes of this podcast, so you can just poke around Little bit in there and there's a phone number call Lee me voice miles and early message asked me a question or tell me how badly of screwed up the answers to the foregoing questions. Are it? Thank you very much for that. I really appreciate it. Let's get to this his guest, Stephanie Circus. I really enjoyed this. We did it. Actually. This is one of the rare ones where we did it remotely. She is she based in Florida and she she called in we don't usually do that. But I really wanted to have her unchecked and Stephanie,
is a specialist in the treatment of attention, deficit, hyperactivity, disorder, ADHD or a dvd is sometimes called she's written a bunch of books on it. She I also treats children, adolescents and grown ups with the condition she writes for psychology today in the Heavens, a post, she also works of patients with anxiety and autism, so she scuttle alive. To say and a lot to say about how meditation has helped her with with attention issues and how it might help you, whether you have full blown aid. hd or just like the rest of us struggle to stay focused on any one thing at a time. So here she is Stephanie Circus. So here's my traditional first question: how did you get into meditation? I was doing research on now medication treatments rate hd and saw them
The data show that really, how do they need she's in them? I started recommending it to my clients and then I started doing it and cause I've ADHD and its helped pretty much everybody that I've worked with so pretty powerful stuff I usually do more mindfulness stuff, because people ADHD I like only you can meditate wired, do things that seem to be a more ADHD friendly, sit say more about that has a bit people listening may not know too much about different kinds of meditation so mindfulness meditation your meditating, while you're doing things, for instance, eating mindfulness practice cuz you just sit and focus on your food, you don't do anything else. You turn off the tv. You don't look at your phone and read the paper. You just spoke your food, you to your food, is usually about twenty bites spur, but for people I work with ADHD. I do morally like ten or fifteen years, and people I found that They are eating less food and still feeling satiated or fall
They are also gravitate towards healthier proteins and fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, because when you Jim, is focusing on your food sunrise. People realised through their eating. They don't really like. Silliest are changing up, but there eating and they start eating healthier, asserts its pretty powerful huge problem. For me, I've admitted for a minute. You know for a while- and I mindless lead all the time, but we will talk about that later, because I want to stay on you for a second, but me, just in terms of mindfulness meditation, you can do it while you're doing things, you can do anything mindfully, but you can also do it in a seated formal eyes, closed practice, which I how can you do it right? as very versatile, like that, you can do in any type of format, Spacefleet focusing on the breath and Helen Exhale, and then, when you get lost, which you will a million times start over right you just let the thoughts pass and then you keep going show. how long did you start doing it? I also probably Ten fifteen years ago I said
we're doing and start looking as a treatment for people of ADHD and also depression, anxiety and the region. Four ADHD came out prowling about the last five years or so the lot data accumulating about the effectiveness of it so and it's one of the things got a real high return. Investment near you take just to have, I've ten minutes how to your day and you can get beneficial effects. In fact, even changing your. Our brain structure in your brain chemistry, just by meditating, so tell me about the effect on you. I won't let me start with when we start by budget pulling back for a second. Define ADHD sure, hd. I is an issue with inhibition or behaviour and also motivation. So in your frau loves your brain, you have the executive functions and those are thing organizing thinking ahead, planning cognitive flexibility, in other words, changing up what you're doing and also hyper
because can be an issue of ADHD. So when you have ADHD, your executive functions are impaired, so you have difficulty wisting organised, have difficulty with em decision making maybe spending too much money, have issues with being so focus that you some I'll call, your name. You even realize, what's going on Oh that's. What looks like me of ADHD, so that's the frontal lobe dysfunction until you had in dealing with this your whole life and yet and would like what flavour of it, because You said there. There are a lot of ways, can manifest. sure yeah I have the combined type, so the inattentive type is is more forgetfulness losing items difficulty with motivated the hyperactive impulsive type is interrupting. It's feeling like you have to be on the go, all the timely you don't have an inner kind of com
and so what I have, as is the type that you are both. So the combined type inattentive am hyperactive. Impulsive, too great tastes, the two great together. I would imagine it's alive, a fine yeah. It's a lot of finally emerged. So so what how did it? How did it show up for you? I was out disruptive. Was it in your life because you Europe, like a big time. You know, author and and and therapists, so it couldn't have messed up too badly run, well first, my mom was a special and teacher. My dad was an attorney says: behaviour modified from an really early age, and I cannot argue for later curfew. I think my peers. Gave me enough structure but also give but a freedom? So I think that kept me on track for, while, when I Thus it is did. I know said I was thinking differently, other people's going to college, so my friends was set therein and study for three hours straight and I no idea how they were doing this. I was wandering around the library,
memorize all the stacks of books in graduate school I took classes are really enjoy, but I could not sit through them. Had a deal bored out, my professor, that I can get up and leave anytime. I wanted to and just walk around and come back and sit. So that's when I realize that you, if I'm going to class for three hours, I really like I'm having a hard time sitting still maybe it's time to go, get treatment for so that was about and housing as twenty three I got dying asteroids tat sounds, I was being somewhat facetious when I said how bad could it be sounds like it was it's pretty bad I can be young people they ADHD. They not only have a higher rate of anxiety, but they also a higher rate of depression and suicide as well. I am even sleep disturbances with ADHD, so small, encompassing disorder and impacts, school and impacts work home I have social, just even how you interact with the
around, you makes a huge different, and so how did that show up for you to use? It was anxiety. Depression were those problems. I've always kindly I've always been a little bit of an anxiety person die from reading her book. I I kind of understood what you were talking about you that you had come this underlying current of anxiety, so I relate to that. Luckily, I think that kept ADHD in check because when you have anxiety, your inhibition in your brain can shuts off your impulsivity stuff, a little bit so I think that that kind of help me in shock and again parents that watch me like a hawk help to so was when I really had to do multitasking and sending out my study schedule and keeping my own place clean organizer. That's when I started to kind of hit a wall with things, because I was able to compensate up to a certain point? Then it wasn't covering the anymore. What impacted the meditation have on you.
what it does is, I know, so saw a basin at twenty Threerd gonna medication. A Mueller medication. I noticed that my medication actually works better when I meditate, so I started meditating, probably about a year or two after Sir medication I have noticed that I'm I'm a hammer picker like I pick it my cubicles, and I don't do that anymore. I know you can't see me on camera, but I can actually you can I can see you yes, the listeners, but for some reason this is the first time I've done a remote interview where I can actually see you. You can't see me super creepy, but I can see that sir yeah. So these are gaseous, so I dont think of them anymore. I have also found that I am more likely to stop and think about something before I say it so much occasional, doesn't take care of all your ADHD day. Yoke is you're still somewhat adhd, I would say, probably decrees made hd by about sixty percent. So they remaining forty percent, that's where I have to kind of monitor
make sure that I'm thinking about something for I do it or that I'm really focus on driving and especially of your medication, whereas often the ADHD can it comes back with a vengeance. Sometimes, so I've noticed that when I meditate I too, on this day more at the present moment, because only of ADHD, you, you know that concept, a monkey, brain and meditation when you have it. each day. It's like you super monkey brain you ve got thoughts flying in an out and meditation makes us today. you only have a few thoughts coming in and out, rather than a whole bunch of them at the same time, but does it make meditation itself harder? I yeah. Turkey's that's usually recommend mindfulness meditation, because when I talk to people about doing Don't go Santer meditation die de I foresaw with ADHD to sit or lay down is kind of its really kind of difficult for people the concept of mindfulness, where you could be walking meditating or eating meditating or cooking
attaining that. Has that more appeal for people What I'm nurse and my people do meditation meditation when they of ADHD, if they can six or about three Team in sessions are pretty good to go and I ll stick with a long time, but other as a mindfulness practices, really helped again. The idea that you can move round which is kind of the whole the whole thing with ADHD is at need to move so mindfulness again that kind of caters to that kind of Susan peace, so are you able to do extended seated meditation a part of your daily life identities. Mindfulness part? I have done seated meditation. I is Turkey because again, yet, if I'm on medication, it's is a totally different fora meditation than when I'm off when I'm on medication, I can sit and meditate this the color again cortical standard way for appeal, Frida time off medication, not so easily.
Can. Usually, I can do it for, like maybe five ten minutes with the mindfulness pray, does I can do that with or without medication works pretty? Well, How do you go on and off medication? so where's out of your system. So when you take a stimulant medication. If you take the long acting kind of last all day, they usually wears off levy, take at eight a dot m wears off around three or four p, dot M, so dumb, What do the whole time so as soon afterwards, you're still ADHD, when your medication wears off so medication makes it so that your neurons communicate more effectively in the frontal lobe of your brain. So when you're off medication and your neurons kind of go back to business as usual, and it's tricky to really focus, meditation when you don't have medicine Just a that's been my experience anyway. I've always been confused as somebody who doesn't have ADHD why you would put somebody on a stimulant because you'd like ADHD, mean ages, hyperactivity, Ryan, how doesn't make sense when you think of the term stimulants
stimulus, actually stimulate the neurons to communicate more effectively. So that's where the whole stimulant piece comes in, but yeah. It is kind of an odd name to give something to someone that you want them to calm down haven't come a misnomer in a lot of ways, but yeah it in house boost For me, a nor pan African in your brain and when you are, you have ADHD or low those brain chemicals, so it helps get those chemicals backup to kind of where they should be I said I don't have ADHD, but maybe I don't know I never got tested. I will say that I was bad student and high school definitely have troubles link still to this day, and you know when I have a big project like writing a book or a writing, a big story fur. night line. I knew I work at US standing desk both at home and at the office. I got a lot of trouble. You no kind of staying focused on things, but I know you know people say all the time,
What kind of a modern trope even that people say? You know observer ADHD. It's become a little like almost a throwaway thing that people say design themselves. How do you know when somebody actually as it or whether there just you know, having trouble focusing on as a guard garden variety level shirk as we? I have sent us of anxiety, depression ADHD at some point, our allies, but it's when it gets to the point where, with aid each day that your profile, France is a matching our ability there's a gap between in their so You have a one hundred and sixty iq, but you got B's and C's of school are not working or potential that you really enjoy what you do for a living, but you just can't seem to put it together until you have to write stories on time or you. Fine when you're talking your spouse, that you're not fully listening to them is created com, looked at home, so it's where there's a really impacts quality of life again when there is a gap between what you should be able to do and what you're doing. And if you look at bay,
function when you have ADHD. Your brain is about two thirds that someone without aid issues urban rural development and and basically what I mean by that- is that when you have ADHD you, sometimes are one two. Three years younger behaviour, wise in your chronological age, serve work and live, and while I am working with someone, that's twenty in college, it's more like their fifteen or sixteen in college or so So that is so. You may find that sometimes, when you're talking to people ADHD, that seems like there the younger, and you can't really can figure out why it may be brain development. So that your neurologist artists connected as someone without each day does not make sense, to the extent that I am able to understand, but much more work. rotation read up. It is with break brought to you by indeed used by over three million businesses for hiring where business nurse and each hour professionals can post job opening.
with screen of questions, then, sir, review and communicate with candidates from an online dashboard learn more at indeed, dot com, slash higher There's a lot coming at you right now, turmoil, tweets and insane about of shatter, I'm bread milky with ABC News, and I am here to throw you a lifeline. It'll do podcast called start here or our exports give you on ground access to the biggest stories of the day. We're gonna give you some context, some clarity among the chaos twenty minutes every week day subscribed now, apple podcast or wherever you get your broadcasts and start here too, or mostly with adults right. I do acknowledge age on tat and how widespread phenomenon do you think this is and in what about the complaints that we often hear that this is it's over diagnosing the been there handed out at all like candy sure?
it's all. It's about four point: four percent of people in the? U S and I think that's about seventeen million people and as far as it being overdiagnosed, to get asked out a lot and it's actually under diagnosed there's a study that came out a couple years ago. That said, that only ten percent of people that think they are, those of ADHD. Only ten percent them come to see a mental health professional for diagnosis. So that means a ninety percent of people. Eighty hd tend not to get treatment will be diagnosed with it and it was two six times higher rate of substance abuse without treatment can leave higher suicide rate lead to you just again this loss of potential this this chronic feeling of I should be we'll do more, but I, but I can't and the way just it just to amplify the point you are making before, as I suspect, a lot of you or listening this and trying to figure out like ok, do I fallen this bucket? the way to really sort of figure,
or one one gauge for you is. Is there a big dealt a big gap between what your capacity is and where and what you're performances right like an school did you get comments are report card like doesn't work to potential differ well, they staying in seed doesn't work. expectations doesn't complete assignments. Did you go blank when you took Tass Those are some of the things you look for our report cards when you and to the work field? Doesn't complete, worked ass, doesn't complete ass to ability follow multi step directions. Those are some of the things you ll see on performance evaluations that maybe a tip off ADHD, so give us very good Why wasn't? I say, people on tv news. The lot of em have ADHD because you tend to be gravitate towards jobs that are high pressure. I stress because people with add you beautifully when whence a crisis situation, the data to living as unloading lawyer dishwasher that drives me crazy, so you'll see
people in and working hours. You'll see people that our fire fighters you'll see. People are salespeople, so, yes, people that does really thrive under pressure slats, another tip off that you may have ADHD is if you, if you really seek that kind of stimulation from your environment, you set it up. So you have to read you book. You able to do some sort of sort. Diagnosis on me on me these before we Santa we are what we tell our lot when I picked up. First you're in tv news, my undergrad degrees and telecom. So I was gonna work at CNN and wound up in a therapist, but I notice that in the news field, you see a lot of people running around doing stuff and you have to do things that the union as a split second and people. Ladies, do beautifully was that the maps We amazing so as I have noticed that also you are using the mega video hd, I would have to evaluate you
sir, but you would say I would be a candidate for evaluation yeah come down the Tampa you and I we can talk yeah. I can you have a hard time sitting still and yes, so it's I thumbs things. I picked up on that be now that, like us idea, you also said Europe will become a low level of anxieties, could be a little bit that could be up STAR surgeon, bring your book and on our diet, for all some of the stuff had a flavour of ADHD to it, yet again, we all those symptoms, but the factor and tv news causal tip off here, my my wife, is an academic physician and she has done What was how these issues too much? I don't know how much you want me to say, but let me just say that church she chose for a while to go. into intensive care work where she In the I see you, a lot of that was about the adrenaline right exactly. I see a lot of
people they re actually working. I see you so so. when you work with your patience- and you say when you drop the m- were you say: hey I'm gonna. I would recommend you meditate did these people who have been dealing with ADHD? Look at you, like your crazy, like there's. No way could ever do that. I get that for about thirty people. One or people are like mummies. now can I meditated like and two seconds for now. Then I get people a little bit quizzical about it, and I get one third of people are like no way An interesting I get people sometimes asked me well is this kind of against, like my religion and I'll say, what do you do any kind of prairie recite, because that's meditation you're already doing at any time, mature zoning out and just Hearing your saw, Bree, that's meditation, outdated ain't, afraid just to Smites, like Well, I would say the sewing in yeah yeah, exactly oh, I like them. I want to borrow there now try steel, yours absolutely still, I know attribution later.
So, yes, I I notice that the people have some quite about what exactly it is and then people at dead. I worked with sometimes say when I came to sit still for two seconds announcing that it's not about the sitting. Still it's about the focus. inhaling and sailing? That's that's it and people are surprise. No, that's the fun! The whole process of it is inhuman exhale. It's not the the laying still sitting still and people of aid Steve tend to light doing things really well the first time like the first time, they got a bad. They I a home, run the first summit the piano play like Mozart, personally meditate they want to reach Nirvana and totally empty the brain and I'll, tell him that there's even people meditating for years by an impossible, a totally empty their brain? That's not the point. So much is just focusing on inhale in exile and then, when you ve got to hear him. Yes, I'm I'm telling these people all the time is a point. I am saying this to
If all this and the point is that is he's not to reach some sort of special state. It is to be in the muck with the craziness of your own mind and to see it clearly. be without being yanked around by why's that useful, because in the rest of your life, when you're thinking, mind offers you up terrible ideas, you're, better able to earth them and not be owned by them right exactly exactly and the people who work with sometimes again, there are really high intensity, careers and and they'll say to me. But if I meditated I lose my edge one. I not farmers want to say no actually increases the increases, your Billy do your job effectively and that's really kind of mine belonging to them that you can do meditation and still be able to function at your job and actually perform better than you did before. People think there
I'm not gonna be go, go, go they're, not gonna, be an ambitious, aggressive, aggressive in them and then, and not between them and the produce of that. But actually step when you see wasting energy on useless distractions or useless manner and being act. By your emotions in your better able to stay on task, etc, etc? That is Oh a massive value. Add in terms of your professional rules right right, I think they're getting Kiowa Emma meditating Meditator, a smaller peace, the pie like their later there, shortening their skills and in fact I might well no makes a bigger pie and makes a bigger amount of green spaces, you can use to do what you want to do and again you're, not thinking too far in the past or to foreign, future you're thinking and just here now and your productivity increases a tremendous amount when you're really in the stuff you're in when you
focused on what you're doing you completely under percent focus. It's amazing how much more you can channel into your work. You access part, your your brain, I would argue not non scientific science, but you access parts, your brain, that you wouldn't have otherwise you put more of your. I guess your heart and soul into your work and makes a huge difference annual just doing that. One thing can change everything, so you work with college age on up a boat. We do you don't do any work with kids whatsoever, due to yeah. I work with kids of teenagers to and what would you say to parents who are really worried about their kids with ADHD in and how seriously should they be taking the option of meditation for kids in this context as that work, yes, it does actually there there's quite a bit a research out about teenagers and kids practicing
and mindfulness meditation that had actually can do some brain structure, differences and improves the the connections in the prefrontal cortex is founded, decrease in inflammatory agent in the body, so there's all sorts of things that when you start at an earlier age, you get more than benefits over time, instead found again just with kids. You just like with a dull sit, improves symptoms of ADHD anxiety and depression. How to get them to do it, though, while we start out really small as so, I teach you how to do inhale and exhale and the way Describe it as you inhale like your sniffing a flower, you exhale like you're, blind out camels and birthday cake, and so we, practice in somebody's. All of the kids lay on the ground, I'll put a stuffed animal in their tummy and malpractice diaphragm breathing. So when they inhale their stuffed, animal goes up and when they exhales dynamic goes down, so they have a visual of when they're doing deep, breathing the diaphragm breathing us so important, and so
and also use a bubble want for the real little ones to teach him. How do exhale, though I have a MAC sale blow out through the bubble, want recounted five and again they may not understand the concept of coming to five by then a visually how long five minutes are by by using a bubble want so lotta need visual accuse. You can use the over three rural duck that could work with him. so so just a person story. I recently finished writing a book with a code author. This amazing meditation teacher from Canada named Jeff Warren, he has sent through in the book, we. The first thing we did was before I started: writing was we took cross country, road trip and the goal of the trip was to meet people who want to meditate and to help them get over the various obstacles they face
of starting a practice, and so we went across the country in this big orange bus, and I really got to know Jeff very well and during that time he repeatedly reference the fact that he had eighty hd and had struggle with it. Since he was a kid and I You know I maybe it's because I we live in a culture where people described themselves as hd all the time I did. I didn't really take seriously pussy sees such an amazing meditation teacher. Just I didn't I didn't I just didn't land. Let's just say we started the writing process who really landed, and what are you know? he has. I thought ADHD meant that you just can't pay attention everything up and, as you said before, there's a whole kind of range or flavors of it for him but that he can't pay attention is that he gets overly focused Oh, did he's rabbit holes of so we being you know we be I use book, I'm like a man. This is a book for beginners and sceptics and he would want to talk about like deep and buddhist esoteric.
And we can all excited and the book would be a failure of. We didn't talk about what it blah blah blah. And I will be out we wanting to like throw myself at a window like, as I really respect him and we we almost killed each other over over this. It was just Over and over again, I would point out that he just you know, built this tree house in his mind and climbed up. Do it and lived in it for a while, and he would I recognise that, yes, he had done that and then ten minutes later he back in another trials, and it was. It was incredibly challenging thing. For me to deal with never mind how hard it was for him. Of course I do he thought son in all the stuff. I just blurted out sure yeah people they re. She don't think I'm linear fashion. They don't go a b c d. They go our cue to if they go all over the place and if you don't of ADHD me really hard to track. The kind of thought process especially when you're doing so has structured project. people ADHD, really how cigarette parameters put
place so France's Like chapter one. Ok, we're gonna knock out chapter one by next Tuesday, ok, after two. I need you do an outline for me by Wednesday. So It really helps to give people parameters that they can work under because is very difficult for people ADHD to come up with their own parameters there. Rules for four working, that they make sense. If so funny say that, because that actually ended up being the solution, when I imposed structure on him, he was able to do really well and in his defence, The non linearity of his thinking is big part of of his strength. He is a brilliant guy unable to connect ideas that here too, for war have been disconnected and he's unbelievably creative and energetic. So there are lots of upsides to his condition.
Able to channel that end to productivity. So that was a great idea. Given those parameters, Ewell was not. A great idea was born out of utter desperation. You know no is still a great idea, but anybody you know, I think, a lot of you. don't know that that ADHD can manifest in many different ways, yes and refocusing is one of em, so people well so nice get into a meditative stay and nothing will turn them away from it. They could have a fire, alarm going off and they don't hear it so one of those things about the regulation of the brain is it hyper focus is just as much a symptom of lack of focus, and so they hyper focus They can be helpful with dwindle, in meditation cause you can kind of channel yourself into it. But the trick is with ADHD. Is you have to want to do it to get hyper focused right
do you have to have that motivation to do it and motivations apartments off in ADHD, so it's kind of a catch twenty two either you want to do it, but you can't always motivate yourself to do it. but some of the books you written on the subject sure, yeah, I've written a book on non medication. Treatments for ADHD is called natural relief for adults, ADHD treatments to use with or without medication. That's all chapter, on meditation mindfulness talking about the research behind it are used Your friendly ways to do this, because again, your time on the esoteric a part of it, and I think that somehow people it needs to be broken down, language, we can all understand and easy to do techniques like against focusing and your breathing inhale for five exhale return and that's that's a practice of meditation. So another book Ten simple solutions to a dull eighty d and I write about meditation, also jobs that are ADHD. friendly as setting up structures schedule how to communicate effectively of their spouse or partner, because
Jack has to be a big issue to you: don't hire a divorce and people with ADHD so also a book on making the grade with a tv, that's on college and ADHD, so I'm chapter and mindfulness and meditation, and that and also talking about then, how do you set up your structure? Schedule you in high school? You have. You know where you're supposed to be seven hours of the day and european Skype call decision on shore for class, so now you're in college and nobody's reminding you to wake up for class nobody's telling you went to study and so a lot of people they did. She gonna hit the wall there, compensation techniques and that paramour that was put on them no longer exists, and it is really tricky for people to function. Does is you in your daily life being exposed to some other people. The same condition is that you full or or a challenge, Were you in terms of managing your own condition? it actually helpful, because I think I can meet people were there at a little bit better again medication helps
I think also. I can understand that non linear thinking, process and also help people channel it. I think that's where the biggest part like you are saying the parameters you you put on your co author again, Now. How do we set those parameters? Because your brain is? I want to go on those parameters, so how can you set up these? Can I can a blinders sort of horse blinders to stay, track of of completing here, That's a lot of what I do is help people get that structure in place and then get effective treatment and again one of those effective non medication, treatments does meditation Education overall, according to research, is the most effective treatment. Premeditation does have a lot of data behind it, as well as the most one of the most effective non medication treatments, but in then answer you talked about how having ADHD can help. You be a barrel, purpose. I just wonder, like me, exposed all of us all of the pathologies
We also dealing with your own. Does it make the challenging greater for you cause it's? This is still an issue in your life. Yeah I've. I found that it actually enriches parts of my life because I can see. I love working with people and I can see the other Ernie through life, in their progression, and that's me, It makes me appreciate wife more, I say: because I see the different past people have gone on in some way. A people have gone through cited Actually, I think, actually enhances my life rather than makes ADHD Kind, o, worse yeah, I guess does work whether in terms of you know, the challenges use continue to face as a result of having at each d what what are the one of them. Prominent once now, let's see showing up on time, so the S eyes stash over the studio a half hour early, so
but what Amazon HD as you ain't it yeah? Ok, I was here early stuff I had so what you do is you gonna overcompensate for staff, so oh sure, can a super early for things. and I get medication makes us live more likely to stay on time. As you do. You actually do more time estimation, the correctly when you are so oh but yeah shop, early for staff- or you know my friends, you know what I mean. We run a little late for things so a part of his just saying to people hey, I run a little late me other men. What time are we are late, so that So I think I notice also I lose stuff all the time. I was a little tile trackers. I have them on everything I own speech relic of stock and tile, because I have like eighty I think you know so I can find everything wherever it is. I'm gps trackers I also again meditation first thing in the morning: do that there's a mindful driving, so I focus on the steering wheel feels my hands. I focused on cues on the road
I am also holding a thought and think about it before I say it much you're. Gonna medication without medication got really make a concerted effort to think about. You're saying and if, if what you're saying actually what you mean to say whether the trickiest parts, in hd is what you're thinking of what comes out of your mouth me, two different things so so that gets Turkey to ya to monitor a little more so than say. That's probably, the big things. I notice and also get. I have a healthy dose of anxiety, so I kind of keeps to the ADHD a little bit more at bay. I think then, ten people that don't have anxiety with ADHD I could wave one right now and end quote on coal. cure your. Would you want me to do it, or would you say that? Actually you then there are. The benefits outweigh the costs. You know, that's that's, because there are some things that I really like like I tend to be pretty creative, and I tend to like doing a bunch of different
very tasks are you? Are you running on trips somewhere sure? Why not? You not think that about that? Stop by the parliament, thing to places on time that will become a nice if I could do kind of like a half in half like if I could just improve the stuff that you now like to improve and include the stuff I like, so I'm gonna answer that with yeah sir. things and not other things, to make things more complicated. I don't have that kind of want only have the one ah, so this has been great is there. I have learned a ton other questions that I should have asked you that I didn't ask you now. I think importers to let people know that then meditations accessible to everyone again. It's it's a really high return, your you need a spending money to do it, you can do it anywhere. Don't necessarily need someone teaching out to do it, and the benefits of it are according to research, and my total evidence is that its very effective so
as one of those treatments that for what you put into it, you get a lot more out of it and if people want to fight, Oh you do have a website or so from media that you do yeah Stephanie, Sarka, Stockholm, so S t ph an I e essay arc. may I ask dot com others also my twitter handle I'm also on Instagram Facebook, seventy circus and so there's a contact page on my website. If anyone has any questions for me, I'm happy to answer those discipline soup. you thought I really appreciate your time in your good humour and Europe, the punctuality. Thank you thanks. So much ok that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please take a minute to subscribe rate us also. If you want to suggest topics, you think we should cover or guests that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this
a calf Lauren, Efron, Josh cohesion and the rest of the folks here at a b c, who helped make this thing possible, we have tons of other projects, you can check them out at eighty. She knew tat, casts dot com. I'll talk to you next Wednesday. There's not a person in Amerika who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona virus pandemic, but it every community there are pockets of people, we're suiting up every day. This is my my day last day of the cylinder stretch of quotas from one of our time in these or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a homespun mom and now in a new plants from ABC News. You gonna hear from damage I actually went back to my office on cybercrime because it's not fair. He inherited sorry that our community has itself faintly moraine. This is the essential inside the from the
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