As someone with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), I’ve always had issues with staying still and focusing on one thing at a time.
During my childhood, when my hyperactive tendencies were at their most intense, I certainly would’ve skipped past any suggestion to sit down and meditate. There were far too many wonders in the world to waste time breathing like a lotus!
One of the beautiful things about having ADHD is that I’m neurologically wired to have a wide range of interests. My fascination with crystals began at a young age as I stared in awe at a huge spread of rocks and gemstones at the Natural History Museum. Since then, my own collection of crystals has piled up and gathered hours of my attention.
What is meditation and why is it beneficial?
To meditate on something means to focus on it. During meditation, the practitioner chooses where their focus is directed – be that their sensations, thoughts, an object or an activity.
Much like my ADHD brain, our modern society is filled with so much intrigue that it can be hard to focus on the present moment. With phones buzzing, social media booming, stresses rising and catastrophes looming, multiple distractions can pop up and derail us from being fully conscious of where we are now. This can have dire consequences for our ability to complete tasks, problem-solve, process emotions and enjoy life.
People have been meditating for millennia, and scientific research has shown that this ancient practice has immense benefits for our mental capacities and overall quality of life.
By training your brain to concentrate on one thing at a time, you can massively reduce your stress levels, be far more effective with your work, become more mindful of your thought processes and develop a deeper connection with your sense of self.
How can you meditate?
The practice of meditation often brings up imagery of stoic monks seated in uncomfortable positions with eyes closed and strange sounds humming through pursed lips. Although this method works for some, there are many other ways to meditate. Meditation is a personal practice and it can take some experimenting to find a method that suits you.
I’ve tried and tested a huge range of meditation styles, which can work well for different people during different periods of their lives. The trick is to tune into how you’re feeling and find what would benefit you most in that moment – a skill in itself that meditation develops a great deal!
Below is a brief outline of a few ways to meditate:
This form of meditation involves focusing on the present moment and what you are experiencing right now, such as the flow of your breath and the sensations in your body, while allowing thoughts to pass through your mind without becoming totally absorbed.
It is a great way to train yourself to be calmer and more aware of your inner and outer experience throughout the day.
If you’re a more auditory person, meditation which focuses on sound could be an effective way to train your mind. During this form of meditation, the practitioner chants different sounds, such as positive affirmations, prayers, mantras (sounds that are believed to have sacred power, such as the famous “Om” chanted by many Buddhists and Hindus), or any other sound that feels good in the moment.
There are thousands of guided meditations that can be accessed for free on various You Tube channels, apps and podcasts. These are a great option if you’re a beginner at meditating or struggling to focus, as you can easily relax and be guided through the practice by a calming voice. My favourite meditation podcast is by Tara Brach, who provides weekly guided meditations to develop mindfulness and self-compassion.
This style of meditation involves focusing on your spiritual connection, however that feels right for you. For example, you could focus on worshipping your deity, read sacred scriptures or pray with your own words, perform a ceremony or concentrate on the sacredness of your soul or any other life form. Spiritual meditation is a deeply personal practice that can strengthen your sense of purpose and belonging.
If you prefer to move around or are feeling physically active, meditation that involves focusing on your movements might suit you best. Tai Chi and Yoga are forms of moving meditation, which involve moving into various postures and focusing on your breath and body. You could also move your body through any style of dance or exercise you like, being fully engrossed in the sensations of your movements.
Humans are generally very visual creatures, and research has shown that the brain can’t distinguish between real or imaginary visions. During visual meditation, the practitioner focuses on either an imagined or real sight, such as a natural landscape, a particular colour or an object like a candle or plant. This method can greatly aid concentration and cultivate positive emotions associated with the vision you are meditating on.
How can crystals help with meditation?
My favourite way to meditate involves focusing on different crystals and my personal associations with them in order to improve my mindset.
As one of my interests, I’ve studied spiritual teachings around the vibrational energy of crystals and how these correspond with different energy centres in the body (often called chakras). This has helped shape my view of each crystal and the qualities they symbolise to me, such as peace, love and gratitude.
However, you don’t need to know or believe in these teachings for crystal meditation to work for you. Crystals come in a variety of colours, shapes and textures, and whatever you associate with these qualities is what can be focused on when meditating on your chosen crystal.
When I stare at my chosen rock of the day, as well as letting my eyes focus on its appearance and personal symbolism, I also like to repeat positive affirmations as I breathe to further enhance my focus. On the in-breath, I state the beliefs or feelings I would like to take in, and on the out-breath I state what I would like to let go of.
Below is a list of my favourite crystals, what they mean to me and the affirmations I state alongside them:
Lepidolite is a sparkly lilac crystal with a soft, gentle beauty that makes me feel calm and soothed. It reminds me to slow down any racing thoughts, appreciate the comforts I have now and be kind to myself.
“I move through life with grace and ease.”
“I let go of unnecessary worries and stress.”
This pastel pink crystal is associated with love in many different cultures. To me, love means connection and compassion towards oneself and others, and so this is what I focus on when meditating with rose quartz.
“I am connected to myself and others through love and compassion.”
“I process and release my losses from the past.”
This dark navy stone with tiny flecks of glitter reminds me of the stars twinkling in outer space. It helps me feel grounded to the Earth, grateful for all that nature provides and in awe of the universe.
“I trust the universe to provide for all of my needs.”
“I let go of feelings of lack or inadequacy.”
Also known as fool’s gold, pyrite is a glamorous golden rock that symbolises good luck and fortune. When I’m feeling negative about my life or career, I like to focus on this crystal to generate a more optimistic outlook.
“I attract opportunities and good fortune into my life.”
“I release any expectations of misfortune.”
This clear blue crystal reminds me of a calm sea. The colour blue is also associated with the throat chakra, where the energy of communication is said to be centred, and so I focus on blue obsidian when I want to develop my communication skills.
“I express myself openly, honestly and authentically.”
“I let go of any fears of speaking my truth.”
As a glassy, transparent rock, clear quartz makes me think of clarity and purity. When I’m feeling overwhelmed by scary or unhelpful thoughts, meditating with this crystal helps me gain a more peaceful perspective.
“I think clearly and calmly in the present moment.”
“I cleanse my mind of any unhelpful thoughts or distractions.”
Crystal meditation has worked wonders for my ADHD, helping me to manage and improve many of the challenges of this form of neurodivergence. Whether or not you have ADHD, finding a method of meditation that suits you and practicing regularly can greatly improve your ability to focus and create the life you desire through the power of your mind.