People often confuse dyslexia with low IQ. They are made fun of for being “dumb” and “stupid”. But that’s the worst kind of stereotype that you can mistake for truth. The fact is that dyslexia isn’t related to intelligence at all. People with this neurological condition are just as bright as the next person. It is an issue with comprehending and processing phonology. It can manifest in several different ways. It’s a learning disability and primarily affects your reading, writing, and spelling abilities. A person who has dyslexia may have a problem with identifying speech sounds. They may also need help associating a certain letter with its sound or how to spell a word correctly.
At least 1 out of 10 people have dyslexia, according to statistics. Furthermore, 780 million people globally have dyslexia, of which 40 million are Americans. Unfortunately, there is no cure for dyslexia, and it is a lifelong condition. However, with the proper support, intervention, and guidance, people with dyslexia can improve their reading and writing skills. There are many ways to manage dyslexia that will be extremely helpful if you or someone you know has this condition.
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How Can Mindfulness Help People With Dyslexia Manage Stress?
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in what’s happening around you in the present moment without any interruption or distraction. Therefore, being mindful is one of the best dyslexia coping skills you can develop. Here are some ways mindfulness will benefit you in the long run:
1. It Regulates Emotions
When you are mindful, you recognize the emotions you feel now. By doing so, you will be able to grasp and process it better instead of letting it bottle up inside you and do more significant damage. For example, don’t react hastily if a kid in school makes fun of your condition. Be mindful and process your resentment more positively.
2. Mindfulness can Improve Concentration
When you force your mind to be present, it enhances your focus and concentration. This will help you in sticking to a particular task. Let’s say you are writing something, and you let your mind wander off. You need to be mindful here. You can only finish your writing work if you are mindful and pay attention to the words you are penning down.
3. It Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Mindfulness techniques like yoga, deep breathing, guided imagery, and transcendental meditation have been known to reduce anxiety, stress, and agitation that come along with being dyslexic.
Different Types of Mindful Practices
Different types of mindful practices can be done individually or combined to avail its full benefits. Here are a few of them that you can start practicing to cultivate awareness, focus, and a sense of presence:
1. Meditation and Mindful Breathing
All kinds of meditation, Taoist meditation, Zazen, Vipassana, and Pranayama involve sitting or lying down, focusing on your breathing process. You must focus on a specific thing or an object by repeatedly chanting a mantra like “I will follow my bliss” or “I create my own path”. You must mumble it silently while training your mind to stay present and aware.
In addition to meditation, you also have to focus on your breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Notice the sensation of breath exhaling and inhaling through your nostrils. All of these things help you to be alert and mindful.
2. Mindful Eating
Studies have constantly reminded us that eating right is crucial, irrespective of whether you are healthy or unhealthy, mentally strong, or going through a depressive episode. When eating, pay close attention to the food’s taste, texture, and smell. Eat less, but eat healthy food items. Savor every bite and try to form a deeper connection with your body.
3. Guided Imagery
Guided imagery is when you concentrate on positive images, thoughts, and scenarios. It’s one of dyslexia’s best practices to do when you feel stressed. You can create a mental image of a peaceful place. Furthermore, you can listen to some light music.
Tips for Practicing Mindfulness
Here are some tips to help you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life:
- Start with just a few minutes of mindfulness each day. You can slowly increase the duration as you become more comfortable.
- Be consistent and establish a daily routine at the same time and place.
- If you need help figuring out where to start, begin with mindful breathing. Pay attention to your breath as you inhale and exhale. When your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to your breath.
- These days, there are plenty of apps on the internet that you can download. They offer many tips and exercises that you can follow to practice mindfulness.
- Take a few moments each day to reflect on things you are grateful for. This cultivates a positive mindset and encourages mindfulness.
- Be patient with the process. Everything takes time, so don’t be discouraged by a busy mind; it’s a natural part of the process.
- Lastly, show gratitude as it makes you celebrate the present. Take a few moments daily to reflect on what you are grateful for. It could be something as simple as having a roof over your head or having food on your plate.
Dyslexia Stress Management Techniques
How do you manage dyslexia? Managing stress related to dyslexia often involves developing effective time management, organization, and study skills. Here are some techniques tailored to address these areas:
Time Management Strategies
- Prioritize tasks: If a particular task makes you feel exhausted, try to break them into smaller tasks. This will make it look like it’s easy. First, prioritize the urgent ones and then move to the next task.
- Try time-blocking: Allocate specific time blocks for different tasks or activities. This will help create a structured routine and ensure that essential tasks are noticed.
- Set realistic goals: Set achievable goals for each day. Ensure you keep your schedule manageable, as it may demotivate you.
- Minimize multitasking: Focus on one task simultaneously to enhance concentration and productivity. Multitasking can be overwhelming and lead to increased stress.
- Supportive environment: Create a supportive environment by keeping your workspace or study space organized. A messy workspace will only cause more anxiety.
- Use visual aids: Visual tools like color-coded calendars, mind maps, and charts can help you organize information.
- Develop a routine: Establish a daily routine to create a sense of stability. Knowing what to expect can reduce anxiety and enhance overall organization.
- Try multisensory learning: Dapple in your multiple senses while learning. Use auditory, visual, and touch to learn new things. For example, try to read loudly, draw diagrams related to that topic, and use material you can touch.
- Practice active reading: Take notes, highlight key points, and summarize information in your own words. You don’t have to stick to the exact words in the book. Try to understand the information and then write it in your own words.
- Have a study group: Collaborate with peers in study groups. Try to explain concepts to others. This will reinforce your understanding.
How to Cope with Dyslexia-Related Anxiety and Depression
How do you manage mental health when you have dyslexia? The first thing you need to do is seek therapy . There is no shame or stigma in asking for professional help. Therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) will help you fight negative thoughts with positive ones. It will also help you develop positive thinking patterns as coping mechanisms for depression and anxiety.
In addition to that, be compassionate and kind toward yourself. Refrain from blaming yourself for not understanding or misspelling certain words. It happens to every single one of us. You have to be self-compassionate. Understand that dyslexia doesn’t define your worth, intelligence, or self-esteem. Try to journal your thoughts or have a recorder to vent out instead of keeping things to yourself. That will do more damage than good.
Educate yourself on this topic, and you will know that you are not alone. Learn more about dyslexia. Understand this condition and its challenges. Empower yourself and those around you. You must also know that dyslexia doesn’t limit your talents and abilities. Consider your unique strengths: creativity, problem-solving skills, and out-of-the-box thinking. Embrace and nurture these strengths.
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You will be surprised that America’s most loved sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston, has dyslexia. From Muhammad Ali to Keira Knightley, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein had dyslexia. If dyslexia didn’t stop them from flourishing in their lives, then believe that it won’t become an obstacle in your life. Each individual is unique. You can be brilliant and still have this condition. You must understand how you learn and process information differently from the person beside you. Check out Beem for all your health and wellness-related queries.