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Mindfulness for teens – The art of concentrating on one thing!

Living as a teenager can be challenging. Of course, the responsibilities start to line up. With the use of technology and social media, they need to impress society. This lifestyle makes most teens lose their genuine selves and motivates them to build a fake image to maintain a persona. They eventually forget that they are maintaining an image, and this becomes their reality. For example, when they share a post on Facebook, they concentrate on how it looks and how many likes that they will get. But, they never think about the actual surroundings. They mimic that they are full of happiness and joy. But, they do not actually experience it. This results in life and connection to the present fade, and that is why they need to have a clear mind escalates. Mindfulness for teens helps them feel connected to the present, lessen stress, and conquer anxiety. 

What is Mindfulness for teenagers, and why mindfulness training for teens?

Mindfulness means the state of mind that permits you to be present. It lets you realize and recognize your life as it is. Mindfulness activities for teens can help them achieve this Mindfulness. They help teens concentrate on what is actually happening, identify their feelings, and enjoy life as it is.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 7.1% of children of age 3-17 years, 4.4 million are diagnosed with anxiety. 3.2% of children of age 3-17 years (approx. 1.9 million) have depression, while 7.4% of 3-17 aged children (approx. 4.5 million) have a behavior problem. These numbers prove why mindfulness-based stress reduction and Mindfulness for teenage anxiety and depression are essential. 

How do I teach my teen mindfulness?

As parents, guardians, or teachers, we can bring young people to practice Mindfulness, or the “purposeful, nonjudgmental awareness.” 

It might not be easy!

o not worry! Your efforts will pay off. 

So, the following will be a guide for you on how to explain Mindfulness to a teenager.

Model Mindfulness

 We cannot show teenagers the benefits of a mindfulness practice without modeling it ourselves. This does not mean we always need to be exemplars of contented bliss. Instead, we must demonstrate our ability to manage stress and respond, not react to setbacks. 

If we really need students to take mindfulness seriously, of course, they need to see it in action. 

What is in it for Them?

 Teenagers most probably find Mindfulness as entirely irrelevant to their busy, connected lives. That is why you need to show the impact of being mindful of them. Share some research findings, such as how students who meditate before an exam perform better than students who do not. Also, mindfulness practice can improve concentration, and mindfulness-based interventions can reduce anxiety, stress, depression, etc. 

Teach them About Mindfulness and the teenage brain.

Adolescents are always enthusiastic to know psychological and biological facts about themselves. We can teach teens that mindfulness instruction is like getting the owner’s manual for their own brain. According to Dan Siegel (author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain), there are three structures of the brain. 

  • The brainstem – responsible for breathing, heart rate, etc.
  • The limbic system, AKA amygdala – involved in emotion and memory.
  • The cortex – responsible for thinking and self-regulation.

His hand model represents how close the amygdala to the pre-frontal cortex and how Mindfulness can impact the thinking part of the brain process and the raw emotion of the limbic system. It can lead to better decision-making, allows a mindful pause and a skillful response instead of an unthinking reaction.

According to many neuroscientists, this is a crucial period of development, which they call the age of the adolescent brain or the teenage brain. 

In accordance with the Brain scientists’ opinions, teenage is a critically important period in several areas; 

-Heightened receptivity (so one seeks out novel experiences)

-Risk-taking, 

-Social sensitivity,

-High plasticity, to name a few. 

These characteristics are vital for the next generation to pave new corridors for the future. But they also make teenagerhood a high-wire act that holds significant risks. 

Teach Teens About Their Mind

A lot of our anxiety is actually “in our heads.” Our stress comes from our worrying brains that are creating all the worst possible scenarios. For example, you may think, 

‘I am going to fail the final exam.’

‘My parents will be disappointed in me.’

‘I would never get into a good college.’

‘I will never be successful!’

When we exercise Mindfulness, we realize that most of the chatter of the mind is just chatter. It is far from reality. Mindfulness shows teenagers how to be aware of their thoughts. They can acknowledge the anxiety and deal with it without getting caught up in the negative emotions it creates.

What are 5 ways that you can practice Mindfulness?

There is this simple 5 step method to practice Mindfulness for beginners. As a parent or a teacher, you can teach these ways to your children. If you are a teen, you can practice it by yourself. 

  1.  Take a Breath

Stop working for a second and relax!

Take a moment to observe the feeling of your breath. Creating intentional space for resetting yourself, even with one breath, will support keeping you calmer and more focused throughout the day.

 

  1.  Put Away Your Phone

 

The most stimulating thing around you always pulls your attentional system towards it. Today it is none other than your phone, and it tunes out sensations and surroundings. Set some time every day to put your phone out of reach. 

 

  1.  Concentrate on one thing at a time  

 

Multitasking is a vital part of our efficient lifestyles. A massive component of Mindfulness is about doing just one thing at a time. It is the practice of giving all of your attention to the task at hand. 

 

  1.  Find Mindful Moments in Everyday Tasks

 

Intentionally do one thing at a time and make it a habit in everyday life. Perform seemingly mindless tasks like washing the dishes, folding laundry, or brushing your teeth with Mindfulness. 

 

  1. Notice the Moves You Already Make

 

There are several ways to practice Mindfulness with movement. When you run or dance, or exercise in any way, that helps you feel more centered, which can be your mindfulness practice. 

What are some mindfulness activities?

When considering mindfulness techniques for teens, of course, they can help teenagers in various ways to be mindful. There are mindfulness exercises for teens, mindfulness meditation for teens as well as mindfulness games for teens. Let us look at some of the basic techniques that are easy to apply and only take a few minutes. This will guide you on how to mindfulness exercises for teens.

Mindful Dancing

Our bodies have a natural inner rhythm. Therefore, when we follow the rhythm, we can find some peace in our minds.

Benefits: –

Delivers higher levels of emotional and spiritual well-being, increased acceptance of oneself, and encourages positive feelings.

Mindful Cooking

Cooking was a therapeutic activity for several years now. When considering, mindful cooking, it is a step even further.

Here are the key benefits: – 

Mindful cooking lets you be present, identify change, growing acceptance, and have gratitude. You also may pick up a skill or two.

Mindfulness Tasting

Now that you have mindfully cooked your food, it is time to enjoy it mindfully! The food you eat while watching TV or going through social media can taste so much more delicious if you just enjoy them mindfully.

Benefits: –

All you need to do is eat without doing anything else. It reduces stress and anxiety, enhances happiness, improves concentration, and lets you be present.

Mindful Walking

Even though walking comes very naturally, when we just spare a second to focus on our steps, it can make an enormous difference.

Benefits: –

Let you clear your mind, allow us to be present, reduce stress and anxiety, appreciate health, and have gratitude.

Mindful Breathing

We take thousands of breaths each day but knowing how to control your breathing is a significant and valuable type of mindfulness meditation that works well for teens.

Benefits

Let you clear your mind, allow us to be present, reduce stress and anxiety, appreciate health, and have gratitude.

Mindful Bubbles 

Enjoy blowing bubbles mindfully. Bubbles help to combat frustration and worry, calms the mind, and reduces stress.

Mindful Music 

Music has an astonishing effect on our souls. Listening to the right music without losing attention allows self-observing, enhances happiness, and helps overcome anxiety and stress.

Mindful Puzzles 

A good puzzle is always a good mindfulness exercise for teenagers. They might be an old word hunt or a crossword puzzle; it does not matter. This exercise allows thinking before acting, developing self-soothing, and expand focusing.

Mindful Bathing 

A water bath always offers a calming effect on people. Try taking a mindful bath or a shower. It helps you focus on your feelings and calms the mind, allowing you to be present.

Mindful Coloring 

For this, all you need is a color book and some color. It helps you feel more present, appreciate colors, and calm your mind.

Mindfulness apps for teens

Even though it sounds a bit ironic to use apps to practice Mindfulness, it is very efficient with techno-friendly teens. Several such apps will guide the teenagers through Mindfulness creatively and enthusiastically. 

  1. Insight Meditation Timer – There is a map that shows all the locations worldwide where people are meditating.
  2. Stop, Breathe, and Think. It opens with a brief “interview,” and the user can select words to describe how they feel. The app recommends meditations for their situation.
  3. Smiling Mind. 
  4. Take a Break! 
Conclusion

Mindfulness seems too early for teenagers. But according to the psychological statistics, most mental imbalances occur for teens. Therefore, it is important to make your teenage children aware of Mindfulness, its benefits, and how to practice them. 

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