Teenage is the most crucial period in one’s life. You are neither a kid nor an adult but somewhere in between.
You feel like you are living the connected lives of both a careless child and a responsible adult.
Mental health is as important as physical and social health is. This is why mindfulness for teens becomes very important to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
To understand mindfulness for teens better, we need to understand what exactly mindfulness is.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an activity of focusing on one particular thing at a time.
By practicing mindfulness regularly, you can achieve a sense of calm in your mind and your body.
You can meditate anywhere, in the school, at the park, even after waking up in the morning by going for some mindful walking.
As teens, meditation can be very beneficial for you, as it can help you manage your school stress and enhance your mental skills.
Since the competition level has increased tremendously nowadays, there are many chances that teens and even children might feel burdened under academic stress.
They might get trapped in substance abuse. Their classroom behavior might become rude and ignorant; paying attention to these warning signs is crucial, or such kids will continue falling into the vicious circle of depression and anxiety.
School and coaching class homework, classes for different activities like drawing, karate, dancing, etc., peer pressure, and parental pressure make children’s everyday lives hectic.
Regular mindfulness practice and mindfulness exercise will help manage all this chaos and give a sense of clarity.
Staying mindful is to live 100% in the present moment, experience, and stay aware of all the current events.
Whenever you have important tests and assignments piling up, you might start stressing up by jumping ahead in the future and worrying, thinking about what will happen and how you will get through it.
Mindfulness practices like mindfulness meditation, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness training, and mindfulness games are numerous ways to help you in self-regulation.
Mindfulness for Teens: Mindful Breathing
Manage stress by meditating regularly. Sit down in your comfortable spot, close your eyes and focus on your breathing; focus on each breathe properly, each inhalation and exhalation. Try to stay present at the moment.
This will not be easy as your mind will get distracted by the other things happening in your surroundings.
Breathing mediation will help you focus hard on the present moment by ignoring all the other things for a while and just focusing on one thing: your breathing.
Nothing else should be on your mind except your slow deep breaths. Pay attention, stay calm and focus with all your mind.
Being here and being in the present. Meditation and mindfulness for teens help in skills staying calm in every situation.
Take control of your own senses even when someone or some situation provokes you to do something you wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Step back, reevaluate and re-approach the situation from a different perspective.
Practicing mindfulness regularly helps in dealing with difficult situations in life.
Staying calm, doing mindfulness exercises and mindfulness training, being in the present moment, and always having an optimistic mindset in every situation really helps you when bad things happen in your life.
Things that really shock you to the core and pessimistic thoughts keep irritating you and leave you feeling sad all the time.
Mindfulness helps you come out of that sad shell, and it helps you in handling the situation with a better approach; it also helps in staying calm instead of constantly being in frustration, anger, and grief.
No one can predict the future. Thus, it is very important to maintain your calm 24/7; you never know what’s next in the store for you, but whatever might happen, you should be able to come out of it and restart your normal life routine positively and productively.
Effect of Stress on Mental Health
When you are stressed out, you feel irritated, isolated, forgetful, experience sudden, unpredictable mood swings, don’t get proper sleep, and always seem restless.
Stress is normal as it is a part of human emotion, but chronic stress can be very dangerous.
If you are overworked, you have constant arguments at the home, workplace, you don’t feel like yourself, you constantly have pessimistic thoughts, your appetite has reduced, and you question your existence again, and again then there are chances you are suffering from chronic stress.
Chronic stress can affect your brain size, structure, and even functional ability.
It begins to change your brain, and these changes happen at the genetic level. Stress initiates with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.
A series of interactions take place between the endocrine glands of the brain and kidney.
When the brain detects stress, it activates your hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis instantly and releases a hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. High levels of cortisol over a long time period are really very hazardous for your brain.
Chronic stress increases activity level and several neural connections in your brain’s fear center.
High cortisol levels damage electric signals in the hippocampus region of your brain.
Hippocampus regulates the learning ability, stores long-term memory, and also controls stress.
Excess cortisol deteriorates the functioning of the hippocampus. As teenagers are still growing, such mental issues can be very harmful to them. Thus, mindfulness for teens should be taken seriously.
When the hippocampus begins to weaken, the ability to control stress also gets affected, as the hippocampus restrains the functioning of the HPA axis.
A high cortisol level is so harmful to mental health that it literally causes the brain to shrink in size.
Furthermore, it is responsible for the loss of synaptic connections between the neurons and shrinks the prefrontal complex.
The prefrontal complex is the part of the brain that regulates your behavior, like concentrating, making decisions, judging, and having social interactions.
This also leads to the shortage in the production of new brain cells in the hippocampus. Chronic stress makes your learning and memorizing ability very weak.
It can also be responsible for a lot of mental disorders. Some of the common disorders caused because of chronic stress are depression and Alzheimer’s.
It can also hurt your brain’s DNA.
However, we can prevent our mental health and protect ourselves from stress by regular meditation, exercise, and having a calm lifestyle.
Consistent mindfulness activities decrease stress, increases the size of your hippocampus, improves memory.
Teenagers should get in control of their stress before it takes control of them, and regular mindfulness for teens helps in doing the same!
Try to practice mindfulness in every area of your life.
You can practice mindfulness in between daily activities like showering, making the bed, walking.
Just focus on the present moment. Don’t pay attention to anything else. Play mindfulness games, practice mindfulness exercises.
How to Practice Mindfulness: Some Tips
Teenage is the most beautiful yet chaotic phase in one’s life. As young adults, we face a lot of stress and issues; thus, having a calm sorted mindset and mindfulness for teens is extremely important.
1. Express Your Feelings
First of all, start acknowledging your feelings as it makes a lot of difference. If you are stressed about something, then instead of running away from it, get to know the root cause and try to eradicate it.
2. Share your Problems with your Close Ones
Have mindful conversations with your elders, counselors, friends, or someone with whom you are comfortable sharing everything.
During the conversation, try to be present in the conversation properly and avoid all sorts of distractions.
3. Regular Journaling Helps in Staying Mindful
Start maintaining a journal, write your daily experiences, good or bad, in your journal. Write positive affirmations, goals, and targets you want to achieve.
This will help you stay up to date with your self-growth and contribute to your overall well-being.
4. Have Self-Care Days
Self-care days are days on which you pamper yourself by sitting in your comfy spot along with a cup of tea or coffee along with any novel of your choice or go for a short solo trip, eat your favorite food, listen to your favorite songs and enjoy your own company.
Mindfulness for teens helps in staying optimistic irrespective of the situation.
5. Enjoy your Own Company
Appreciate yourself and do not expect anything from anyone so that your happiness does not depend on anyone else.
6. Read Self-Help Books
If you are into reading, then try reading more self-help books.
7. Follow Productive Routines
The first key to being successful and mindful is to be disciplined, so make and follow proper productive morning and night routines.
The routines should not be very strict for you. They should have time slots for leisure, entertainment along with your work and meditation time as well.
8. Make To-Do Lists
Make monthly planners and daily to-do lists, tick out the things you are done with, and feel the satisfaction after each tick has been made.
By doing so, you will notice that you are getting a lot of work done, giving you the feeling of accomplishment.
9. Encourage yourself by Treats and Gifts
Give yourself treats after fulfilling small goals, appreciate yourself for working hard.
10. Say No to Comparison
Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. We all are unique, and we have our own stories, our own abilities, and struggles.
So work at your pace, be like your true self don’t pretend to be someone else. Mindfulness for teens teaches you how to accept your true self and embrace your individuality.
By doing so, you will notice that the occurrence of negative thoughts inside your mind will naturally start decreasing. This will reduce stress and help you to focus on yourself.
11. Spend Time with Like-Minded People
Spend time with like-minded people as this is very beneficial for your mental health.
Like-minded people will accept you for being you, and they will not judge you; they’ll motivate you always.
Teaching mindfulness to teenagers is very important for their adolescent development. Mindful activities are really helpful for teens.
You can also enroll in some online mindfulness programs that will further enhance your mindfulness skills, help you control negative emotions, anxiety, depression, and gently guide you to positivity.
Mindfulness for teens and young adults is very important, especially during the high school years, as high school students experience many different types of emotions during this phase of life.
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Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.