Life is short, and moments are fleeting. However, certain moments can make life feel overwhelming or hopeless. Therefore, it is important to remember that life can also be magical and inspiring. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to start a journey toward tranquility, growth, and inspiration.
Mindfulness is especially beneficial for teenagers because it helps them focus on the present moment and work through problems. Let’s look at the benefits of mindfulness and how these practices improve the overall well-being of teenagers.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness started as a Buddhist practice that has since been adopted and adapted by western cultures as a form of effective mental health therapy. According to Clinical Psychology Review, the main elements of mindfulness are “awareness, and non-judgmental acceptance of one’s moment-to-moment experience, [which] are potentially effective antidotes against common forms of psychological distress–rumination, anxiety, worry, fear, anger, and so on.”
Benefits of Mindfulness
According to News in Health (NIH), mindfulness can improve many aspects of one’s health.
Some of the benefits of mindfulness include:
- Help Manage Stress: Mindfulness helps people focus on the moment, without judgment, and take action without allowing stress to drive them.
- Help Manage Anxiety: Mindfulness can keep anxiety at bay as it helps a person unfold what is happening instead of spiraling into anxious thoughts. Sometimes, using the practice of mindfulness, a person experiencing anxiety can take a moment to recognize their situation. They might express, “This is my anxiety, and now that I know it’s just anxiety, I can slow it down.”
- Help Manage Depression: Depression can feel hopeless, and those sad or negative thoughts can be alleviated if a person practices mindfulness. Mindfulness helps those who practice it see the positive side of things in their everyday.
- Increase Ability to Relax: Relaxing is essential. In a busy world, finding time to unwind can be difficult. Mindfulness can help busy people learn to slow down and be in the moment.
- Increase General Feelings of Happiness: Mindfulness is proven to increase happiness and raise enthusiasm for life.
- Improve Self-Esteem: With the ability to focus on the moment, you may discover the insecurities you’ve had are insignificant or not accurate. Such a discovery can bring relief and improve your happiness and self-esteem.
- Improve Physical Health: With reduced stress and increased happiness, the body will generally relax, and blood pressure may decrease. These, in turn, can keep the heart-healthy, and with healthy bodies, people tend to make healthier choices.
How to Practice Mindfulness
There are several ways one can practice mindfulness. For teens, mindfulness can look different in different areas.
- Take deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose, count to four, and then exhale for five seconds. Doing this helps calm and regulate the central nervous system during stressful situations.
- Go for relaxing walks. A stroll down the street is a healthy way to get away from distressing thoughts. The physical aspect can promote positive feelings, and bring focus to take in the surroundings during the walk. It also promotes focus and could help one think through their problems to find resolve.
- Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating helps one focus on eating without the distraction of a TV or phone. By focusing on the food, one can think about and appreciate the experience. What does it taste like? What is the texture like?
- Find mindfulness opportunities locally. Dance, yoga, volunteering, and art classes are all great ways to participate in mindfulness opportunities locally. It will also help strengthen the community. The best part is, the opportunities are endless.
Mindfulness In the Real World
At some point or another, a teenager will likely find themselves in a stressful situation. Learning how to implement mindfulness as a practice into their daily regimen can help them through such situations.
For example, perhaps they experience a car accident. Without mindfulness, they might respond negatively, or think that their independence and privileges will be taken away by their parents. They also might make rash decisions and perpetuate feelings of anxiety and stress. However, practicing mindfulness will allow them to slow their thoughts down and focus on the present.
Instead of responding in a panic over the future, they might instead react by making sure they and everyone else are okay – fully understanding that their car may not be okay. By actively focusing on details of the present moment, they will accept things as they are and keep any adverse reaction to a minimum. Practicing mindfulness will also help them think about what specific actions they should take next.
Mindfulness is a great way for teens to think actively about each moment, each choice, and each little thing that they notice. They may find a passion for it and observe mindfulness in other aspects of their life. For teens struggling with mental health issues or trauma, mindfulness can be a game-changer in helping with emotional regulation. If your teenage daughter needs some help, and you think they may need more than mindfulness, reach out to Havenwood Academy. We understand that some teens need extra support. We also encourage mindfulness and teach many holistic approaches to work through trauma and mental health issues. Our professional and dedicated staff know that mindfulness is not a cure-all, but it is a significant tool to teach your daughter how to take in each moment and learn coping strategies. We want to help your daughter through her trauma. To learn more, reach out to us today and call (435) 586-2500.
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