18 Jan Improving wellbeing with mindfulness for teens
There is no denying that teens have it pretty tough these days. They are juggling the pressures of school, work and friends. Add to this the struggle they face to stay connected to reality in a digitally connected world, and you can start to see why mental health is a big issue among their generation.
In fact, almost one-fifth of all young people aged 11 to 17 years experience high or very high levels of psychological distress at some stage.
Mindfulness – a mental state of being aware – is a technique that can be used to manage the stresses teens face.
Benefits of mindfulness for teens:
- Reduces attention problems
- Improves mental health and wellbeing
- Improves focus and metacognition
- Aids in planning, organising and remembering details
- Improves mental wellbeing, combats anxiety, helps to manage stress, increases feelings of calm
- Builds social intelligence, grows patience and raises body awareness
Tips for teaching mindfulness to teens:
Ensure they are in the right headspace to give mindfulness a go. A teen in an energetic and hyper mood probably won’t benefit from guided mindfulness meditation.
Reassure them that it is ok to lose focus on being mindful.
Create a daily mindfulness routine using some of the activities suggested below.
Simple mindfulness techniques you can try with your teen:
Take time to intentionally observe the world around you by noticing five things you can see, feel, smell or hear.
Get your teen to lie down and tense every muscle, then relax. Next, get them to tense individual body parts, moving up from their toes all the way to the muscles in their face. This exercise creates a connection between the mind and body.
Guided mindfulness meditation
There are so many mindfulness meditations on Spotify or YouTube to check out. Everyone is different, so you might need to take some time working out which ones they respond to.
Any activity can be a mindful one!
You can make any activity a mindful one by simply focusing on the task at hand, calmly acknowledging your own thoughts and feelings as they come and go. Try mindful breathing, mindful colouring, mindful bathing – the options are endless.
Mindful walking – walk down your street. What can you see that you have never bothered to notice before?
Mindful eating – don’t rush your food. Think flavours, textures, smells, colours.
Still unsure how to equip your teen with mindfulness techniques?
At Veteran Mentors, we see mindfulness as a powerful and proven tool to manage stress, anxiety and/or depression in teens. It is one that is accessible to anybody, at any time and in any place.
Our Junior Leader Program incorporates mindfulness and meditation sessions to teach teens stress management techniques, helping them face the challenges of adolescence and their future adult lives. This, combined with many other practical lessons in courage and resilience, allows us to really influence our participants and help them forge ahead on a more productive life path.
If you think your teen might benefit from the Junior Leader Program, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team – we’d love to chat you through the program and what outcomes are possible for your child.