A teen’s life can be really stressful. When compared to previous generation teens are under more pressure than any time in history.
Peer pressure, hormonal changes and academic stress at school can make your teen irritable. Stress and anxiety today is causing a teenage attention disorder epidemic.
When we think of mindfulness, we usually don’t think about teens, but the mindfulness practice can be beneficial for teens. Mindfulness helps them to cultivate the skills of concentration, impulse control, and empathy.
As teens navigate their adolescence, mindfulness meditation can be the effective and practical tool for managing stress.
What’s Meditation and Its Benefits on Teens
However, in this information age, teens are busy with Facebook, checking their Instagram likes and texting with friends, and the practice of mindfulness may seem like a lost art for teenagers.
Teens often don’t consider meditation cool and selling teens on meditation may not be easy. The good news is meditation can be practiced any time, anywhere, and it only takes a few minutes.
Mindfulness is an effective tool to manage stress and live life more fully. Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment, without judging it or analyzing it. Most teens find it challenging to sit calmly for a few minutes, take deep breaths and focus on the present.
Meditation for Teens is a great way to focus on the topic at hand, and become calm, relaxed and quiet.
Daily meditation practice has positive effects on teens mental, emotional and intellectual development. Meditation helps develop better social interactions, better character, and improve sleep quality.
Here are the benefits of meditation for teens:
How Meditation Helps Teens with Study
Meditation helps teens tremendously. Here is how meditation helps with the study:
Meditation lowers stress; anxiety and help teens focus their energies. Various studies show that meditation can help teens perform better in school.
In not only the study, but meditation also helps with creative, athletic and social performance. When meditation is included into the learning process, teens embrace simplicity, find perspective and become more compassionate. In recent times, schools all across the U.S. have started to incorporate meditation into their curriculum, and it is showing extremely positive results.
New Haven Academy in Connecticut made it mandatory for new students to take meditation and yoga classes three times a week. Various schools in San Francisco have shown promising results with in-school meditation program.
Teens attending these programs have shown remarkable improvement in class attendance, stress management, and test proficiency. Various other studies published in reputable journals reveal the same results.
This article (Should Schools Teach Kids to Meditate? by AMANDA MACHADO published at The Atlantic) on teens and meditation is worth reading. The meditation practice in schools has become so popular that all types of the school, including low income, middle income, high income, public and private, all-embracing meditation in school.
Meditation practice increase working memory and boost test scores:
A study report published in the Psychological Science reveals that mindfulness training improves working memory and help to boost standardized test scores. Between the standardized tests, GRE and SAT are the two most accepted exams.
The tests reveal every participant’s cognitive ability and show how they are going to perform when they start working as professional and face with tough challenges.
Michael Mrazek, a psychological scientist at the University of California, discusses how targeting mind wandering could be the most reliable way to improve performance on the SAT and GRE “With mindfulness students lowers mind wandering, and hence performance improves in educational contexts.
Mind wandering is a common problem in our lives. We all experience that our attention strays and we start to think everything but the task that we are doing currently.
Some mind wandering is normal, but constant and prolonged period of mind wandering have negative effects on our ability to do cognitive tasks. Mind wandering has been associated with IQ, working memory capacity and SAT performance.
Best Meditation Techniques for Teens
Meditating just for a few minutes a day can help your teen to lower stress and anxiety. The practice helps overcome the challenges that life throws at teens and creates a sense of contentment.
Here are some guided meditation practices that are best for teens:
Meditation can be practiced any time anywhere, but morning is the best time to practice meditation for teens. After waking up, your kid can practice brief 5 to 10 minutes of meditation practice and start to get ready for school.
When the practice is perform in the morning, it gets done. Otherwise, various events and other commitments can get in the way. We also discussed that these days’ schools are taking meditation practice very seriously, and school setting is another good option for practicing meditation.
Meditation Preparation for Teens
Before start practicing meditation, it is important for kids to know how to breathe for meditation.
How to breathe in for meditation?
Smell the Flowers
The aim of the practice is to teach kids how to breathe in on command, ideally through their nose.
In a paper cup, put something fragrant and ask your kid to smell it and tell you what it smells like. Some items you can use:
Here are two methods to teach your kid how to blow out properly when meditating:
Practice these activities to teach your teen proper breathing technique for meditation and make things fun for him.
Best Meditation Exercises for Teens
Now we are going to practice meditation exercises for teens, starting with basic relaxation breathing.
A breathing technique is very useful quelling down the stress response, and it can really help kids and teens to calm down anxiety, stress, and anger. Basic relaxation breathing includes breathing in through the nose to the count of four and breathing out through the mouth to the count of eight. This style of breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system twice.
Start with this simple technique and encourage him to practice any time of the day as many times he wishes. Especially if he is upset, worried, stressed out or angry. This simple breathing technique is an excellent way to increase his ability to self-regulate.
The best practice:
1 - Belly Breathe
2 - Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Teens
3 - Homeworking Mindfully
Various studies have shown that teens who meditate regularly are more focused, happier and less likely to get affected by the harmful behaviors such as bullying, isolation or bulimia.
Introducing meditation to your teen’s life is perhaps the greatest gift you can offer. Teens can practice meditation at school. Also, you can make it a family event by practicing daily at home.