Introduce your child to the benefits of mindfulness
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
(Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., Internationally renowned scientist, writer, and meditation teacher)
Being an adolescent can be very stressful. Pressure from school, peers, and social media, coupled with trying to forge one’s own identity, can make some teens feel anxious and off-balance. With report cards right around the corner, your child may be feeling especially nervous.
Stress is a natural fact of life, but knowing how to manage our stress levels does not always come naturally! There are many ways in which a teenager can let out some stress, including exercise, music, and talking things over with a parent or friend. Mindfulness is another powerful tool that teens can use to manage their stress. Research indicates that when teens consistently practice mindfulness, it lowers rates of anxiety and depression, and leads to better sleep, stronger relationships, and increased self-awareness.
As the website Mindfulness for Teens aptly describes it: “Mindfulness is all about living fully in the present moment, without judgment, and with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. It’s about breathing, noticing what’s happening right here and now, sending a gentle smile to whatever you’re experiencing (whether it’s easy or difficult), and then letting it go. You can be mindful anytime, anywhere, no matter what you’re doing.”
Here are some helpful websites that can help you discover what mindfulness is and how you can introduce it to your child: Mindfulness for Teens, Left Brain Buddha, Anxiety BC. Also, your child may want to try one of these mindfulness apps: Breathr, Stop, Breathe, and Think, Calm.com.