Mindful Meditation for Teens

"Mindfulness" means giving full attention to only your present thoughts, feelings, and sensations.[1] Mindful meditation can improve our lives in many ways. Science has proven meditation can help our minds and bodies. With today’s increasingly hectic and stressful world, meditation has never been more important to practice.

One great effect of meditation is relieving stress and anxiety, which affects many people. Stress and anxiety wears us down; make us tired, irritable; and can affect us physically with muscle pains, headaches and fatigue. Youth are more stressed than ever before, especially girls. From increased schoolwork to peer pressure and concerns of impressing other people, stress and anxiety among youth is high. Bullying is another cause of stress, and unfortunately, on the rise, and has extended into homes via social media. Meditation can help youth cope with stress and anxiety, helping them to calm their mind.

Meditation helps youth balance these challenges, and helps them remain mindful of the moment. Through practice, meditation is a tool supporting “self-management”, one of five social and emotional skills important for youth growth and development. Self-management is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.[2]

Meditation is good for our brains because it can improve our brain function by reducing mind wandering. Sometimes our minds decide to be everywhere else, except for the task at hand. This can have negative consequences including impairments in working memory capacity, fluid intelligence, and SAT performance. [3]

Meditation is a beautiful and amazing practice that we can use to improve not only our spirit, but our minds as well. This practice can help youth improve in many aspects of their lives and make them less stressed and more opened minded, which will help them succeed in the future.

[1] Scholastic.com: 7 Reasons Why Teens Should Meditation (http://choices.scholastic.com/blog/7-reasons-why-teens-should-meditate)

[2] Casel.org: Social and Emotional Learning Core Competencies (http://www.casel.org/social-and-emotional-learning/core-competencies/)

[3] PsychologicalScience.org: Brief Mindfulness Training May Boost Test Scores (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/brief-mindfulness-training-may-boost-test-scores-working-memory.html)

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