I am a firm believer in the benefit of incorporating mindfulness practice into our busy lives, especially teenagers. Teens are stressed more today than ever — pressure from social media, the fear of missing out (FOMO), anxiety from hormones and school stress. Meditation can be a wonderful tool for dealing with these constant pressures of everyday life. The best part is meditation can be done anywhere, it is free and it will help teens feel mentally and emotionally strong. Research reveals that engaging in a regular mediation practice can help teens become more focused, calm, and positive. It just takes a few minutes a day!
Here are four ways to support your teen’s mediation practice.
1. THAT’S SO TRENDY!
Most teens like to do what is trending in pop culture, the fine arts, or sports. There are notable individuals in all of these areas who are making mediation a part of their daily routine. Many sports teams, professional athletes, popular actresses and singers all practice meditating and discuss openly how it helps them master their craft.
4 videos to watch
2. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!
I know it sounds counterproductive to ask teens to pick up their phones to practice mindfulness. Ask them to turn everything off except their meditation app. To have a tool in their hands that they can use immediate when they feel stress or anxiety or the need to focus is priceless. I think meeting them where they are (and that place is always the phone) can be beneficial in many ways.
4 apps to try
Insight Meditation Timer – Guided meditations and talks led by the world’s top mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists and meditation teachers
Smiling Mind – Designed for all ages. You can set it for yourself and have subaccounts for family members.
Aura – mindfulness meditations, life coaching, stories, and music, created by the best therapists and coaches, personalized just for you. It takes just 3 minutes to feel better, and Aura will continuously learn about what helps you and improve the recommendations.
Simple Habit – The app offers a basic wheel of audio-guided five-minute meditations for specific scenarios, so you can find meditations for just about any moment and any feeling — divided into topics like stress, personal growth, kindness, relationships and work.
3. TALK TO ME TED!
TedTalk Series is a very effective way to spread knowledge in a short period of time. These experts in the field of mindfulness are excellent resources for your teens to learn the benefits and strategies to the practice of meditation.
4 videos to watch
Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths | Light Watkins
There are also a few myths that keep people from enjoying this ancient and life-enhancing daily ritual. Watkins will debunk the 5 most common myths and show you how you can benefit from very simple mediation in just 10 minutes a day.
Breath-Five Minute an Change your Life | Stacey Schuerman
An exercise designed to reset, renew, and rejuvenate our energy. Join her as she teaches us about breathing and calming the mind.
All it Takes is Ten Mindful Minutes | Andy Puddicombe
When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment.
Simple, powerful mindfulness techniques for children that can reduce stress, improve school performance, and help kids manage their behavior and emotions. She shows how easily these short, kid-friendly exercises can be used by anyone, in a variety of settings.
4. IS THAT A REAL BOOK?
The school year is coming to a close and your teen may have a little more downtime in the upcoming months. Reading (anything!) is always encouraged in our house. Using low stress time (summer) to read books that assist you in becoming more mindful and deal with stress in a positive way could be useful for the fall when school is back in session. Here are a four books that can help.
4 books to read
The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time by Dzung X. Vo
This book provides a compelling introduction to mindfulness practices, and connects techniques with situations that teens will likely encounter. With chapters on eating, peacemaking at home, playing sports, managing school stress, and resolving conflicts with friends, this text can serve as a guide for readers struggling with all kinds of challenges.
Dharma Punx by Noah Levine. This memoir follows the story of Levine as a young adult in the world of drugs and conflict. When he realizes that he’s chosen a path full of destructive and unhealthy behaviors, he turns to the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to help him survive.
Mindfulness Meditations for Teens by Bodhipaksa. Perfect for the resistant reader in your life, this audiobook guides the listener through the importance of concepts like peace, security, relaxation, and love by using mindfulness techniques and exercises.
Mindful Movements: Ten Exercises for Well-Being by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book offers ten moving routines to help young mindfulness practitioners who may find a sitting practice — a mindfulness exercise that encourage stillness — challenging. The included DVD shows each series for added comprehension.
Some teens may be more resistant than others, but don’t give up. Soon they will find the benefits of the practice and will look forward to mediating each day. The best way to help them is to model a regular meditation practice yourself.
How does your teen practice mediation each day? Share your comments below.