Mindfulness | Parenting

How Meditation Helps Teens Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Teens are under a lot of stress with school, peer pressure and trying to fit it. And things have only gotten worse during the coronavirus pandemic. 

For months, teenagers have been staying home, sometimes in less than ideal situations. They have been isolated from friends and unable to participate in their usual activities. Some teens have even lost loved ones, exacerbating grief, sadness, fear, depression and anxiety, according to Stanford University. 

Help Teens Manage Stress 

Prior to the pandemic and even now, many teenagers feel isolated and alone. And, many teens are still attending remote classes, leading to heightened feelings of being cut off from friends and teachers. Coupled with that, some adolescents don’t feel comfortable discussing their emotions and fears with their parents, siblings or peers. This causes stress and anxiety to continue building, taking a toll on mental health. 

Seeking solace during difficult times is something you may do on your own, yet it may be time to take a closer look at the challenges facing teens. While seeking professional help is key for kids of all ages, you may also want to help your teen meditate. Here is a look at how meditation helps teens cope with stress and anxiety.

How Meditation Helps Teens Cope with Stress and Anxiety

How Does Meditation Reduce Stress and Anxiety?

Meditation can offer teenagers a way to get rid of some of the stress and anxiety they feel and instead offer them some peaceful relaxation and a sense of calm.

Some teenagers might equate meditation to Buddhist monks or long-haired gurus hiding out in a cave. They may resist the idea initially. However, many everyday people take some time each day to calm the mind and take advantage of all of the benefits of meditation. Here are some examples of how meditation helps teens:

Teens and Meditation

It is understandable that some teenagers might find the idea of sitting and breathing to be rather mundane or “boring.” However, there are forms of meditation that allow a teenager more freedom. 

For those with a creative side, they might enjoy a form of imagery meditation, whereas they can meditate on a scene they have created in their mind. Other adolescents may enjoy journaling or working on a gratitude journal to help get their thoughts onto paper. 

And, for teenagers who just can’t sit still, walking while meditating can be a form of relaxation. This type of meditation allows teens to spend some time outdoors in solitude, away from everyone while taking a peaceful walk.

How Teenagers Can Express Emotions Through Meditation

As stated above, the teenage years are emotional times. No longer a child, but still not an adult, some teens have difficulty expressing their emotions. This is another reason why meditating in nature, for instance, can be a good way to release feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness.

Breathing practices and mindfulness activities can also help teens slow down their monkey minds and focus on the present moment. This is important as calming breathing exercises for kids help teens become aware of negative emotions and relax so that they can effectively deal with their thoughts and feelings.

How Meditation Can Help a Teenager with School

stress and anxiety

A lot of teenagers stress over getting good grades in school, particularly those who plan to go onto college. Luckily, in addition to relieving stress and allowing for relaxation, meditation for teens also offers a way to clear the mind. With a clearer mind, teenagers can focus more on their studies and other tasks at hand.

For example, say a teen is really anxious about an upcoming test and is stressed out about getting a good grade. You can then encourage your child to take a break from studying to do  a short meditation or breathing exercise. Perhaps you can meditate for five minutes together! 

If given a chance, meditation can have some very positive influences on teenagers while helping them to relax and get rid of the stress they face day to day. It can also help improve self-esteem. 

Are You Ready to Start Meditating with Teens?

Even if your teen’s middle school or high school does not offer meditation in school, this guide can give you the inspiration to start a home meditation practice

So, are you ready to introduce meditation to your teenager or a teen you care about? Give it a go. You may find that meditation and mindfulness also greatly benefits you! 

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