Teaching Mindfulness to Teens
To know what mindfulness is, first, we need to understand what unmindfulness is. When you are doing something important or unimportant, and suddenly you notice you stopped doing that thing and started thinking about a different thing, that’s what unmindfulness is. Not being attentive to something is unmindfulness, and so the opposite of that is mindfulness.
To put it in words, being fully attentive to something is mindfulness. It simply means taking your time without any distraction to notice what you are doing.
Now the million-dollar question is, why is it important to the teens? Teenagers need mindfulness activities, but why so?
Why Mindfulness Exercise is Necessary?
The reason why mindfulness exercise for teens is essential is that teenagers report higher stress levels than adults. And they are not doing sufficient to manage their stress. The American Psychological Association ran research, and this is the result of it. They even say teens play video games and surf the internet to cope with their stress. But are these doings enough to lessen the stress? When they can’t level up in the game or get frustrated watching others’ achievements on the internet, they even get more stressed. So those are not some fruitful solutions. Exactly here, mindfulness meditation for teens can be helpful.
Exclusive Points of Teaching Mindfulness
Here are five exclusive things that one can get from mindfulness-
- He/she can pay attention better
- While doing anything, one can be less distracted
- He/she can be calm under stress
- Frustration can be avoided easily.
- Can have self-control and be motivated.
So for teens, and any person, mindfulness exercise can be a good practice.
Now that we are talking about teens and their mindfulness, it’s necessary to acknowledge the benefits of mindfulness and teach them in the classroom.
Benefits of Teaching Mindfulness to Teens
There are several benefits of teaching mindfulness to teens in the classroom such as-
> A mindful student gets a better view of the topic than an unmindful one
>A mindful student understands the study topic better than any other student
>Mindfulness of a student leads him/her to a better position in the eye of the teacher
>As a mindful student pays full of his/her attention to the topic, he becomes able to ask and answer questions.
>Through mindfulness in the class a student can make a good academic result (to
whom it may concern) out of it.
Significance of Teaching Mindfulness to Teens
We see being mindfulness is so effective in many ways, but the trouble is it doesn’t come naturally. Being mindful is a tough job, but teaching it to the teens can be made easier. The teachers of the schools should be trained about the benefits of mindfulness and the exercises. They need to acknowledge the necessity of being mindful in class and everyday works. In this way, they may teach students about this effective way to be focused and less distracted while doing any job. So teaching mindfulness in the classroom is as important as teaching any other subjects.
Everyone must admit, being mindful is not easy. You are doing work, and you get distracted no matter what happens. Maybe you are reading a book and suddenly started thinking about a video game. Perhaps you are praying, and suddenly your moneybag crosses your mind. Or maybe you are trying to listen to someone’s story but distracted by the food you last ate. These are the things that happen often. But by exercising mindfulness, these situations can be avoided.
So here are some exercising tips-
- Relax. Sit in a comfortable position with a straight spine.
- Pick something to focus on. Try the most practiced way- breathing. It is an easy start.
- Take a deep breath in and out. Notice your every breath. You can close your eyes while doing it. Just focus on your breathing. Pay unforced attention to it.
- Notice precisely when your mind distracts from focusing on breathing to something else. Maybe you will start thinking about last night’s dinner, or maybe about learning driving, or perhaps you remember a funny scene from the previous tv series you watched! Minds do that all the time; you need to pull clutch to your mind.
- The moment you notice the distraction, guide your mind back to breathing again. And then repeat the whole process for five minutes.
There is mindfulness exercise hidden in every work we do in our daily life such as
– Mindful eating, when you eat anything, pay attention to it. Touch it and notice how it feels, smells, and tastes.
– When you walk, be attentive on your walking. Walk slowly and consciously. Feel every joint of your body bending in every step. In simple words, enjoy while you walk!
-Being attentive and mindful while driving is a must. But this deed is also a mindfulness exercise. It would help if you felt the driving seat, the steering, and your driving surroundings. Being distracted is so easy for drivers or riders, but one needs to keep in mind that a second of unmindfulness may cause an accident. Before starting driving, say to yourself, “I will drive mindfully, and I will drive safe.”
So these are the simple tricks for practicing mindfulness in daily life.
Mindfulness for Kids
Teaching mindfulness to kids enables them to face the wild stresses of the world. It also makes them able to be self-compassionate and open. So teaching mindfulness to kids is as significant as teaching mindfulness to teens.
1.The Superman posing
- Ask your kids to stand on the feet just more expansive than then hips, fists clenched, and arms straight up to the sky. Make sure they stretch the body as tall as possible.
- 2. The Wonder woman posing
- This pose practiced standing tall on the feet more comprehensive than the hip-width and fists placed on the hips.
3. Spidey senses
Tell the kids to turn on their “Spiderman senses.” He activates his keen sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch, etc. They may close their eyes to feel the senses. This pose may sound like Daredevil’s, but kids know Spiderman better than Daredevil, haha! This will encourage them to point their focus on the present and open their awareness to the things their senses bring into their mind.
In this fun activity, kids need to go to the safari, and you need to tell them they should notice as many as birds, bugs, crawlers, and any animals they can. The goal is to observe anything that moves, walks, flies, swims, or makes a sound. This way, they get attached to nature, and as well as they learn to mind things around them.
These fun activities are cool, and the result of them might surprise you!
To make your mindfulness exercises more lively, I have here a short list of mobile
apps and websites. Here we go-
Breathe: Dr. Vo helped to develop this mobile app, and it’s free for Apple and Android users.
Stop, Breathe and Think: Available both in mobile app and websites developed for youth.
- Calm.com: Free website with a mobile app for guided meditation and relaxation.
Smiling mind: Made and developed in Australia for health-conscious app users.
Headspace: “Meditation made simple”, this app has a free introductory period, and after that, it requires paid using the system.
Mindfulness exercises make a sharp and pointy mind. If one is focused and relaxed, he/she cannot get frustrated that easily. Stress is normal but being stressed is a choice, and mindfulness is the weapon than enhances the choice. Do practice some of the exercises and share your valuable experience with us.
By Shadman Shabab Khan Protik