5 Ways to Bring Mindfulness into a Teen’s Day-to-Day Routine
Recently, we’ve focused on mindfulness as a strategy that both tweens, teens, and adults can use to boost their self-esteem, and improve their interactions with others. Whether you’re focused on journaling, gratitude, or another specific practice, mindfulness is at the root of all of these helpful activities.
What is mindfulness, you might ask? It’s a word that’s said so often, it can be hard to understand what it is exactly. Mindfulness is simply the innate human ability to be fully present in any moment. This may seem easy, but it’s much trickier than it seems.
Many of us go through entire days with our mind focused elsewhere. Whether you’re dwelling on something that happened yesterday, or anxiously anticipating the future, it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of feelings and emotions that take us away from the present moment.
Fortunately, there are many ways to bring more mindfulness into your everyday life. Once you start, you’ll soon see a whole host of benefits.
The Benefits of Mindfulness
There are many different ways that mindfulness can improve our day-to-day lives. One of the first things that people will notice after starting a mindfulness practice is improvements in ongoing anxious or depressive thoughts.
Other studies have found that mindfulness helps to reduce stress, and can even boost our working memory and focus, making it easier to concentrate on complex tasks like tests or homework. Some people have also found that practicing mindfulness makes them less emotionally distressed when faced with hardship or trauma.
Getting Started with Mindfulness
With so many benefits to be gained, practicing mindfulness should be at the top of everyone’s to do list. However, if you haven’t done it before, it can be a bit intimidating. Here are 5 easy ways to get started.
2. Start Small
You don’t need to do 10 or 20 minutes of silent meditation when you’re first getting started. Do 5 minutes or less the first few times. This will help your body feel more comfortable with the practice, so you can eventually ramp up to longer sessions.
3. Start at Mealtime
Mindful eating is the act of slowing down and really being conscious about what you’re consuming. With every bite, focus on the flavors and sensations going on in your mouth. This can help you gain an even greater appreciation for your favourite foods!
4. Find a Personal Focus Phrase
People who meditate have been using mantras, or simple, repeating phrases, for centuries. The goal of a mantra is to help you stay focused. Finding your own focus phrase or mantra can help you become more mindful in anxious or stressful moments.
5. Ask Questions to Engage Curiosity
Being mindful is all about staying in the current moment, rather than falling into unhelpful patterns of thought that make us feel anxious or sad. To help you stay present, start asking yourself questions to help engage your own curiosity. Some questions you could ask are:
“How do I feel in this moment?”
“I wonder what’s making me feel this way?”
“What smells/touches/tastes am I experiencing in this moment?”
“What sensations can I feel in my body right now?”