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10 Meditation Techniques For Teens To Deal With Anxiety And Stress

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Meditation involves mindfulness and breathing techniques to achieve a calm state of mind. It may help reduce stress, anxiety, and pain and promote well-being in teens. It may also have some positive impact on the psychological, neurological, and cardiovascular health. However, more studies are required to identify the benefits of meditation in teens (1).

Although meditation is recommended for all teens, you may consider more active techniques to calm down and engage teens who have psychological problems or experienced recent physical trauma.

Read this MomJunction post to know more about a few meditation techniques and their benefits for teenagers.

Why Teenagers Should Learn Meditation

The teenage years can be a time of conflicts and stress. Teenagers are often vulnerable  to get attracted to bad habits due to peer pressure or stress. It is also a valuable time to choose and prepare for their career, and they may have worries about their scores in exams and competitive examinations.

Teenagers may also find it challenging to transition from school to college due to new settings and responsibilities.

Meditation may help them to calm down and reduce anxiety during this time. It may also improve attention and memory, which are needed for the successful completion of their education.

Possible Benefits Of Meditation For Teenagers

Meditation may benefit teens by (2) (3): 

  • Improving sleep: Stress and anxiety could cause insomnia in teens. Meditation can help calm the mind. It could help them to have quality sleep, which is required for the proper functioning of the body and mind.
  • Enhancing attention: Regular practice of meditation may help to improve concentration and, thus, help teens learn better.
  • Lowering anxiety: A few meditation techniques help reduce negative thoughts that cause anxiety.
  • Reducing the possibility of alcohol or drug abuse: Teens who practice meditation may have low levels of stress, and they may not easily get influenced by peers who take drugs or alcohol. 
  • Controlling emotions: Teens may have emotional issues due to stress and hormonal factors. Meditation may help them control their emotions. Teens who meditate may be more aware of their thoughts and emotions than others.

Meditation Techniques For Teens

The following meditation techniques can be useful for teens:

1. Control over thoughts

This technique is one of the best ways to reduce stress. You may ask your teen to count from 1 to 10. They should keep repeating it until they feel they are free of any unwanted thoughts. This way of meditation may help them to tackle unwanted thoughts that often come to their mind.

2. Backward counting

The backward counting meditation can be done in any relaxed position. You may ask your teen to count from 100 to 1. This demands total  concentration, and they could be more focused on reaching 1.

This is an excellent technique to improve your teen’s concentration and reduce unnecessary worries.

3. Thought counting

You may ask your child to sit in a relaxed position and count their thoughts using small balls, beads, seeds, etc. Each time they get a thought, they should move one ball, bead, etc., to another group.

Ask them to try for a few minutes, and you may notice that the number of thoughts decreases after some time. 

4. Closing the gates

Also called yoni mudra, this is the practice of closing the senses. This method involves closing the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose with fingers to block all sensory perception.

You can ask your teen to close the sensory organs with their fingers in the following way:

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  • Ears: thumbs
  • Eyes: index fingers
  • Nose: middle fingers
  • Ring finger: above lips
  • Little finger: under the lips

You may ask your teen to relax their elbows and shoulders and take deep breaths without feeling the breathing sound.

After a few minutes, they may open their ears and listen to the sounds around them.  Ask your teen to gently close the sensory organs and not in a way that could cause pain on the eye or block the nasal passage (4).

5. Deep breathing

Ask your teen to close their eyes, sit straight, and do deep breathing or abdominal breathing. They should breathe in deeply following the sound of the breath from the nose to deep down and breathe out gently after a few seconds. Next, ask them to listen to the sounds around them and not focus on their thoughts  (5). This technique can be practiced by listening to or feeling your heartbeat as well.

6. Sitting still

This is an ideal meditation technique to strengthen the bond between you and your teen. Sit with your backs and heads leaning on each other and take slow, deep synchronized breaths. Feel each other’s breathing and think of happy thoughts.

7. The circle of ‘what I want in life’

Draw a circle in a paper, and ask your teen to write down the dreams they want to achieve in their life. You may also ask them to write what they do not want in life outside the circle.

You may ask them to write down their dreams in different colors or in whichever way they want. Encourage them to frame it and hang it on their wall and take a look at it often to remind themselves of their dreams. You may also ask them to keep adding to it when they think it’s needed.

8. Love/ kindness meditation

This is more demanding  than the other techniques. It involves forgiveness, kindness, and love towards someone who had hurt you in the past.

You may ask your child to sit comfortably, close their eyes, and remember all the good times they had. They can also repeat something like “let me enjoy happiness” as a mantra.

Next, tell your teen to forgive and feel kind towards the person who hurt them. This compassion meditation can fill your teen with positive thoughts (6).

9. Feeling the sky

You can ask your teen to close their eyes and take deep breaths. Tell them to imagine the blue sky and visualize that the clouds are passing by. Explain to them that clouds will pass by, but the sky will always remain constant—in other words,  the clouds can’t change the sky forever. Tell them that all worries are like clouds, and they are the sky.

Let them know that all worries are temporary. This meditation may help boost your teen’s confidence.

10. Walking in silence

Walking in silence can be practiced as a meditation. A park or  beach is an excellent place to do this meditation. Ask your teen to feel each step they take and be aware of themselves and the things around them  (7).

There are several meditation techniques for teens, and you may choose one according to your child’s needs and convenience. You could also practice it with them and benefit from it.

These techniques may help your teen manage stress and relax. If you are introducing it to your kid for therapeutic purposes, such as to reduce pain, you may approach an expert for training and guidance..

Do you know of any other meditation techniques that could be helpful for a teen? Let us know in the comments section below.

References:

1. Julie Corliss; Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress; Harvard Medical School(2014).
2. Meditation: In Depth; National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
3. Malka Main; Mindfulness Meditation and Adolescent Well-Being; University of Washington (2018).
4. How to Do Yonimudra Step by Step and Benefits of Yonimudra; The yoga Institute
5. Diana Winston; A 5-Minute Breathing Meditation To Cultivate Mindfulness; Mindful (2016).
6. Compassion Meditation; Greater Good in Action
7. What is walking meditation?; Wildmind meditation

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