7 Reasons Why Teens Should Meditate
In the digital age, mindfulness seems like a lost art for teenagers. When they’re constantly texting with friends and checking their Instagram likes, they’re not living in the moment. If you haven't heard of it before, "mindfulness" means giving full attention to only your present thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It is so important for teens to be present in the moment and deeply consider their feelings. One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is through meditation.
Meditation is simply a process of getting to know your own mind. There are many different types of meditation and, chances are, there’s one that’s the right fit for the teens in your life. They won’t have to sit cross-legged while saying “ommm” and they don’t have to try to ignore their thoughts. However, if they’re looking to reap the most health benefits, they should try mindfulness meditation.
Selling teens on meditation may not be so easy. It’s not exactly considered cool. Some teens may immediately think it sounds lame or boring. Plus, wouldn’t they rather be typing away on their smartphones or binge-watching their favorite TV shows?
The good news is mediation only takes a few minutes and there are a ton of reasons they can benefit from giving it a try. Here are seven reasons why you should convince teens to meditate:
1. It’s no secret that teenagers have a lot on their plates and plenty to worry about. Studies show meditation can actually reduces stress.
2. Getting over a fight with friends just got a little simpler. Practicing meditation can make it easier for teens to forgive others. One research initiative found mediation increases compassion, love, and forgiveness.
3. Does your teen need a little help getting that A in math? Mindfulness meditation can help boost test scores, according to a study published in Psychological Science. If meditation means bumping up their grades or SAT score, it’s definitely worth a shot.
4. Meditation improves the brain—literally. A Harvard University study showed that meditation can rebuild the brain’s grey matter. Grey matter is involved in muscle control, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making, and self-control. It seems the brain benefits of meditation are endless!
5. With so much media at their fingertips, teens may need some help focusing their attention. Meditation can help them unplug and improve their attention span.
6. Teenagers’ mental health is becoming an increasing concern all over the country. Some people are turning to mindfulness meditation to help reduce anxiety and depression.
7. This one goes out to the boys: Meditation can change their attitudes—for the better. After a four-week crash course in mindfulness, teenage boys had increases in positive emotions and overall well-being.
For more on the benefits of meditation, check out this infographic.
To help them get started, share these free guided meditations with them. The lengths range from 3-19 minutes and can help teens stay in the moment with clear instruction. There are also a bunch of meditation related apps they can download. Meditation takes regular practice to really become effective, so encourage them to keep at it.