If school is the main thing stressing you out, get into the habit of checking in between classes with a quick “body scan.” As soon as the bell rings, ask yourself: what can I see, hear, and feel? This series of questions puts you back in your body, here in the present moment. Tune into your breathing. Are you breathing quickly? Slow it down. Is your breathing too shallow? Take three big, dramatic breaths. How’s your posture? Straighten up! There – now you’re practicing mindfulness. See how easy that was?
Although technology can often be the source of our stress, that same technology can be used to our benefit. Maybe your anxiety stems from too much social media usage. If that’s the case, you can install software that limits the amount of time you spend on recreational websites. No more mindless scrolling through newsfeeds.
And for the teens who aren’t ready to put their phones down (yet), there are even mindfulness smartphone apps. Some apps feature an hourly bell that reminds you to check in with your breath. Or if apps aren’t your thing, consider downloading mindfulness meditations and playing them on the way to school to prepare for the day.
Mindfulness is simple and doesn’t require any tools. So there’s no wrong way to practice mindfulness. If you’re aware of what you’re doing, you’re already practicing mindfulness.
Teenagers face all sorts of challenges, some old, some new. These challenges can pile up and feel overwhelming. But with mindfulness, they can learn how to seize control of these tough situations, rise above the noise of everyday life, and make the most of their teenage years!