Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Teaching Your Teens Mindfulness

Mindfulness is one of the biggest things that adults use as tools to reduce stress and anxiety and just to help tackle everyday life. But mindfulness can be started much earlier and become part of the practices that can help through tough situations like exams. 

Here are a couple of ways that you can help your teen tackle stress and worry and build mindfulness skills. 

Name it 

There are no bad emotions, and that is something that many adults still struggle with. Emotions aren’t bad, and an emotional reaction to something is normal. But being able to work through the emotion comes from naming the emotion. Often we need a moment to sort between anger, shame, and upset. Taking that moment and naming the emotion can help the situation. 

Dance it out

Our bodies hold a lot of tension, and many studies have been done on the physical impacts of holding stress and not dealing with emotions well. Our bodies can tell us we are stressed by giving us a tight jaw, stiff shoulders, holding the tongue to the roof of the mouth, and much more. 

Dancing can help to increase happy hormones and work out those tense muscles.


The first thing to change in stressful situations is our breathing. When we are worried, anxious, or relaxed, our breathing is changed to match it. Something we can do to help our teens take a pause is to breathe with them. You can take a few deep breaths and make sure that you are both ‘in the room.’ Be aware of your surroundings and calm. 

Extra support

Sometimes mindfulness is not enough to get through; there might be underlying things that will need more support to get through. Processes like accepts dbt can be incredibly useful and can be built into the routine for when things don’t seem to be going quite right. 


Even when life is going well, mindfulness should still be part of the practice. Things like meditation take time to do well, so the more you do it, the stronger those skills will be. Apps like Headspace and the Calm app offer guided meditation, sleep stories, and more. By doing them together, you will not only be playing a supporting role in a great skill, but you will get the benefits too. 


Keep in mind that what works for you might not work for others. But that doesn’t mean there is any less value in sharing. If you find that reading a few pages from a book can help you to unwind and center yourself again, share that. It might be that a few minutes of mindful colors can help your teen to feel okay again. 


Walking isn’t just great for the body, but it is great for the mind too. As you walk, all the things weighing heavy on you can be put into the background for your brain to unpack and unpick unconsciously. Often our best ideas come from walking - and we get a sense of well-being too. 

If you are looking for more ways to reduce your stress, read more: 3 ways to Lower Your Stress Levels


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