If you’re wondering how mindfulness for youth can help them with their mental health in the post-pandemic world, you’re in the right place.
It’s safe to say that mental health has become a major challenge in the modern world.
According to the United Nations note on mental health challenges among youth during the Covid-19 pandemic, such factors as seclusion, lack of contact with peers, and the loss of emotional and financial security resulted in depression, anxiety, and decreased productivity among young people.
On top of that, these stressors caused an increase in the rates of youth suicide as, most of the time, they were unable to cope with them.
So, are there any effective ways to help teenagers and young adults to deal with the consequences of this health crisis? And what about maintaining a good mental state while going through all the typical “young” life obstacles?
In this post, we’re talking about the mental health benefits of mindfulness for youth.
What is Mindfulness?
To understand how mindfulness is connected to our mental health, we have to define it.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.
The benefits of mindfulness are being recognized by the medical community. With mindfulness practices, you can decrease stress levels and improve your immune system.
How Mindfulness For Youth Improves Mental Health
Sometimes people think that kids are too young to understand the concept of mindfulness, but you’ll be surprised… They often times outdo the adults! Anyways, it is as important for kids, as it is for teenagers and young adults.
So how can mindfulness be used by youth to keep themselves mentally healthy?
Mindfulness is a practice that can absolutely be learned and used by children. It has been shown to have many benefits for kids’ mental health.
As I already mentioned, mindfulness helps people to be more in tune with their thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.
That’s why it’s so important to practice mindfulness early on, and keep doing it throughout your life. The sooner you learn and understand yourself deeply and fully, the more mature, and more emotionally intelligent you’ll be in your adulthood.
Let’s dive deeper and see how kids, teenagers, and young adults can use mindfulness to stay mentally healthy.
Helps To Learn How To Control Their Emotions
One of the biggest benefits is that it helps them learn how to control their emotions better and stay calm. For kids and teenagers, it is harder to get the hang of self-control, and mindfulness practices could be a great tool to tackle that. For example, focusing on their breathing during a meditation is proven to have soothing effects on a person of any age.
Helps Stay Focused On Tasks And Goals
Youth may also be able to stay focused on the task at hand and not let distractions get the best of them if they practice mindfulness regularly. That That happens because it helps us achieve the growth of new neural networks in the brain, which leads to your brain finding better ways to handle tasks and trains it to stay focused.
Fights Anxiety And Depression
Mindfulness exercises help increase positive moods and alleviate early symptoms of anxiety and depression. Essentially, much of our anxiety and depression come from resisting feelings and unresolved trauma. Mindfulness teaches kids to accept the present moment as it is, and helps them to accept and experience their emotions.
Helps To Make Better Decisions
Mindfulness is also a great way to live in the present moment and make better decisions about your future. You see, our suffering most of the time comes from forgetting to tap into the present. We are busy making up stories about the future or ruminating about the past, which brings a lot of illusion and unnecessary worry. Mindfulness brings clarity and helps set your priorities right through focusing on the present moment.
Reduces Stress Levels
One of the major benefits of mindfulness is that it helps to handle all the stress that the youth goes through. It’s a well-known fact that young people experience everything in a much more emotional way than adults. A minor problem might seem like the end of the world to them! Mindfulness helps to bring their attention back to the present, reminding them that they are actually safe. This also helps young people be more resilient.
Mindfulness practice has been shown to improve short-term memory, help avoid burnout, and promote active listening and engagement, which brings better levels of productivity. It also helps break out of a rumination cycle that makes people come back again and again to their worries, instead of focusing on the goal.
As I mentioned earlier, the goal of mindfulness is to teach us to acknowledge things, thoughts, feelings, and experiences without any judgment. The more the youth takes over that mindset, the less they torment themselves with how they should or supposed to be. Instead, they start focusing on how they are and embracing it.
Building Better Relationships And Deeper Connections
All these impacts that we talked about above help kids, teenagers, and young adults to be more mature, emotionally stable, and emotionally intelligent, which affects all the relationships they enter in an exceptionally positive way. Overall, mindfulness gives kids the mindset of letting go and accepting the things they cannot control which might be extremely helpful later on.
How To Practice Mindfulness For Youth
Focusing on breathing is the easiest and most effective way to stay in the present moment.
For example, square breathing. Proven to have healing effects on the body.
Body Scan Exercise
“Scanning” each part of your body is great for tuning into your body sensations and reconnecting with yourself.
Using a Mindfulness Bracelet
A bracelet that will remind you to tune into the present any time you notice or touch it.
Making each step intentional, feeling the ground under your feet helps calm your nervous system and reconnect with nature.
Creating An Imaginary Safe Space
It would look different for everyone, but it would be a place that you’d love to come back to decompress any time you close your eyes.
Finding Objects Around You
Acknowledging the existence of various objects and noticing them without any judgment is remarkably grounding. It can be done anywhere — in nature, in your room, or in the classroom.
Gratitude is the most powerful emotion that boosts mood, calms anxiety, and helps to maintain a positive outlook.
Journaling is the best way to “self-coach” yourself during hard times, or dump all the worries on paper to feel better. it’s also a great self-discovery tool that allows learning a lot about yourself.
Seep listening to calming meditative music or mantras works almost like meditation.
This post was all about the mental health benefits of mindfulness for youth.
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