Tweens have to deal with so much – stressful days at school, busy schedules, worries about school, heavy emotions, and sibling rivalry.
Mindfulness is a tool that can help manage emotions, stay calm and in the present moment.
Mindfulness Is A Big Word For A Simple Idea. What Does It Mean?
It is paying attention with care, one moment at a time. People are often distracted. Mindfulness is about attention. Sometimes our minds drift and we think about all sorts of things at once. With practice, we can notice what our attention does and move it with choice, like a spotlight.
It takes practice to use your senses to focus on one thing and learn to live in the present. You can practice being mindful by focusing your attention on one thing at a time; what you taste, hear, smell, see or feel. Mindfulness helps tweens have better focus, stay calm and think clearly and creatively
Try each mindful practice on like shoes. Keep the ones that fit, some might fit later and some may not work for you at all.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Reduces stress, anxiety, and even depression
- Improves grades and performance on standardized tests
- Increases attention and concentration
- Changes the brain in ways that protect against mental illness and improve control over emotions
- Increases compassion and empathy
- Improves sleep
Kidsstoppress has an interesting course under Summer Fun Factory that parents will want to try with their kids to help them calm down and adjust themselves to the ever-changing world around them. Click here to know more!
Here Are 5 Mindful Practices That You Can Try:
Take a walk:
Busy days can leave us feeling tired and stressed. When you want to slow down and unplug, practice focusing on the world around you. If you can, go for a walk in nature and use your senses to take it in. Use your eyes to notice everything around you, smell the flowers, walk on the grass, and hear the birds sing. Spending time in a forest(or park in a city), or “forest bathing”, can help you feel calm. All you must do is be there and enjoy the green surroundings.
Sometimes our thoughts and emotions can get stirred up and this makes it hard to think clearly. A glitter jar can be a tool to help settle your feelings. To make a glitter jar pour water into a jar, then add glue. Add glitter to the jar. The glue will make the glitter swirl around in the water. Put the lid on and gently shake the jar. Watch the glitter get stirred up. Anytime you feel stirred up inside, shake the jar and watch the glitter fall. Feel your thoughts and emotions settling with the glue. You can also use a snow globe. You can make check out our calming jar video here.
Power on, Power off:
Sometimes we can feel like we are too full of energy. You can practice controlling different muscles to manage your own energy by turning them on and off. Lie down and try turning off all your power at the same time. Remember to tense when you inhale and then relax when you exhale. Afterwards, go ahead and rest.
We usually eat quickly, barely stopping to notice what we are eating. Eating mindfully involves using all our senses while eating to see, taste, smell, touch the food and enjoy every bite. Chew the food and observe the flavour. Eating mindfully helps us to enjoy the food as well as feel more full.
This activity can help us be mindful of all the things we are grateful for. Simple things like the air-conditioning in summer, nutritious meals, and family and friends who love and care for us are things to be grateful for. Simply reflecting on the things we are grateful for helps us count our blessings and be happier.
Mindfulness helps tweens/teens tune out their stress effectively and work through it more quickly. Frequent mindfulness practice even micro sessions of a few minutes a day imparts great benefits.
Research suggests that mindfulness can improve cognitive performance as well as resilience to stress. So make sure you add a mindfulness exercise to your daily routine.