From deciding the most-fitting career path, worrying about exam results, preparing for the SAT/ACT, or transitioning from school to college - it's no surprise that most teenagers are perpetually in a cycle of stress and rush in their fast-paced lifestyle. If you are a teenager looking for a sense of calm amidst the chaos, give around 5-10 minutes for meditation every morning before you begin your hectic routine. It can offer you a sense of peace. So, let's begin by learning five simple meditation techniques.
Teenagers and Meditation: A Beam of Tranquility
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Firstly, to clarify: Meditation does not turn you into a new person or turn off your thoughts and feelings. Rather, it is a practice that focuses on clearing the mind to relax, reduce stress, and even improve your health - both mental and physical.
The benefits of meditation for teenagers are multiple. It ranges from improving focus and concentration to boosting one’s self-esteem and memory levels. Practicing meditation can also help enhance one’s physical health. If this doesn’t seem convincing yet, here’s what behavioral health therapist Jane Ehrman states:
“With 15 minutes of daily meditation for at least three weeks, the brain becomes more responsive and less reactive — which can be especially helpful to teens prone to anxiety or erratic behavior."
Setting Sail on the Sea of Serenity: Getting Started with Meditation
Before you get started on your journey to calmness, here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your process and efforts are effective!
A quiet corner of your living room, bedroom, or even the public garden - the perfect place to tap into your meditative powers - can be any place that you find comfortable and quiet.
A position that enables one to be attentive yet relaxed is essential to ensure that one can focus on breathing and be present throughout the meditative period. This may be different for everyone: sitting on a chair, cross-legged on the mattress, or lying down.
3. Small Steps each day!
To ensure continued interest and effectiveness, you must take your meditation journey forward. Every minute of meditation helps. Hence, beginning with a few minutes and subsequently building it up with comfort can help build the habit of meditation. Eventually, through this seamless process, meditation can be included in your routine.
Here are 5 simple meditation techniques you can try immediately
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Inspired by a yogic trick, this meditation technique aims to activate the third eye. To begin, close your eyes and rub your palms against each other to generate heat. For about half a minute, cover your eyes with your palms. Then, visualize a bright sun at the center of your forehead (a portion known as Ajna Chakra), and imagine the warmth and light it casts on and around you.
This technique is effective when one feels a sense of being mentally blocked. My personal favorite is when I need a break from distractions created by the digital world. One of the best characteristics of this technique is the ease with which it can be done anywhere - while traveling, before a test, or at the desk in class!
2. Notice 5 things
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This is a simple exercise to tune into your surroundings. The practice requires you to notice five things you can see, hear, feel, or smell in your surroundings at the moment. If you have a little more time, you can try it differently. Then, you can identify five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, and two things you can smell.
This technique works best during aggravated situations, especially ones that involve anger and stress. It can also enhance routine activities, including a walk across the hallway, and act as an eye-opener, even in places where you spend most of your time.
3. Counting Breaths
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This is one of the best meditation techniques for beginners! This technique requires you to count your breaths at the end of each exhale, reaching up to ten. Once you have reached ten, start over again.
While this may feel challenging in the beginning, with progress, this exercise will enable you to enhance your focus and mental concentration levels. This is one of the best exercises to incorporate into your evening routine and it facilitates peaceful and undisturbed rest.
4. Metta Meditation - Loving Kindness
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While meditation is often perceived to be limited to silence and breathing techniques, loving-kindness meditation is a technique used to radiate good thoughts and positivity.
You can begin this technique by turning to your present and by paying attention to your breath. Then, imagine someone you love - for instance, your dog - and imbibe the feeling. Then, think of someone you care about (sometimes yourself too) and direct your good thoughts to them.
This technique works wonderfully to release conflict and resentment, bringing in an air of positivity and warmth. If you are holding on to negative emotions inside, this technique is the best to cultivate positive energy.
5. Body Scan
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This meditation technique focuses on every physical sensation in the body. It lets you be aware of yourself and how your body relates to your emotional self.
Body Scan requires you to focus on breathing, and then move your attention to your feet to observe the sensation. If there is any unpleasing feeling, breathe and visualize it leaving your body during exhalation. Repeat this process, moving upward, until you reach your head, and redirect your attention to all parts of your body.
Working best during injuries or physical pains (hence, highly recommended to teenage athletes!), this meditation technique helps you actively overcome your physical and emotional pain, also aiding with managing stress.
Now, It is time to start your meditative journey!
Now, you are all ready, and equipped, to combat problems with your meditative power. From using visualization to energize yourself, noticing five things to calm down and counting Breaths to build concentration, or attempting Metta Meditation to bring in positivity and Body Scan to aid physical pain, you can pick your favorite daily meditation technique and incorporate it - even on a small scale - into your routine.