Teen – Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Has anyone ever told you to “pay attention?” We’re guessing yes. But has anyone ever told you HOW to do that? That’s what mindfulness is all about. Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose with curiosity & kindness, and without judgment. Explore more below to learn how to live in the moment, reduce anxiety, and engage more positively with the world around you.

10 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Daily

#1 Create A Morning Ritual

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

Mornings can have the power to set the tone for the rest of your day.

  1. When you first wake up, before looking at your phone or getting caught up by any other distractions, take a moment of quiet reflection for yourself.
  2. Your morning ritual could be as simple as sitting up in your bed, eyes closed, and spending a moment or two focused on your breathing. While breathing, you can practice a simple moment of gratitude and think of something you are grateful for or set an intention (aim or focus) for your day.
  3. As you develop this morning ritual, you can deepen your practice by sitting for longer periods and allowing more silence before you begin your day. You can think of this practice as a way to set yourself up for success for the day by regulating your nervous system (your body’s functioning) in preparation for the day ahead.

#2 Mindful Breathing

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

Remember You Are Always Breathing!

One of the easiest and most direct ways to bring your attention to the present moment is by bringing your attention to your breath. Your breath is always happening in the present moment whether you are thinking about it or not, and by bringing your attention to it, you are directly connecting yourself to the present moment as it is unfolding.

    • You can try this right now. As you take a few breaths, notice how you are breathing, if it is shallow or deep, and where in your body you feel it, whether it be in your chest, belly, or nose.
    • For a quick practice: Take three deep belly breaths in and out through your nose, focusing your attention on your inhale and exhale, noting where you feel the breath in your body. Repeat this three times and practice it as often as you need throughout the day. This practice can be especially useful in stressful circumstances.

#3 Mindful Listening

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.

Practice Mindful/Active Listening

Many times, when someone is speaking to us, we are often caught up in our own mind thinking of what we are going to say next, without giving their words our full attention and consideration. Mindful listening is a way of listening without judgment, criticism, or interruption. Do this while at the same time as being aware of internal thoughts and reactions you may be experiencing that are actually getting in the way of people communicating with you effectively.

Next time you are in a conversation, try actively listening to the other person with your full attention and see what you notice. Is the conversation more enjoyable? Easier? Or something else? This type of mindful listening can lead to developing deeper and more authentic connections with others.

 

#4 Check in with Your Body

Written by Violaine Guéritault, Ph.D.