We have all spent much of our lives developing our knowledge and intelligence in school and at work and strengthening our body with physical activity. Yet, more likely than not, you probably haven’t spent much time being taught how to train your mind, which is one of the most valuable skills you can have. When we take the time to practice mindfulness, we are actively training our mind and changing our brain in a positive way. We are making it stronger and more resilient, which can lead to all sorts of positive mental, emotional, physical, and social effects. These positive effects of practicing mindfulness can include increasing our ability to focus, helping us better recognize, understand, and regulate emotions, and being a more empathetic or caring friend and family member.
Practicing mindfulness points out the beauty and gift that can be found in the present moment — all around us, all the time.
- It has the power to transform you into a person who is more AWARE and PRESENT. And a person who is more aware and present can make better decisions, can be more empathetic, and can be more connected to life unfolding right in front of them.
- Learning to bring your awareness to the present moment can enrich your life and is one of the greatest skills you can cultivate. It can help you discover who you are and what makes you unique with greater understanding, and provide you with more clarity, insight, and compassion in how you relate to others and the world around you.
- It also deepens your reservoir for resilience, allowing you to respond to difficult situations or emotions with more balance and equanimity.
When you practice mindful seeing, for instance, and take in your surroundings, such as the clouds moving across the sky, the wind in your face, or leaves falling from the trees, you begin to observe and notice all the wonderful finer details of life that you may not have seen before. This way of being is always available to you. It is a choice you can make about where to place your attention any moment you want. This is your true power.
When you practice mindfulness you experience the choice you always have over where and how your attention is directed.
The positive effects of mindfulness aren’t always instant. When you practice over and over, the benefits grow and grow, just like you improve at any skill the more you practice. More likely than not, practice may seem challenging, especially at the beginning, but all of a sudden you may start to notice feeling calmer throughout the day, less reactive to stressors, and maybe you even experience more feelings of gratitude than before. Speaking of which, maybe you’d like to try a mindfulness practice right now?
To read a teen’s personal story of how a mindfulness practice can positively impact your life, check out Tali’s story, here.
Why teaching mindfulness to our young person is beneficial
Just as mindfulness can help us navigate our lives more intentionally and build on the things that we enjoy and that benefit us in life, mindfulness can do the same for our young person. Teaching and modeling mindfulness can help them build on their self-esteem, manage stress and anxiety, and approach challenges with calm. Our young person’s mind is growing and developing during adolescence and helping them to practice mindfulness during this time can positively shape their concentration, memory, and social abilities. These are the basis to more advanced tasks that they will need to learn like critical thinking, planning, and reasoning skills. Giving them a good, solid base to build on for all these developing skills can be deeply beneficial to them, not only now, but throughout their lives.