Mindfulness to Reduce Anxiety Symptoms in Teenagers

The surmounting pressures on teenagers increase as American society becomes more and more competitive. Teenagers can feel pressured to perform not only in school, but also at home by parents. Adding to this, is social media, which can exacerbate feelings of anxiety as photo-shopped images of flawless faces with perfect fit bodies appear all over Instagram feeds.

These pressures can lead to anxiety once teenagers reach young adulthood. According to the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, during the 2015-2016 school year, more than half of the students seeking help at college campus’ counseling centers were coming in with symptoms of anxiety.

Mindfulness exercises are a simple way for teenagers to control symptoms of anxiety. Mindfulness has become a buzz word. Everywhere you look, you see information on mindful eating, mindful exercising, and mindful meditation– but what exactly does mindfulness mean?

Mindfulness is being present and aware of what you are doing, what is happening and your surroundings. This means that we can practice mindfulness anywhere and at any time. Teenagers can practice mindfulness during their walks to class or when they are eating lunch. Mindfulness is an evidence-based practice which means that research and studies prove its effectiveness.

Enjoy and pass on this easy mindfulness exercise to your teenager to help manage anxious feelings in school:

SEAT Mindfulness Exercise

Senses
Start by getting in tune with your body: What do you see and hear around you? Do you, feel smell or taste anything?

Emotions
What emotions or feelings are you experiencing currently?

Actions
What urges or impulses are present in this moment?

Thoughts
In this moment, what are your thoughts?

 

Lorena Alvarez
Mental Health Intern

References:

Staff, Mindful. (October 8, 2014) What is Mindfulness? Are you supposed to clear your mind or focus on one thing? Here’s the Mindful definition of Mindfulness. Mindful: Healthy Mind, Healthy Life. Retrieved from: https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/

Tate, Emily. (March 29, 2017). Anxiety on the Rise. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/03/29/anxiety-and-depression-are-primary-concerns-students-seeking-counseling-services