Why Mindfulness Matters To Teens And Young Adults
Childhood and adolescence is a time when life often feels like a raging inferno. Emotional intensity is high, hormones often rage, and we as humans are just beginning to learn how to navigate life. Mindfulness and self-compassion provide the tools our young people need to not be obliterated by the flames. As Daniel Siegel says in The Amazing, Tumultuous, Wild, Wonderful, Teenage Brain, “Life is on fire when we hit our teens. While the adolescent years may be challenging, the changes in the brain that help support the unique emergence of the adolescent mind can create qualities in us that help not only during our adolescent years, if used wisely, but also as we enter adulthood and live fully as an adult.”
Despite being an intense and vulnerable time, childhood and adolescence provide a pivotal time and space for us to practice mindfulness to develop skills that will serve us for all of life.
By practicing and encouraging mindfulness in our teens and children, we are building emotional resilience, passion and creativity, connected relationships, conscious living, and self compassion.
Mindfulness creates space for young people to build emotional resilience, confidence, and strength. Because our creativity, passion, imagination, and impulsivity are heightened in our early years, it is a great time to practice taking mindful risks, creating, and exploring. By encouraging mindfulness, we create space for this to be done in a more conscious way, thus we allow our young people freedom and the ability to become more confident and empowered to create beautiful and conscious lives.
In addition, confidence, creativity, and freedom encourage people to connect in more authentic relationships. By practicing mindfulness and being present and authentic, we are encouraging mindful and conscious relationships. As we walk through life, the importance of finding our tribe is clear. By encouraging mindfulness early in life, we are encouraging authenticity, compassion for self and others, and connection.
Being present with ourselves and honoring ourselves creates space for us to better understand our inherent rhythms. By creating this space, understanding, and confidence, we become more comfortable navigating the inherent rhythms and seasons of life. As we travel through life, we are more adaptable and present in our experiences and more understanding of the things we can control and the things that are simply outside of our control. We can then navigate all of these things with more grace, patience, confidence, and love.
Practicing mindfulness is not a disconnected part of our lives but one that overflows, enriching our entire existence. By encouraging mindfulness in children and teens, when the brain is ripe and we are just learning to live, we are encouraging lives that are marked by mindful and conscious decision making, decreased negative emotion, and increased emotional resilience, connection, confidence, passion, creativity, and love for self and others.