Mindfulness Activities for Teens

Mindfulness Activities for Teens

This blog presents mindfulness activities for teens.

Mindfulness is referred to as the process by which an individual focuses on the present moment rather than living in the past or the future. Mindfulness has various proven benefits.

This blog aims to provide you with some of the most effective mindfulness activities for teens but before we move on to mindfulness activities for teens, let’s have an overview of the benefits of mindfulness.

Mindfulness Activities for Teens

Benefits of Mindfulness

There are a number of benefits of practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness benefits individuals in almost every field of their life.

It helps them focus on things that aid in being less stressed out. Mindfulness makes you feel calm and relaxed.

It increases the level of patience and tolerance in you. It increases your ability to handle things properly.

Empirical evidence has shown that mindfulness has a big role in improving mental health too.

Mindfulness is found to reduce the effects of bullying (Zhou, Liu, Niu, Sun, & Fan, 2016), increase the level of attention in children having ADHD (Zhang et al., 2016), cure attention problems (Crescentini, Capurso, Furlan, & Fabbro, 2016), promotes overall well being and enhance social as well as communication skills.

Mindfulness increases self-awareness, self-compassion, and other positive attributes, like selective attention in individuals.

Therefore it is suggested to practice mindfulness on a daily basis.

Mindfulness Activities for Teens

The following are some of the most effective mindfulness activities for teens.

These activities are very interesting, simple, and easy.

Select your favorite one and start practicing it to increase your level of mindfulness, so you could avail the benefits of mindfulness.

One mindful activity, not mentioned in this blog is mindfulness tattoos.

Mindful Posing

Mindful posing is a very effective activity for increasing mindfulness.

This activity is specifically designed for kids but teens can also practice it.

Since kids are very small to perform big activities, making and observing body poses it is a very simple and effective task for increasing mindfulness in them.

Children can be encouraged to do this activity by telling them how funny poses can make them feel strong, courageous, and happy. 

For this activity, the facilitator; either parents or teachers, have to take their children or students respectively, to a quiet and familiar place.

Then they are asked to make any one of the following poses: 

1. The Superman Pose

For this pose, the children need to stand with their feet wider than their hips, clenched fists and arms reaching out to the sky.

The children have to stretch the body as much as they can.

2. The Wonder Woman Pose 

For this pose, the children are supposed to stand straight with their legs better than their hip-width apart and either their hands or fists placed at the hips. 

Children are supposed to practice this pose several times, after which the parents or teachers will ask them about how they feel.

Spidey-Senses

Watching movies related to superheroes, or reading books and comics that are related to superheroes teaches teens to the more attentive, focused, and observant.

It teaches teens how to focus on the present moment. 

For this activity, teachers or parents have to direct teens to turn on their ‘spidey senses’; the sense of smell, the sense of hearing, the sense of vision, the sense of touch, and sense of taste, which the Superman uses to keep a track of what is going on around him.

This activity will encourage teens to live in the moment and focus on the present things attentively.

It will increase their awareness about self, others, and the environment.

This activity is very good for increasing observational skills, curiosity, and attention in teens.

Mindfulness Activities for Teens

Mindful Eating

Just like mindfulness, mindful eating is also very beneficial for us.

Mindful eating helps us keep track of which things we are eating and prevent engagement in comfort eating, or getting psychological illnesses such as eating disorders.

Mindfulness eating benefits everyone from kids to elders. It helps in staying healthy emotionally, psychologically as well as physically.

This activity is very easy and can be practiced anytime. 

This activity is to be done in groups. Each group member has to get an edible thing such as berries, nuts, vegetables, or anything.

Once every group member got a thing in their hand, they have to carefully observe that thing using their five senses.

They have to observe how the thing looks like, how it smells like, how it feels when in hand, how it tastes like.

Then, when they eat that thing, they have to observe how they feel about it, its texture, its flavor, and other characteristics of the thing.

Self-Compassion

We often experience anxiety and stress in our daily lives but the ways in which we deal with stress and anxiety are mostly unhealthy.

Self-compassion helps us deal with anxiety and stressful emotions in a healthy way. Although self-compassion is not related to mindfulness it is the part of the path.

Self-compassion helps individuals realize that their safety, their health is important and this is when they acknowledge that they have to take steps for themselves, they have to be mindful to be able to recognize what they are feeling like and what they should do in order to pacify their discomforting feelings.

Compression enables individuals to become more responsive, more mindful, and kinder towards themselves. 

For this activity, the teens are supposed to think of recent events that made them feel painful or uncomfortable.

They can put my hand on their heart to make them feel better and supported. After this, they are supposed to speak out some phrases to themselves that would make them feel better.

For example, ” this is painful”, ” ups and downs are a part of life” and ” I need to be compassionate about myself”. 

Mindful Walking

This is a very simple and effective exercise for increasing mindfulness. For this activity, all have to do is to observe how your body moves as you walk slowly.

While you walk, slow down and observe your footsteps, the distance between your footsteps, and the way you balance your feet while walking.

Walk in slow motion and observe how your arms, legs, and feet move.

Notice how your knees bend while you are working. Breathe slowly and deeply and keep observing the motion of your feet, hands, and arms.

It is common to get distracted while doing the activity but whenever this happens, instantly convert all your attention to this task.

Cooking

Cooking is not only a task for parents, but teens can also cook. For this activity, you have to think about your purpose in cooking.

It could be either because you want to take in good nutrients for your body, or you want to spend some time having a hot meal with your family members, or even both of these. 

Once you have decided your intention for cooking, go to the kitchen, grab the ingredients of the food you want to cook, then start the cooking process by attentively observing all the ingredients and the things you are doing to them.

Use your five senses to observe the whole process. Use your hands to feel the texture of the onion, the sound you hear while you still fry the vegetables, the odor you smell when you are done cooking.

After this, garnish the food to make it look appetizing and visually appealing.

This activity will not only make you prepare good food for you and your family members to enjoy but also help you increase your mindfulness.

Sensory Note-Taking

For this activity, you are supposed to use your five senses to observe what is going around you.

Your eyes to see, your nose to smell, your hands to feel, your ears to hear, and your tongue to taste.

Then follow the below-mentioned steps for each of the five senses:

Taste

Take a small piece of chocolate and put it on your tongue. Use your Five Senses to observe this piece of chocolate.

Observe its color, texture, and taste with the help of your tongue. Notice the sweet sensation you feel in your mouth and the reaction of your body to sugar.

Smell

Now select something which has a very strong odor. It would be an orange or a flower with a strong smell. Bring the thing close to your nose and inhale deeply.

How does your body react when the smell reaches your mind through your nose. Notice how your body reacts to this sensation and what emotions are triggered in you.

It is said that fragrances trigger certain memories associated with them. Try to concentrate deeply and identify the memories which are associated with this scent.

Sight 

Pick any random object and closely observe it for some seconds. Focus on its color, texture, shape, and some other things that you have never noticed before.

Sound 

Select your favorite song and turn it on. Listen to it attentively by focusing on all of its lyrics.

Notice emotions that are triggered in you when you hear this song and your physiological reactions to this song.

Touch 

Use a blindfold to cover your eyes or simply close your eyes. Hold on something around you and observe how you feel when you take them in your hand.

Notice their texture, size, shape, or other characteristics when you touch them.

Recommended Amazon Tools and Books

The following is a list of some recommended Amazon tools and books which can help you increase your knowledge about mindfulness and explore activities that would help you in enhancing your mindfulness.

Click your favorite book and you will be redirected to the page from where you can access it.

  • Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self by Jennie Marie Battistin MA LMFT | Sep 24, 2019
  • Ultimate Mindfulness Activity Book: 150 Playful Mindfulness Activities for Kids and Teens (and Grown-Ups too!) by Christian Bergstrom  | Feb 24, 2019
  • Mindfulness Therapy Games: Social Skills Game That Teaches Mindfulness for Kids, Teens, and Adults Effective for Self Care, Communication Skills 40 Cards for Play Therapy
  • Mindful Games Activity Cards: 55 Fun Ways to Share Mindfulness with Kids and Teens by Susan Kaiser Greenland and Annaka Harris  | Apr 4, 2017
  • Be Mindful Card Deck for Teens by Gina M. Biegel  | Mar 1, 2016
Mindfulness Activities for Teens

Which Mindfulness app is best?

Some good meditation apps include the mindfulness app, headspace, calm, buddhify, and stop breathe & think.

What is mindful breathing?

Mindful breathing is referred to as breathing while paying attention to your breathing pattern.

It means to closely observe your breathing when you inhale and exhale. 

What are some examples of mindfulness?

Some examples of mindfulness include paying attention to a thing, living in the moment intentionally, accepting oneself, and focusing on one’s own breathing patterns.

Does mindful eating work?

According to a study, published in the journal Nutrition Research Reviews, mindful eating interventions were the most effective in treating binge eating, emotional eating, and eating in response to external cues. 

What are the benefits of mindful eating?

These are a number of benefits for eating mindfully.

Mindful eating reduces stress, increases enjoyment, makes the process of digestion easier, reduces calories, reduces weight, prevents and treats binge eating, controls food without letting food control you, and enables you to enjoy the moment.

How quickly does mindfulness work?

The effectiveness of mindfulness depends upon an individual’s expectations with mindfulness exercises.

If an individual expects mindfulness to give instant results, he might get restricted earlier.

Empirical evidence has proved that consistent mindfulness practice produces positive outcomes in just 8 weeks.

Note that experiencing positive outcomes does not mean that the illness has disappeared.

Mindfulness Activities for Teens

This blog aimed to provide you various mindfulness activities for teens.

These activities are very effective in enhancing mindfulness and engaging in healthy acts such as mindful walking and mindful eating.

If you have any queries or questions regarding this blog, let us know through your comments. We will be glad to assist you.

References 

25 Mindfulness Activities for children and Teens by Courtney E. Ackerman (2020)

9 Mindfulness Exercises and Activities for Teens

Mindfulness Exercises (for Teens) – Nemours – Kids Health by D’Arcy Lyness, Ph.D. (2017)

Mindfulness Activities for teens: 21 stress-reducing activities to try by Kate Harveston (2020)

Amazon.com 

Unsplash.com 

Mindfulness Activities for Teens

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.