Mindfulness is a therapeutic intervention used to help teens, young adults, and adults alike create calm. Mindfulness helps bring awareness to thoughts, feelings, sensations, and environment.
Mindfulness began as part of Buddhist meditation practices. Mindfulness became mainstream in the United States through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. Jon used mindfulness and developed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program.
Established in 1979, MBSR, is an approach supported by research and has shown to be effective. MBCT has also led to the development of other therapeutic approaches that have been shown to be effective such as:
Mindfulness involves an acceptance of who we are physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It encourages us to be present in the moment in a non-judgmental manner.
When a teen or young adult struggles with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD/ADD, trauma, or PTSD, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Mindfulness can bring moments of calm in the midst of the storm.
Regular practice of mindfulness can help train the brain to remain in the state of calm helping reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression or other struggles.
Mindfulness can help anyone regardless of whether you struggle with emotional battles or not. Mindfulness is a great approach to help those experiencing high levels of stress.
For example, you had a stressful day at school or work, upon returning home you are unable to fully engage with your friends or family. Mindfulness can be used to help learn to manage stress and remain present in the moment.
Guidelines in Practicing Mindfulness
Before you start, there are some guidelines when practicing mindfulness meditation that will be helpful:
Practice Being Non-judgmental
During mindfulness, simply acknowledge thoughts, memories, sensations, etc. for what they are. Avoid assigning "good" or "bad" labels to them.
Focus on the Here and Now
You will have intrusive thoughts about the past of future. Simply acknowledge them, let them drift on by, and bring your attention and awareness to the mindfulness activity.
Observe As If
For mindfulness, it can be helpful to observe the activity as if it's the first time you've ever experienced the activity. Act as if you have never seen, heard, felt, smells, or tasted (if applicable) that activity. Use this lens and deeply explore the experience.
5 Simple Techniques to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is great in part because you can practice it anywhere. Below are 5 simple techniques that can be used to practice mindfulness:
1. Observe the Environment
It may be helpful to step outdoors to practice this one. Take a moment to identify things surrounding you. Look around for animals, people, or inanimate object. Observe what they are doing, their location, etc.
2. Body Scans
You can do this sitting or lying on your back, indoors or outdoors. Focus your attention on each part of your body starting from head and finishing with toes. Pay attention to any tension, thoughts, or sensations as you move through each part.
3. Practicing Gratitude
This can be done mentally or using a pen and paper. The purpose of this exercise is to identify positives in our lives. As a result of identifying the positives, we create a balance of our emotions.
4. Deep Breathing
With the invention of the smart watch, this may be one of the easiest things you can set up. If you have a smartwatch, you set reminders to take deep breaths throughout the day.
You can also practice this while sitting at your desk, in the shower, or incorporate into your sleep routine. Set aside 10-minute intervals throughout the day to count your breaths and focus on your breathing.
5. The Five Senses
Finally, focus on your senses: taste, touch, hear, smell, and see. This exercise creates awareness externally and internally and be done anywhere.
Like everything else, the more you practice mindfulness techniques, the better you will become at it. Be sure to remain consistent. Over time you will see the benefits.
Teen Therapy, Young Adult Counseling, & Family Therapy: Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Life can be stressful and life during this last year and a half, even more so. As summer time is here and the pace of life slows, now is a good time to start teen therapy, young adult counseling, or family therapy.
If you are looking for ways to overcome personal struggles you may be experiencing in your life, we can help. Our teen therapist, young adult therapists, and family therapists help people with depression, anxiety, ADHD/ADD, trauma, PTSD, substance abuse, or other struggles.
Our Katy, Tx location is conveniently located just off of 99 and I-10. We are about 4 blocks behind (south) Academy Sports.
If you are ready to start your healing journey, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Start your journey in realizing your full potential
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use therapy and counseling approaches that are supported by research. These approaches have been shown to work in the shortest amount of time.
We also offer the following therapy and counseling services:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Jheri has been providing therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2009. She enjoys using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) due to it's effectiveness with teens and young adults.
Jheri is also a Supervisor providing mentoring and supervision to up and coming therapists. She has taken ownership to ensure the new therapists are therapists highly trained and qualified to provide therapy to others.
Jheri also has a unique understanding of some of the challenges teens and young adults face who are bi-racial. Identity, acceptance, and embracing a mixed heritage are some of the life journey's she helps teens and young adults with.