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  • Writer's pictureS Finelli

Mindfulness in Teens

We hear so much about living mindfully, but what exactly does that mean? Some confuse mindfulness to mean an altered state achieved primarily through meditation. And, because most individuals rarely sit still long enough to focus on any one thing in particular, being mindful may seem out of reach. However, mindfulness teens is not only attainable, it is easier than you might think.

Going through the motions of what we need to do on a day-to-day basis, barely paying attention to the sights and sounds around us, is precious time wasted. When our thoughts are constantly in the past or of the future, we are not really living in the present. In many ways, we aren’t really living at all. If we ‘mind-drift’ long enough, we’ll find that days turn weeks and months turn to years without much remembrance of what happened in the meantime. A recipe for a rather unfulfilled life, don’t you think?

Fortunately, mindfulness can bring you back to the present moment.

Being mindful simply means living in the present moment. ”Where else would I be living?” you ask. Unfortunately, it is often anywhere but the present moment. Think about how many times you have found yourself at work or school barely remembering waking up and traveling to your destination? How much time do you find yourself absorbed in your thoughts ~ thinking about something that just happened, happened yesterday, or even days or weeks ago? Goals and dreams are wonderful, but how often do your thoughts drift to someplace else you’d rather be? Mindfulness changes this.

Being mindful may take practice, but you really can train your brain. Start right now. First take a closer look to what is around you. Notice more of what is there. Look at the colors, the patterns, the details. See the variety of objects, the shapes, the sizes. Are you around people? What are they wearing? Pay attention to their expressions and their body language. Next, listen. Block out your inner voice and open up to the sounds. Notice how many different sounds come into your awareness. Some will be prominent, others subtle. Is there someone talking? Listen to what they say and the inflection of their voice. Stay with this for a while then move on to any scents. There may be one or none at all. Are you near a plant or flower? Take a whiff. What are you feeling? Is the air cool or warm? Are your clothes comfortable? Rub your hands together. Feel the fabric of your shirt, the textures. Finally, think about where you are in relation to all that surrounds you. How much of it were you aware of before you took this mindful break?

For most of us, and exercise in mindfulness can be enlightening. It can also be eye-opening when you consider how much of your life you miss.

So, how do we keep from letting our time on earth pass so quickly? How do we live so that we aren’t just paying attention to the most memorable moments? Be mindful!

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