10 Mindfulness Activities for Teens

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Last Update Date: 03 September 2020

Being a teenager can be very tough. As the responsibilities start to build up and with the constant use of technology through social media, the connection to the present fades and the need to have a clear mind escalates. Mindfulness activities for teens help them experience the present, reduce stress and overcome anxiety. Read our article to learn more about mindfulness for teens and easy-to-apply practices.

What is Mindfulness for Teens?

Mindfulness is the state of mind that allows you to be present. It allows you to realize and recognize life as it is. Mindfulness exercises for teens help them achieve just that.

Especially with the overwhelming need to be popular and the extreme use of social media and technology, teenagers tend to forget to concentrate on the now. For instance, when they share a post on social media they focus on how they look and how many likes that they will get but not on their surroundings. They mimic happiness and joy without actually experiencing it.

Mindfulness activities for teens help them concentrate on what is actually happening, recognize their feelings, and enjoy life as it is.

Teenagers tend to overuse technology and social media out of boredom. This results in experiencing a lack of focus, stress and many other negative effects.

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Mindfulness Techniques for Teenage Anxiety and Stress

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association shows that:

  • Teen stress rates are 5.8 out of 10 during the school year
  • The average adult stress rate is 5.1 out of 10
  • Teen stress rates during summer lower down to 4.6.

These results show that teens are under much more stress than adults. The main reason for that is the responsibilities from school and homework, expectations from parents and teachers and the social relationships at school and with friends.

CDC report

According to the chart provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

  • 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) are diagnosed with anxiety
  • 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) are diagnosed with depression
  • 7.4% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.5 million) are diagnosed with a behavior problem.

These numbers are proof to why mindfulness-based stress reduction for teens and mindfulness for teen depression and anxiety must be applied. Besides stress, anxiety and depression, teenagers nowadays experience difficulties when concentrating.

Mindfulness meditation for teenagers:

  • Promotes happiness
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps overcome anxiety
  • Helps deal with ADHD
  • Enhances learning ability
  • Raises body awareness
  • Grows patience
  • Encourages considerate actions
  • Helps defeat depression
  • Builds tolerance
  • Sharpens memory
  • Increases focus and attention
  • Builds social intelligence
  • Helps evaluate and control behavior
  • Helps manage emotions
  • Supports mental health

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Mindfulness Activities for Teens

Mindfulness techniques for teens can help teenagers in the various ways mentioned above. We listed 10 of the best mindfulness exercises for teens to help reach mindfulness.

All of them are easy to apply and will only take a few minutes. Implement them to your and your children’s daily routine to find your Zen.

1. Mindful Dancing

Our bodies have a natural inner rhythm. From the beat of our hearts’ to the pulse in our veins’, when we follow the rhythm, we can find some peace in our mind.

Mindful dancing

Benefits

This type of mindfulness meditation for teens provides higher levels of emotional and spiritual well-being, increased acceptance of one’s self, and promotes positive feelings.

Duration

You can dance for as long as you want, but aim to go through at least one song.

How to Apply

  • Turn on a song or a music genre of your choice. Pop, R&B, jazz, make your pick.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Listen to your body and dance with the rhythm.
  • Concentrate on how your body naturally adapts to the music.
  • Dance through the music and keep your focus only on the music and your moves.

2. Mindful Cooking

Cooking has been a therapeutic activity for many years now. But mindful cooking is a step even further.

Mindful cooking

Benefits

Mindful cooking allows you to be present, recognize change, grow acceptance and have gratitude. You might even pick up a skill or two.

Duration

Depends on the recipe :)

How to Apply

  • Pick a recipe that suits your taste.
  • After preparing the ingredients for the recipe (adult supervision may be required for chopping, etc.), set up your counter.
  • As you go on with the process, focus on the food and how it reacts to fire, ice, or other procedures you apply.
  • Focus on how the taste, texture, temperature or colors change as you cook.
  • Listen to the sound as you stir, mix, or cook.
  • Breathe in the aromas and scents that release as you go on.
  • Appreciate the food.
  • Notice each step and process that the ingredients have to go through to form the final dish.
  • When you finish cooking, enjoy the appearance of the dish and its taste.

3. Mindfulness Tasting

Now that you have cooked your food, it’s time to enjoy it! The snacks that we have while watching TV or drinks that we have while going through social media can taste so much better when you just enjoy them.

Mindful eating

Benefits

This is one of the easiest mindfulness exercises for teens. All you have to do is eat without doing anything else. It can reduce stress and anxiety, promote happiness, improve concentration and allow being present.

Duration

Can take 5-7 minutes.

How to Apply

  • Pick a simple aromatic food. It can be a fruit like strawberry or nuts like almonds or cashew.
  • Close your eyes, breathe in the scent of the food, see how your mouth waters.
  • Try to feel the texture. Does it have a bumpy surface or a wet smooth one?
  • Make sure you focus only on the food and that your mind doesn't wander off in this mindfulness activity. Be present.
  • Take a small bite of the food. How does it taste? Focus on how you react to it. Do you squint because it’s sour or do you feel heat in your throat because it’s spicy?
  • Make sure you savor every bit of your bite. When it’s done, go on and take another bite.
  • Repeat savoring each and every bite till you finish.

4. Mindful Walking

As we learn how to walk as a child, we start to not care about it. It comes very naturally to us and we don’t give it a second thought. However, when we just spare a moment to focus on our steps, it may make a huge difference.

Mindful walking

Benefits

Mindful walking allows us to clear our mind, reduces stress and anxiety, allows us to be present, appreciate health, and have gratitude.

Duration

You can walk mindfully for as long as you wish but if you’re in a hurry, 5-10 minutes will do.

How to Apply

  • Applying these mindfulness techniques for teenagers outdoors is better.
  • Find a silent peaceful location.
  • Do not listen to music through your headphones; instead, focus on your surroundings.
  • Make sure you focus only on the food and that your mind doesn't wander off in this mindfulness activity. Be present.
  • Take a small bite of the food. How does it taste? Focus on how you react to it. Do you squint because it’s sour or do you feel heat in your throat because it’s spicy?
  • Make sure you savor every bit of your bite. When it’s done, go on and take another bite.
  • Repeat savoring each and every bite till you finish.

5. Mindful Breathing

We take hundreds of breaths every day but knowing how to control your breathing is a very important and useful type of mindfulness meditation especially for teens.

Mindful Breathing

Benefits

Mindful walking allows us to clear our mind, reduces stress and anxiety, allows us to be present, appreciate health, and have gratitude.

Duration

You can walk mindfully for as long as you wish but if you’re in a hurry, 5-10 minutes will do.

How to Apply

  • Applying these mindfulness techniques for teenagers outdoors is better.
  • Find a silent peaceful location.
  • Do not listen to music through your headphones; instead, focus on your surroundings.
  • Make sure you focus only on the food and that your mind doesn't wander off in this mindfulness activity. Be present.
  • Take a small bite of the food. How does it taste? Focus on how you react to it. Do you squint because it’s sour or do you feel heat in your throat because it’s spicy?
  • Make sure you savor every bit of your bite. When it’s done, go on and take another bite.
  • Repeat savoring each and every bite till you finish.

6. Mindful Bubbles

Who says you have to be a child to enjoy blowing bubbles? This practice is perfect for mindfulness for teen worry.

Mindful bubbles

Benefits

It helps combat frustration and worry, calms the mind and reduces stress, helps overcome anxiety, promotes peaceful thinking and gives room for expressing emotions.

Duration

You can practice mindfulness with this exercise for 5 minutes but feel free to go on, we know how fun it is.

How to Apply

  • You will need bubbles for this exercise. If you don’t have one, you can mix some dish soap and water to create a homemade mixture and blow them with an egg mixer.
  • Blow a bubble. While doing so, pay attention to how each bubble floats magically away in the air.
  • Observe the swirling colors in each bubble.
  • Feel free to pop one, feeling the texture on your fingertips.

7. Mindful Music

How can we deny the effect of music on our feelings? Melodies have an amazing effect on our soul and just listening to the right music can make a huge difference.

Mindful music

Benefits

Mindful listening to music allows self-observing, promotes happiness, helps overcome anxiety and stress.

Duration

You can apply this creative exercise for as long as you want but if you have other chores to do, giving it 5-10 minutes will be enough.

How to Apply

  • Instrumental music works best to develop mindfulness in combating teen anger, but if you have taste for other genres, that will work as well.
  • Before starting, tune into your feelings.
  • As you listen to the music, notice your feelings without any criticism of what they are.
  • Keep in mind that music affects us whether we want it or not. So it’s okay to feel anger if you're listening to heavy metal music.
  • Notice how your body reacts to each beat.
  • When you finish the exercise, think about the feelings that had surfaced.

8. Mindful Puzzles

Mindfulness exercises for teenagers have a good variety to pick from and mindful puzzles are one of the best. They can be a good old word hunt or a crossword puzzle, your pick.

Mindful puzzles

Activities like solving puzzles require a great amount of focus. Otherwise, even a fun activity can become stressful. Lack of focus can also result in insufficient work, poor grades and much more. Therefore, sharpening your focusing skills can be very helpful for both you and your child.

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Benefits

We tend to live our lives without thinking about the consequences that often. This mindfulness exercise will allow thinking before acting, develop self-soothing skills, expand focusing skills, and, in addition, serve as an educational activity.

Duration

The duration of mindful puzzles depends on the puzzles you prefer.

How to Apply

  • Start the exercise as usual. As a difference, you should use a pen instead of a pencil.
  • As you make mistakes that would be hard to erase, think about the emotions that you reflect. Why did you make the mistake, did you rush into it? How frustrated or angry did you get?
  • When your feelings surface, find a way to make up your mind again with the help of breathing. Keep going.
  • After finishing the puzzle, think about how you felt through the process and why and how long it took you to get back on track.

9. Mindful Bathing

Water is a miracle of nature that always has a soothing effect on people. Try taking a mindful bath (or shower if you don’t have a bathtub).

Mindful bathing

Benefits

Mindful bathing exercises can help you focus on your feelings and reflect on them. It also calms the mind, allowing you to be present.

Duration

You can take a mindful bath for 10-15 minutes.

How to Apply

  • As you draw a bath, use additives like Epsom salts and essential oils then inhale the aroma as the tub fills (If you have a shower, you can let the water flow down from the top and light some scented candles for an additional soothing effect).
  • Get in the tub and close your eyes.
  • Explore the feeling of the warm water on your skin.
  • After you have relaxed enough, get out of the tub.
  • Visualize any stress or anxiety disappear down the drain.

10. Mindful Coloring

Mindful coloring is one of the creative mindfulness techniques for teens. All you need is a color book and some color.

Mindful coloring

Benefits

This activity helps you feel more present, appreciate colors and calm your mind while chasing worries away.

Duration

Setting aside 5 to 15 minutes for mindful coloring will be enough.

How to Apply

  • Find a peaceful setting that won’t allow disturbance.
  • Gather your materials and place them on a table.
  • Start coloring as you wish, focusing on the harmony between colors.
  • Pay attention to your breathing and how you feel with each color.
  • Don’t allow your mind to wander off. When you do, focus on your breathing and bring yourself back to the present.

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