We live in an incredibly fast-paced society. At times, it can feel like 24 hours in a day isn’t enough to accomplish everything on one’s plate. While keeping busy and accomplishing tasks is an important part of life, so is taking moments to rest. For teenagers, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the many responsibilities of getting a high GPA, playing sports, participating in clubs, and staying involved with the community. These responsibilities are known to cause even severe anxiety in some teens. That’s where mindfulness meditation may be of use.
More than taking a moment to breathe
When the mindfulness meditation craze began, many figured it was just a trend and had no scientific backing to it. Mindfulness meditation is actually a centuries old technique that’s been used all over the world for focusing, healing, and coping purposes. Now we know through copious research that it does indeed have health benefits.
Now, this type of meditation isn’t just sitting in one place and breathing–it’s much more than that. It’s all about taking time to check in with yourself. Through this meditation, a person becomes more in touch with how they’re feeling, why they’re feeling that way, and how their surroundings are affecting them. This is something that frequently doesn’t happen in today’s world because of our obsession with constantly being busy.
Research shows mindfulness meditation improves mental health
Recently, a study by Georgetown University Medical Center showed strong evidence of the benefits mindfulness meditation has to offer. While a lot of research has begun in the effects of mindfulness training, this study seems to be one of the most exhaustive and compelling so far.
Researchers found a sharp decline of the stress hormone in participants who experienced a stressful event and then practiced mindfulness meditation. The group that didn’t get treated with mindfulness meditation took a “Stress Management Education course.” In the course, they were taught the importance of sleep, nutrition, and other health areas. The mindfulness meditation had a much larger effect on the level of stress participants experienced.
Elizabeth A. Hoge, MD–lead author of the study–explained why this is good news:
“Mindfulness meditation training is a relatively inexpensive and low-stigma treatment approach, and these findings strengthen the case that it can improve resilience to stress.”
While this type of meditation may not be a “cure all” for anxiety or depression, it’s most definitely a promising way to help individuals suffering from anxiety better handle it.
Solstice East is here for your family
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, bullying, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.
For more information about how we can help your daughter at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.