By Catherine Griffin
Millions of American teenagers are struggling with stress, anxiety, and even clinical depression. Of course, it is typical for children at this stage to worry about a slew of things. Some common issues giving teenagers sleepless nights include bullying, school load, everyday stress, body image, and so forth.
If your child stresses out too much about teen issues, it’s time you do something about it. Stress can take a huge toll on a teenager’s physical and mental health. That’s where positive thinking exercises and practices come to their rescue.
Below are 10 of the best positive thinking exercises that you can do with your teenage child to help her deal with stress.
#1. Listen to Your Favorite Song(s)
We all have that one song (or songs) that puts a huge grin on your face whenever you listen to it. For centuries, music has been – and will always be – a great positivity booster. There’s nothing quite like the emotions that run through your mind when you listen to an excellent song that seems to speak directly to your personality.
If you know your teenager enough, the chances are that you have a couple of songs you both like. It doesn’t have to be relaxing or meditative kind of a song (of course, these could come in handy when instilling positive thinking), but rather, something that puts a smile on your face while you listen to it.
Let the music blast as you sip your favorite tea or Cocoa. The last thing you want is to let your mind race or give stress an opportunity to creep in. Instead, let positive thoughts and the music take over your world. Imagine great, positive scenarios and outcomes in your life.
#2. Consider Affirmations
If your teenager has an activity that is stressing her out, you might want to try affirmations with her. By saying positive affirmations, the teen will reprogram her subconscious thinking and beliefs. You’d be surprised how upbeat and jovial you will be right after.
In most cases, you will have to try the technique of affirmation for at least three weeks as it takes 21 days to modify habits. You will need to practice affirmations in the morning and evening to instill a positive way of thinking. Over the 21 days, your teen’s feelings and opinion on challenges will gradually transform.
#3. Gratitude Exercises
Expressing thankfulness is another excellent positive thinking exercise that can help teens handle stress better. Once gratitude starts in your lives, all the problems, struggles, and difficulties in your life will vanish. In fact, a grateful mind never stops to think about life troubles or obstacles; instead, it remains positive by continually creating “phenomenal vibrations.”
Teach your teenager child to be consciously and continuously grateful for all the positive things that are happening in her life. You can also keep a notebook of what makes you want to be thankful. Start off with basic stuff like the gift of life to passing a hard test and everything in-between.
#4. Deep Breathing Exercises
When it comes to instilling positive thinking in your teen, don’t underestimate the power of deep breathing. It is well known that fear, stress, anger, anxiety, and other bad-for-you emotions cause quick and shallow breaths. On the other hand, happy and calm feelings generate slow and deep breathing. What most people don’t know is that the opposite is also true. Deep breathing exercises can help you become calm and happy.
When your teenager comes home angry and stressed out, take 5 to take deep, slow breaths. The positive impact on your mind, spirit, and body is almost immediate. Your child will start feeling positivity flowing through her.
It’s never too early for teenagers to practice yoga. Have a yoga tutorial video or book handy to ensure that you practice positive thinking exercises such as big toe pose, channel cleaning breathing, boat pose, child’s pose, and so on. Just like deep breathing, yoga has been known to tune out stress, leaving your teenage child calm and happy. Besides, yoga exercise encourages secretion of happy-making hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
When it comes to positive thinking exercises, meditation and yoga are the most efficient. They work on all aspects of your being, including mind, body, and spirit. Meditation in and of itself is a massive stress-reliever. Even five minutes of mindful meditation can help you restore inner peace and calm, leaving you without tension, worry or anxiety.
The good thing about meditation is that everyone can do it – it’s inexpensive, simple, and doesn’t require any special gear. Best of all, you can meditate wherever you want.
#7. Include Physical Exercise
You and your teenager can also boost your mental attitude by performing some regular exercises. It releases happy-making endorphins that will calm you and keep stress at bay. You can take a slow run, jogging, and even light weight-lifting – it’ll also do wonders for your weight management.
Apart from the feel-good hormones, exercising will also help your teenager develop a body-positive image.