Meditation is a powerful tool for enhancing teen mental health. In fact, a meditation study at Johns Hopkins University found that almost all types of meditation were as effective as pharmaceutical antidepressants for the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Measurements using magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) show that meditation can alter neural activity in a positive way, promoting well-being and optimism.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a mind/body practice that has been shown to reduce stress and promote happiness. Additionally, meditation, whether guided meditation or done one one’s own, can increase empathy and improve concentration. Moreover, the benefits of meditation include increasing calmness, fostering psychological balance, and enhancing overall well-being. By decreasing rumination and boosting attention, a meditation practice helps reduce emotional reactivity while strengthening emotional resilience.

Most types of meditation include four common elements: a quiet location in which to meditate; a specific, comfortable posture; a focus on the breath, or on a chosen word or image; and an open attitude, free of judgment and self-criticism.

Furthermore, meditation is free and accessible to all. Also, as with any practice, making it a regular routine will increase the benefits of meditation. Eastern religions have tended to concentrate on meditation as a means of realizing spiritual enlightenment. However, meditation has been shown today to be useful for almost anyone willing to try to meditate.

Sources: National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthPsychology TodayThe New York TimesBetter Health Channel

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