A great majority of people believe that stress is greater on working adults, but taking a close look at the lives of teenagers will prove that stress is a very present force in their day to day as well. The teen years can be particularly tricky – slowly transitioning away from their parents in order to identify their individuality and coping with the challenges of being part of a very judgmental society can reap significant effects on one’s mental health. The pressure can be so great, in fact, that recent statistics have shown suicide to be the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 12 to 18 years. Add in the expectations of family members and teachers and the need to excel in academics, and one might begin to wonder how these young people manage to survive the tough teen years.
But stress isn’t the only thing eating away at the minds of our youth – the nature of our highly digital world has the minds of teenagers constantly preoccupied, convincing them that staying in touch with the latest trends and showbiz news is practically a basic need. Teenagers these days thrive on internet popularity and scramble to propel themselves on online platforms and social media websites for the satisfaction of being noticed in a populated society where they may not get the attention desired.
Coping with Teenage Stress
According to research, teenagers choose to cope with stress by drowning out their troubles with a hobby or interest. Most of the time, teens choose music as their main escape from their problems, however the use of recreational drugs like marijuana as well as indulgence in alcoholic beverages are also common coping mechanisms. In any case, the coping styles chosen by teenagers aren’t always effective. This is because instead of urging them to face their troubles, the mechanisms used by teens encourage them to instead turn away from their problems and even sink deeper into a confused state. While this might work off the bat, issues that are deeply buried in the subconscious will surface later much uglier forms. This is why teens are instead being encouraged to choose more effective coping strategies, and among these is Christian meditation.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety with Christian Meditation
Meditation has been around for centuries and has been used by millions of individuals in order to reach a higher level of calm and as a way to improve overall well-being. Metal health is also a collateral effect of faith based contemplation. While being still has been proven to be effective, Christian meditation might just be a better alternative. The main difference between these two varieties is that Christian meditation encourages individuals to focus their disciple on God, as opposed to traditional meditation which simply aims to achieve peace through the silence of the mind.
Very few teenagers are taught to use Christian meditation as a mood enhancer and ultimately as a powerful method for coping with troubles. A school in Canada has been training it's children to meditate for years in order to encourage a sense of peace, love, and compassion. It's an academic holistic approach that many are taking notice.
Sheldon-Williams Collegiate Public School has been dedicating an hour of their Mondays to simply allowing their students to come together and meditate. Teachers guide students to identify and focus on meaningful mantras which they believe they need in order to improve their meditation experience. This practice is aimed at helping students to become better human beings, siblings, and overall individuals at home, and in their community. The practice started when educators observed that their students were barely ever able to disconnect from the demands of the world and get a feel of their own individuality.
It was noted that a majority of the students were preoccupied with their social media persona, others were immersed in academics, and then there were those who had to worry about making a living aside from all of their teen responsibilities. The meditation practice was initiated in order to allow the students the chance to get away from their hectic lives, even just for a few minutes, and the rewards of the small change have been massive.
Many of the students who partake in the practice claim that it’s their favorite time of the entire week, providing them the opportunity to reboot their system, to find their place in their complicated lives, and to cope with the everyday stress of being a teenager in sometimes a cruel world. While the practice is non-religious, incorporating a Christian tone into their observance might just improve the benefits it offers to those who have faith based beliefs.
The Benefits of Christian Meditation
1. It Gives Comfort
Many students often feel unappreciated, unnoticed, and irrelevant in society. This is because many adults see them as immature and undeserving of attention, especially when their problems seem minuscule to the common adult person's. While the troubles of teens might seem relatively less urgent than those who need to work and earn a living, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re any less real. One of the main benefits of Christian meditation is that it allows teenagers the opportunity to get the comfort and support they need but don’t receive from the older generation around them. Christian meditation teaches individuals that Christ is always listening and that He is always ready to lend a helping hand to those who seek him. At a deeper level, faith based meditation allows us to experience God's love, healing, and presence. Something that can energize even the most troubled person.
2. It Gives Meaning
Very rarely will you find a teenager so in-tune with him or herself that they’re able to identify the meaning of the circumstances that surround them. Oftentimes, it is this lack of understanding that becomes the reason for anxiety and depression in teens. Sadly, because teens commonly choose to keep themselves closed to the world, instead of opening up for dialog, their problems could eat away at their mind and cause significant mental instability that can result to suicide. Christian meditation offers the ultimate answer to the many questions in a teenagers’ mind. It gives them the chance to communicate their troubles and to seek guidance from the One who truly loves them. God's unconditional healing love is often accompanied with spiritual wisdom and insight. This type of interaction can oftentimes bring relief while accepting their troubles and becoming more intuitive over the reasons behind their problems. The Bible calls this mechanism understanding and wisdom, and it comes naturally to those who quietly spend time with the Lord.
3. It Gives Strength
No doubt, being a teenager is tough. From excelling in school, to dealing with peer pressure, and establishing themselves as important independent individuals in society, teenagers have a lot on their agenda. The appropriate strength and resilience is necessary in order to cope and face all the challenges of their day to day lives. Because many often feel incompetent when facing their life’s calling, Christian meditation makes it possible for teenagers to become more capable of taking on their problems. Unlike other coping mechanisms, Christian meditation encourages teens to resolve problems instead of pushing them back and ignoring them. This contemplative practice easily allows a person to spend time with Christ who is aware of all things and in whom we can trust with all problems. Peace is often the result of taking our problems to Christ. Jesus has a way of understanding, loving us, and radiating light from God that overcomes all things. A heart filled love and light teenagers will conduct themselves according to the love and light they experienced with Jesus. This is the proper way to address their troubles – an important life skill that will determine their performance in the real world. As the practice becomes more consistent they will become more strengthened in the ways of Christ.
Can Christian Meditation Help Teens Reduce Stress and Anxiety?
The answer is yes. It doesn’t matter how young you might think you are or how small your problems might seem – if it bothers you and you need help dealing with it, Christian meditation is the ultimate solution. This technique guides individuals to reach not only a sense of inner peace, but a strong inner purpose that motivates people to act despite the different challenges they face every day. It encourages us with God's love and light. It maintains a healthy balance in the mind. It offers ways of de-stressing and therefore reducing anxiety. It corrects a teens outlook on life by highlighting the way of Christ's love and life. It teaches them to be wise and resilient. Christian meditation can help teenagers become strong, sensible, and smart individuals ready to face the hurdles of life.