Valued for centuries as spiritual practice, meditation continues to grow more popular in the United States in settings such as hospitals, businesses, schools, and more. The research on meditation shows benefits to mental, physical, and emotional well-being, with myriad positive effects. While the definition of meditation extends to include a number of different meanings with varying degrees of spirituality, it generally refers to techniques used in order to facilitate a mind-body connection, which serves to calm the mind and relax the body. At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we’re committed to therapeutic approaches and modalities that embrace the interconnected nature of mental, emotional, and physical health. We understand that we can no more isolate symptoms than we can divide aspects of the individual, and as such, we design treatment to be holistic, addressing teens’ whole experience and whole being. We offer Teen Meditation Therapy as one tool to support teens to grow, heal, and recover during their time here at Paradigm, as once as well they return home.
In designing and providing teen treatment, one of our strategies is to empower teens with practices that will allow them to gain relief from their symptoms and better navigate stress. The NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states: “Regular meditation can reduce chronic pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, cholesterol, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and blood cortisol levels that are increased by stress hormones.” For these reasons, meditation is being provided at an increasing number of health facilities, including hospitals, clinics, Cancer Treatment Centers.
Teen meditation therapy has a number of positive effects in the context of Teen Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment. A great number of the conditions teens struggle with present overlapping symptoms, such as difficulty thinking clearly, anxiety, and overwhelming mood symptoms. In these instances, meditation can help teens learn to slow down these processes, to observe their thought patterns, to identify triggers that lead to increased negative feelings, and to increase their sense of calm. Not only is it incredibly powerful for teens to learn to work with their experience in this way, but also healing for them to feel capable of gaining peace, and to not be at the whim of their emotional experience. Over time, teens can use meditation to slow down their own cause-and-effect cycle, which leads to their negative symptoms, thereby reducing anxiety, decreasing panic attacks, avoiding triggers, improve relationships, and more.
Some of the teen meditation therapy techniques we teach at Paradigm Treatment Centers include breathing exercises, visualization, and mindfulness. The techniques are all relatively simple in nature and teens often enjoy learning the practices as much as they enjoy the positive effects. Breathing exercises are helpful in allowing teens to focus on their breath in a controlled manner, which naturally slows down their thoughts, as their minds relax and focus on this simple, innate act. Breathing exercises are also helpful in building and aiding this connection between body and mind, helping teens to feel more whole and integrated. We also teach different mindfulness practices, helping teens to learn to observe the thoughts and feelings that arise without reacting or judging, so they can gain insight into themselves. At the same time, by teens learning to acknowledge feelings without fear or judgment, over time they will feel less controlled by those feelings, and more in control of their own experience.
At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we’re committed to working with teens in myriad different settings, in order to empower them to experience and sustain improved overall well-being and quality of life. We provide Teen Meditation Therapy as one tool to help teens gain relief from symptoms, better engage in their own therapeutic work while at Paradigm, and be capable to navigate their experiences in healthy, successful ways, following their time here with us.