Do you remember the time when suddenly the opposite gender became less annoying? When your parents became extremely embarrassing? And when you noticed weird changes to your body?
Adolescence is certainly an interesting life stage characterized by cognitive, physiological, emotional, and psychological changes. However, while striving to satisfy the requests from school, parents, and peers, it can be quite stressful to undergo these changes in our high-pressured society.
To promote well-being in this population, it has been studied whether mindfulness could represent a solution. Mindfulness is derived from Buddhist’s meditation techniques and is defined as paying attention to the moment in an intentional and purposeful way. Prior studies found an important mediating effect of self-compassion, which is characterized by self-kindness, sensing oneself as part of common humanity, and maintaining perspective in challenging circumstances.
To study the relationship between mindfulness, self-compassion, and wellbeing in adolescents, researchers provided high-school students with questionnaires, assessing their level of mindfulness, self-compassion, positive/ negative affect, life satisfaction, and their stress-level. The study’s statistical analysis presented indeed a mediating effect of self-compassion between adolescents’ level of mindfulness and their well-being.
Adolescence and puberty can be challenging, but research suggests mindfulness and self-compassion can simplify getting through this period.
For greater well-being and functioning, creating an intervention that teaches adolescents to be more mindful and self-compassionate would help. This might even improve their emotional health and reduce maladaptive trajectories including substance abuse, youth violence, and bullying behaviors.
Reference: Bluth, K., & Blanton, P. W. (2014). Mindfulness and self-compassion: Exploring pathways to adolescent emotional well-being. Journal of child and family studies, 23(7), 1298-1309.
Written by Jule Götker