The Challenges of Meditating for Teenagers

Written by Padua Junior Diana K.

Meditation has always been an idea that I’ve wanted to try but never followed through with. In the past, I’ve attempted meditation but didn’t see the benefits until I started my physics class with Mr. Shelton. I find that as a teenager, it’s really hard to take a break, but just taking 3 minutes before each class to reset has really helped me and my classmates focus. 

Although I could talk about stress reduction, relaxation, and the other benefits of meditation, I want to focus on its challenges. As someone who constantly feels pulled in a thousand directions, it is difficult to quiet your mind and focus on the moment. I always used to think of meditation as something you are either good at or you’re not (I considered myself as the ‘not’ group). However, if you practice quieting your mind and focusing on the moment, that feeling of being pulled in a thousand directions will start to decrease. I have seen that meditation is something one must practice, and I find that having the patience to practice is more challenging than simply deciding that one is ‘good or not’ at it. 

Why is that the case? Most people, especially teenagers, would rather accept that something is not possible than patiently practice it. Not because they are lazy, but because there are other things they need to prioritize, they need to move onto the next thing. Teens are in an odd and important state in their lives. They are learning about the world, expected to make life changing decisions, and are working hard at their grades and lives. That idea of being pulled in a thousand directions is extremely present for high school students. That’s why it’s so hard to make time to patiently practice meditation. The act of meditating is difficult because everyone always feels guilty for not being productive, and the concept of practicing not being productive is what meditation is! Even if someone knows he or she needs to make time to relax, watching Netflix for an hour is still perceived as more productive than meditating for 10 minutes. 

This is why meditation is so challenging and it’s why one needs to patiently practice it. So, today I challenge you to make time to quiet your mind, focus on the moment, not worry about being unproductive, and patiently practice meditation.

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