Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

The Role of Meditation on Mindful Awareness and Life Satisfaction of Adolescents

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

The Role of Meditation on Mindful Awareness and Life Satisfaction of Adolescents

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Adolescence

Adolescence is a Latin word adolescere, meaning "to grow up". It is a transitional period in human development. Adolescence is a period of heightened stress (Spear, 2000) due to various kinds of changes experienced, including physical maturation, drive for independence, increased salience of social and peer interactions, and brain development (Blakemore, 2008; Casey, Getz, & Galvan, 2008a; Casey, Jones, & Hare, 2008b). The phase of adolescence comprises of physical maturation of the brain and body, giving rise to intense physical and psychological changes. One primary class of psychological change typical of adolescents is an intensification of emotional experiences (Casey, Jones, Levita, Pattwell, Ruberry, Soliman & Somerville). The thoughts, ideas and concepts developed at this period of life greatly influence one's future life and playing a major role in character and personality formation.

Kennelly (2011) studied sixty eight adolescent students aged between 14 and 16 years from typical, mixed gender secondary schools who followed the full eight week course. There were significant differences between participant and group's mindfulness, resilience and well being, with long term effects being even greater than immediate effects. Students, teachers and parents also reported subjective improvements in student's motivation, confidence, competence and effectiveness. Similarly, numerous evidences conclude that the majority of physiological and psychological problems being faced by adolescents were due to lack of mindful awareness which further led to dissatisfaction in their lives. Therefore, it was decided to explore mindfulness, meditation and life satisfaction of adolescents in the present study.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been explained as a practice that helps individuals incoping with the difficult thoughts and feelings that cause stress and anxiety in everyday life. Mindful awareness has been designed to cultivate heightened awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks. Specifically, mindfulness is a moment-by-moment awareness and also a process of attentively observing experiences. Mindfulness allows a person to become keen observer of one's own self and gradually transforms the way the mind operates. With sustained practice, mindfulness can make an individual more attentive to experience and less captive to the urge that drives the mind around. Relating compassionately to life in this way and learning to direct and re-direct attention towards the present moment allows for greater access to one's own powerful resources for intuition, insight, creativity and healing.

With practice of mindfulness individual can shift our relationship to ourselves and our life experiences in a way that allows for greater spaciousness, acceptance and compassion and in doing so can dramatically improve the quality of our life.

Meditation

Meditation is a practice which unites with the Universal Energy. With pure wish individual experiences the awakening of kundalini energy (the part of divine that is within each individual), which connects the awakened Divine Energy with supreme energy.

In simple terms meditation means to forget about the physical existence completely and become one with the Universal Consciousness. In such time, individual experiences pure joy as universal energy which begins flowing within them. Just as words are insufficient to describe the scents of flowers in the same way the experience of this eternal joy cannot be expressed through words.

Researches show that meditation can have both physiological and psychological effects. Some of the physiological effects include a lowered state of physical arousal, reduced respiration rate, decreased heart rate, changes in brain wave patterns, and lowered stress. Researchers have also demonstrated that meditation can have a wide range of benefits. Lower stress, improved concentration, better sleep, increased working memory, and changes in attention have all been linked to the practice of meditation. …

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