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Cultivating Teen Self-Compassion with Mindfulness

Nov 02, 2021 08:26AM ● By Michelle Dalnoky

Cultivating Teen Self-Compassion with Mindfulness


by Sara Remington


Mindfulness teaches acceptance and self-compassion. These are powerful tools that can help adolescents to adjust or cope with peer pressure and stressors. Teenagers tend to base life and choices on self-esteem and self-worth. Through learning self-compassion, the teen learns common themes in others and how to have a non-judgmental connection. Self-compassion incorporates self-kindness, which is a way to respond to our imperfections, setbacks and mistakes. By cultivating a mindfulness practice, teens learn to care for their stressful situations instead of adopting a means of criticism as coping.


By cultivating a mindfulness practice into daily life, emotions can be accepted. Through this acceptance, there is room for self-compassion to change perspective of the harm the emotion is causing. Establishing an attitude of acceptance and non-judgement can be achieved through learning to develop self-compassion for ourselves. This then invites in the space to have it toward others. To begin this path, it is necessary to notice the way they may treat their friend when expressing emotions of discomfort.


A beautiful place to begin a mindfulness practice is to notice the breath, so find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Paying attention to the breath is simply breathing while thinking of the phrase, "Breath in," then release the breath while thinking, "Breath out." A body scan teaches teens to pay attention and cultivate compassion for their thoughts and body. Other great ways to practice mindfulness include a walking meditation, practicing gratitude and journaling. Through these exercises, a teen can envision how they would cultivate a conversation with a friend that is experiencing discomfort. It is their nature to offer compassion to another. Through viewing themselves through the eyes of a friend, they learn to accept themselves in kind and nonjudgmental ways.


Sara Remington is a consulting family wellness coach. Contact her at and

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