Printable Mindfulness Adolescent worksheet
What is the theory behind the worksheet?
This worksheet is based on a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT) approach, which combines methods from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and meditative techniques, in order to prevent relapse in recurrent depression (Manjaly & Iglesias, 2020).
How will the worksheet help
The following worksheet will help clients become more aware of the present moment, nonjudgmentally, to achieve a high level of mental well-being and help them work through several psychological problems (Kashefinishabouri et al., 2021).
How to use this worksheet
Mindfulness, a technique borrowed from Buddhist meditation, focuses on a state of nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment, including awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings and sense, focusing on the here and now, while putting life’s noise, demands, and stressors in the background while you concentrate on the present moment (Hosey et al., 2018).
There are different activities you can do to become mindful. We selected a few of them. Follow the instructions as presented here and see if you notice a difference.
Printable Mindfulness Adolescent worksheet
This technique allows you to remain mindful even while moving your body. You can do it anywhere: while walking towards your car, on a walk in the park, on your way to school etc.
Start by noticing your standing posture – your back is straight, but relaxed. Then, feel your feet connected to the ground, inhale deeply and center yourself first.
You can now start walking. Notice how your body feels with each step. Set a rhythm: lift your foot, step forward, shift your weight and repeat. Make slow and deliberate moves, while paying close attention to your body so you don’t end up walking too fast or slow.
It is best to have your breath be normal and flowing.
Now expand your awareness to your surroundings – what do you see, feel, smell or hear?
Notice your thoughts come and go. When they arise, simply label them as “hello, thought/my friend”, then return to your breath and walking. Stay close to your moving body, empty your thoughts and be with your walking body.
What did you notice in your body before the walk? What do you notice after the walk?
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This is a technique that refers to tensing and releasing specific muscle groups. Bring as much tension to your muscles, slowly count to three and then release all that tension. Concentrate on the sensations in your body and breathing. When your thoughts wander, gently return to the sensations of tensing and relaxing. This will help you become attuned to the feelings of muscle tension and relaxation when you’re going about your daily life.
There are 9 steps of progressive muscle relaxation:
- Forehead – furrow your brows as if you were concentrating deeply and then release.
- Face – Squeeze your eyes shut, then purse your lips, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and then release.
- Jaw and cheeks – Clench your jaw (be careful not to cause pain in your teeth), smile broadly then release.
- Neck and shoulders – Press your head back gently and after holding that position, lower your chin toward your chest. Next, shrug your shoulders up to your ears. Release.
- Arms and hands – Bend your arms at your elbows and flex your biceps, extend your arms and bend your hands back so that your fingers point straight up; make fists. Release.
- Back – Arch your back away from the floor or back of your chair. Release.
- Buttocks – Squeeze the muscles of your cheeks together then release.
- Legs – Clench your thigh muscles; for your calves and shins, flex and point your toes, holding each one separately before moving to the next. Release.
- Feet – Curl your toes then release.
5 Senses Exercise
This exercise is used to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. Try to notice something through each of your senses.
5 things you can SEE – Name 5 things that you can see. For example, a wall pattern, a flower, the light reflecting on a surface etc.
4 things you can FEEL – Name 5 things you can feel. For example, the shirt against your skin, an itch on your shoulder, the pressure of your feet on the floor etc. You can pick up an object and notice its texture.
3 things you can HEAR – Name 3 things you can hear. For example, a dog barking, the air-conditioning, music from a nearby cafe.
2 things you can SMELL – Name 2 things you can smell. Perhaps you can feel the smell of a flower or maybe freshly crushed coffee beans.
1 thing you can TASTE – Name 1 thing you can taste. Perhaps sip a drink, chew a piece of gum or you could even notice how your mouth tastes.
Sit in a comfortable place, and begin paying attention to your breathing. Notice the physical sensation of air filling your lungs, and then slowly leaving. When your mind starts to wander – which will inevitably happen and that’s okay – simply notice your thoughts as if you are an outsider observing what happens in your brain and return to your breathing.
During this exercise, it is recommended that you sit or stand. In this exercise, you will move very slowly and with “micro-movements,” which should be barely visible from the outside. The goal is to inspire sensations by moving different parts of the body ever so slightly. Pay close attention to the physical sensations through your body.
Begin with the head and then travel down the body until you reach the toes. Spend 15 seconds-1 minute for each body part. The overall quality of movement you are going for is slow, gentle and swaying. As you proceed through the exercise, notice what is happening in your body. If you could assign a temperature inside, what would it be?
You can download this worksheet here.
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Hosey, M., McWhorter, J. W., & Wegener, S. T. (2018). Psychologic Interventions for Chronic Pain. Essentials of Pain Medicine, 539-544.e1. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-323-40196-8.00059-0
Kashefinishabouri, J., Eftekhar Saadi, Z., Pasha, R., Heidari, A., & Makvandi, B. (2021). The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Emotion-Regulation Training on Rumination and Social Anxiety in Teenagers Prone to Addiction. Journal of Occupational Health and Epidemiology, 10(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.52547/johe.10.1.1
Manjaly, Z.-M., & Iglesias, S. (2020). A Computational Theory of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy from the “Bayesian Brain” Perspective. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00404