We learn all our lives, and“Neurons that fire together wire together.”

nerve-endings-blueThe latest studies show that learning new things is valuable, even beyond age sixty.

As “neuroplasticity” uses repetitive nerve pathways or wiring paths, new behaviors are established and maintained. Always ask you doctor before making changes to your health care plan.

Here are 10 facts about neuroplasticity and mindfulness, as it pertains to raising teens:

  1. Blood Pressure: Just taking a few deep breaths activates the opposing nervous system stimulated by stress. This can be done virtually anywhere. It is an effective, free and safe practice for many teens.
  2. Increase Oxygenation: Just 5 deep breaths can lower blood pressure, expand the lungs and increase oxygen to the brain. And getting good oxygen levels to the brain is always a good thing, especially for a teen’s academic mind.
  3. Better School Performance: Studies have shown better test performance through improved concentration in teens after meditating before an examination.
  4. Neuroplasticity: is not only important for brain injury and rehabilitation, but is used to effectively learn new ways of thinking.
  5. Optimization: The brain has neuroplasticity at different ages and one can optimize neural pathways as our children are in college. What a great time to be mindful of one’s medical condition.
  6. Ability: The brain’s ability to learn, based on age, was studied by Trey Hedden and John Gabrieli at Stanford Univeristy can be seen here:

neuroplasticity

Graph 1. Peak Abilities and Age. Our college students are at a great age to learn self-love and self-care. From “Insights into the ageing mind:  a view from cognitive neuroscience.” Image Courtesy weezeeworld.com.

7. Learning: Parents who are over 40 – 60 years of age are still learning numeric ability, inductive reasoning and improved verbal skills while young adults in college peak in brain substance matter.

8. Teen mindfulness: is associated with improved test scores, better self-image, more stable personal relationships, and increased self-control.

9. Lifestyle habits: mindfulness can equip your teen with decades of coping mechanisms that offer the possibility of years of more optimal and successful achievement in personal and academic life.

brainnerveblue210. Teachability: Learning how to remain calmer during stressful times, have empathy, control impulses and concentrate better: these traits can be taught to both parents and teens.

It is remarkable that this generation of teens is poised for success in being resilient to stress and that they have great opportunity to learn a new life skill.

If parents optimize lifestyle habits into regular activity such as a family meditation period for 10 minutes after dinner, your teen may be better equipped to handle stress and have a better quality of life.

For life.

Resources:

A Still, Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children & Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions by Dr. Amy Saltzman

Psychology Today Article: Five Mindfulness Skills to Help You and Your Teen be Calmer

Neuroplasticity: Learning Physically Changes the Brain. Article on Edutopia

The Society of Adolescent Health Medicine

The Journal of Adolescent Health

Stanford: Hot Topics in Adolescent Health and Behavior

Visit A Quiet Place with Dr. Amy Saltzman now.

 

Additional Articles in the Teen Mindfulness Series:

#1. Teen Mindfulness: 10 General Concepts

#2. 5 Facts about Teen Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity

#3. Teen Mindfulness: 10 Concepts on Decision-Making

#4. Teen Mindfulness: Make 10 Good Choices

#5. Teen Mindfulness: 10 Considerations For Girls’ Adolescent Medicine

#6. Teen Mindfulness: 5 Components of Continuity of Care

#7. Teen Mindfulness: 5 Types of Board Certified Doctors

#8. Teen Mindfulness: 10 Steps to Medical Independence