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10 Ways Meditation Can Help You Deal With Your Friends and Family

1. PATIENCE – Practicing meditation is a great way to learn patience!  When you force yourself to sit still for a few minutes every day, while focusing on your breath and simply observing the thoughts in your mind without judgment, you will be able to tolerate waiting for your slow friends or siblings without getting stressed out.  In fact, you can meditate any time you are waiting for someone or something!

2. JUDGMENT – In meditation we train ourselves to simply observe our thoughts without judging them as good or bad.  They are just thoughts.  Actions on the other hand can have positive or negative impacts on our lives.  By learning mindfulness we give ourselves that split second where we observe what we are thinking before deciding what action we are going to take, this is called good judgment!  When we see our friends doing things that are going to hurt them or others we can be compassionate for them, because maybe they don’t know how to be mindful and are just acting on their thoughts without seeing what the consequences are going to be. 

3. ACCEPTANCE – In meditation we learn to see our thoughts without judgment.  We simply accept ourselves as we are with all our wishes fears dreams strengths and weaknesses.  We understand that we are simply doing our best in every moment.  Practicing mindfulness gives us a tool to help us see what our best action is in any moment.  We can be accepting of people like our friends, family, teachers and coaches who may not have this skill. 

4. SELF AWARENESS – Being self aware simply means being aware of what you are thinking, how you are feeling and paying attention to what you are actually doing.  When we practice Mindfulness we learn to pay attention to what we are thinking, and how those thoughts make us feel.  As we go through our days after our morning meditation we will start to notice how people places and things make us feel.  Does one friend always bring you down?  Does eating junk food at lunch make you too tired to go to your team practice after school?  By becoming self aware we can learn to make decisions that will help us get to our goals and avoid situations that are taking us away from where we want to be. 

5. PEER PRESSURE – Our friends can be a source of guidance help and inspiration, or sometimes not.  By becoming self aware we can begin to pay attention to how we feel, our feelings are a pretty good indicator of what we should or should not be doing.  If a friend suggests that you do something and you feel your stomach getting upset at the thought of it, that is a good indicator that you are being pressured to do something stupid.  We are often afraid that if we don’t conform we will lose our friends and that is very scary, but we all have different people in our life.  Learn to be mindful of how you feel around certain people and choose to spend time with the ones who want to do cool stuff, stuff you would be proud to tell your Grandmother you did. 

6. APPROVAL SEEKING – this is the other side of peer pressure, doing things to get attention, to get likes on a post or shares of an instagram.  Now, this is important, doing things that are good for others out of the kindness of your heart is the goal, sometimes that can get confused with other motivations.  By learning to be mindful we can start to notice when we are doing things just to get attention versus when we are being genuine honest loving in our actions.

7. PLEASURE SEEKING – Have you ever had a bad day at school or got in an argument with your mom and just wanted to run to your room and eat a whole tub of  ice cream?  This is typical pleasure seeking behavior.  Often times, we don’t want to feel our feelings when the feeling is ‘bad’.  As we learn and practice mindfulness through our daily seated meditation practice first we learn to just observe and accept our thoughts, then we can begin to observe and accept our feelings as well, as they are often linked.  When we learn to accept our thoughts and feelings we wont be as tempted to do things that we later regret just to make the pain go away. 

8. PAIN AVOIDANCE – Have you ever made a big mistake that you were sure you would get in trouble for?  Then hid the evidence, blamed someone else or somehow not taken responsibility because you were afraid you would get in trouble, this behavior is called pain avoidance.  It makes sense at first glance but as we have seen, when we meditate we build a safe place inside us where our thoughts and feelings don’t have a powerful a hold on us.  So you can admit what you did wrong and then simply observe how the authority figure is reacting and you can simply accept what is going on without judgment.  Yes you may still get in trouble but you will be in WAY LESS trouble if you admit your faults than if you hide them and get caught later. 

9. RESPONSIBILITY – As we learn and practice Mindfulness through our daily seated practice we realize that our thoughts come and go and we don’t have much control over them, but when we insert that layer of mindfulness into our lives we realize that we do have control over our actions.  Thoughts come in and we can choose to dwell on them or let them go and consciously think about something else that makes us feel good, and just like that we can do the same with our actions.  When we make this HUGE realization we no longer can blame our friends or our parents for stuff that we clearly chose to do.  This is very empowering because it shows us that anything we want in life we have to work towards, this makes us very powerful because we will start to choose our actions more carefully rather than just blaming everything that goes wrong on someone else. 

10. COMPASSION – As you can see, the practice of Mindfulness Meditation can totally change our lives for the better.  As you grow and change you will likely start to notice that you have less and less in common with some friends and you might want to start to find some new friends who also practice meditation!  Think of the quality of life you can have when you are all taking responsibility for your own actions and outcomes!  Now the flip side of that is having compassion for people who don’t have this skill.  When you see someone freaking out, sad, crying, sick or suffering you can understand that they probably have no idea how to separate themselves from their thoughts.  You can think back to how that used to make you feel. You have developed an amazing skill that helps you literally create the life you want to live, without it, life can be very challenging.  So as you go through your day, look around you and be choose to be grateful for what you have and have some compassion for people around you who clearly do not have this gift in their lives. 

Maybe you will even want to teach others how to meditate?

Have Your Say

Have you meditated before?  What do you do to reduce stress?  Comment below!

 

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How Do You Deal With Stress?

  • Play sports or get some exercise.
  • Talk to a friend.
  • Play video games.
  • Beat up my brother or sister.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

PARTYHAT
PARTYHAT posted in Family Issues:
hey,  im so sorry about that, but one thing this reminds me of is my grandpa. he passed away when my dad was 12 years old and i never got to see him, he sounds soo nice. keep going  :thumbsup
reply about 3 hours
Littkekawaiiigirl
I have a friend, she was so nice and funny when my best friend and I met her on the first day of school. As months passed she started getting annoying. The way she texts, acts, and talks is starting to get annoying. Then she is becoming such a drama queen now. What should I do?
reply about 6 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Thank you for sharing something that has helped you cope with loss, and I'm sorry that you lost your friend and had to go through the grief and pain. I don't know what it is like, but I know there are a lot of people who do and would appreciate that you shared that way of coping. I hope that you are continuing to find more ways to deal with it, and don't forget those good memories you have with her. They'll always be yours to cherish.
reply about 7 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Hi Wonderfulcalico, I'm sorry to hear you're in such a bad situation. It must be tough, and it must be having a profound negative impact on you and those around you. It sounds like your mom has some things she needs to work out. But know that this behaviour from your parents is not okay. You shouldn't have to be subjected to this type of environment, which is toxic for your health physically and mentally. It also sounds like it is physically dangerous and it is making you live in fear, which is not okay. It is NOT your fault. If you feel that you are being abused, please get another trusted adult involved. Don't act on things that make you feel unsafe or confront your parents directly if you know they will act in a dangerous way. Your safety is number one. Try contacting another adult such as a teacher, a nurse, a doctor, a worship leader, social worker, child protective services, or call the police. Remember that 911 is also an option in any emergency, and that includes yourself being in danger from physical abuse. You can also call Your Life, Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000 , message them online, or even text them, or contact another local help line that you know. Please take care of yourself and stay safe. I know you may not want to do any of these things, and it's okay to feel that way, but also remember how important your safety is and make that a priority. 
reply about 7 hours
KayKayZ
KayKayZ posted in Friends:
Hmm, okay, well I'll try to give you the best advice that I can, Error. So you say you don't like your friend for a number of reasons: Liar, bad influence, uses swear words, too blunt, etc. I feel like some of these could be over-looked, such as the swearing and the 'bad influence' part. Really, all you have to do is just not copy her actions, and they won't be influential at all. If you disagree, it shouldn't be hard to just refuse to follow in her steps. However, lying isn't the best quality I would look for in a friend.  She doesn't seem like an enjoyable person to be around in general, which is why you are making this post, obviously. But I'm gonna ask you something here. Don't you think that, in a way, you're lying too? You're pretending to be her friend solely for purposes of monetary value because, I assume, your family cannot pay for or get you to gymnastic class themselves. If this is true, that's kind of bad, isn't it? It sounds like, to me, that your friendship isn't exactly a healthy relationship at all. But I'm gonna sympathize with you, since I know gymnastics must be important to you, and you wouldn't be doing this if you didn't have a good reason. So, what should you do about it? Well, personally I think there are a few things you could do. You could stop being her friend, therefore no longer having to deal with her; but in the process lose access to your gymnastics class and have to look for it in another way. On the flip side, you could continue to put up with her, which would probably not be in your best interests, but you'd still get to attend your class. Or, you could try talking to her about it. Ask her what she really thinks of your friendship, if she actually values you as her friend. Maybe you two can talk about problems that you're having with each other and work on fixing them. This option could have negative effects, since she might want to stop being your friend or things could become very awkward after that. But it's probably your best bet to be honest with her, as you'd hope she would be with you. How about if you tried being really nice to her? Kindness is contagious, and perhaps if you treat her well enough, she'll start doing the same to you. I feel like maybe if you complimented her, told her things that you really like about her, maybe even got her gifts or made her food once in a while, that she would come to appreciate you and all that you do for her. And in turn, she might start to respect you more herself, and become a good friend. That's about all I can say. If you're close enough with her mom, maybe you could even try asking her about her daughter and see if she can give you any advice. Hopefully that helped in some way, but if it didn't, maybe it at least made you think? I hope your problem gets resolved, Error, and you can be content with the outcome of it. :-)
reply 4 days