Improve Your Teen’s Mood With Pleasant Activities

In a world of uncertainty and many unknowns, how we spend our free time is essential to our mental health. While we are at home it is important for us and our teens to find enjoyable activities to support our happiness.

Currently there are so many things outside of our control due to COVID-19, one thing we do have control over is how we spend our time at home. Focusing on what we can control can decrease stress and overwhelm. You can balance our day-to-day responsibilities with pleasant activities. One thing you can do to improve your mood during stressful time is to increase pleasant activities that promote positive emotions.

HOW TO INCREASE POSITIVE ACTIVITIES?

Make a plan to do one thing you enjoy each day. If you are feeling unmotivated, start small. One way to increase motivation is by engaging in pleasant activities. Maybe setting a reminder on your phone to do something you enjoy everyday. This could be:

Walking the dog

Connecting with friends online

Creating funny memes

Playing a video game

Going for a hike

As teens begin to incorporate these enjoyable activities into their day, it will improve their mood both in the short and long-term.

You can help your teen come up with ideas for pleasant activities by thinking about what is important to them. What do they enjoy and value? This will give the experience meaning and have a larger impact on their mood.

Help your teen plan for long-term success by adding positive experiences into their daily routine.

One Skill To Boost Your Teen’s Happiness

February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Sure, performing a random act of kindness is intended to make the benefiting party feel good, but did you know that random acts of kindness can have positive impacts on the person giving the nice gesture?

Being kind can have a positive impact on your teen’s mood and physical health. Studies have shown that kindness can reduce stress, boost immune systems, and help reduce negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression. Afterall, kindness is chemical.

When random acts of kindness are practiced, neurochemicals that result in a sense of well-being are released. The same neural circuits that are involved in chemical “highs” are the same ones activated by kindness and compassion. Kindness literally can reduce physically and emotional pain because it releases dopamine, serotonin, and endogenous into our system (the natural chemicals responsible for happiness, mood regulation, and pain management).

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Random acts of kindness can enhance the release of oxytocin in interactions where two or more people are engaged in kind behavior. Oxytocin plays a role in forming social bonds such as trust among people, which is essential for teens because social connection is one of their primary developmental needs.

Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to a positive mood and overall well being. The practice is so effective it’s being formally incorporated into some types of psychotherapy. In DBT random acts of kindness is part of the Mindfulness Module, accumulating positive experiences skill, and gratitude skills.

These skills help teens manage feelings of depression, anxiety, and overwhelm. It utilizes mindfulness meditation, documenting gratitude, and acts of kindness that are incorporated into daily routines.

Speak with your teen about ways in which they can perform random acts of kindness at home, at school, or in the neighborhood. Encourage them to think of small gestures of kindness that they can incorporate into their daily routine. February is just a start to a lifelong practice of gratitude and kindness!

If your teen needs support with managing their emotions and learning how to bring mindfulness into their daily life contact us here to learn more.

HOW CAN DBT HELP MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS

Most communication today is done digitally, via instant messenger, texting, Snapchat, etc. In a world where communication is literally at our fingertips it can be hard to feel connected.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or DBT offers an entire module to teaching skills to help with learning to communicate openly, more clearly, and in a meaningful way.

Read the full article on Psychreg