Catharine Hannay, MA

Catharine Hannay, MA

Catharine Hannay is the founder of and the author of Being You: A Girl’s Guide to Mindfulness, a workbook for teen girls on mindfulness, compassion, and self-acceptance.

A Dozen Videos for Teaching Mindfulness to Teens

Here are a variety of short (1-minute to 5-minute) videos that can help you teach mindfulness to adolescents. I’ve included brief descriptions to help you choose, but please preview any videos you plan to share, to make sure they’re appropriate for your context and the needs of your specific students or clients.

  1. 1-Minute Breathing Practice

Breathe in and out as a geometric shape expands and contracts. (There’s also 10-minute version of this video.)

  1. 2-Minute Breathing Practice

Breathe in an out while watching and listening to waves on the shore.

  1. 5-Minute Mindful Photography Tutorial
    Taking 20 pictures of the same object is a great way to practice paying closer attention to the world around you. 

(FYI, it appears that she intended for this to be the beginning of a longer series on mindful photography, but there are just two videos, this one and a four-minute “Mindful Photography Beginners’ Guide.”)

  1. The 5-4-3-2-1 Method: A Grounding Exercise to Manage Anxiety

Take a moment to notice five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one emotion that you feel—a variation of the typical 5-4-3-2-1 practice, which would include one thing you can taste. (4-minute animated video)

(FYI, Focusing on the five senses can be a good alternative to breath-based practices for youth who’ve experienced trauma and/or who have severe anxiety.)

  1. Active Listening 

In this TedxYouth Talk, Katie Owens explains why it’s important to Be. Here. Now. (3 minutes)

  1. Everyday Mindfulness

Animated video explaining the benefits of informal mindfulness practice and accepting pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant experiences. (4 minutes)

  1. Grounding Meditation

5-minute guided meditation practice, designed to help kids settle down before class. This could also be appropriate at the beginning of an individual or group therapy session, depending on the needs of your clients.

  1. How to Be More Addicted to Your Phone

Satirical video explaining the benefits of constantly distracting yourself. (4 minutes)

  1. How Mindfulness Benefits Athletes

Dr. Amy Saltzman, a pioneer in sharing mindfulness with youth and the author of A Still Quiet Place for Athletes, explains how mindfulness can help reduce negative self-talk and help us to be ‘flow-ready.’ (2 minutes)

  1. Mindfulness Taught Me That I’m Worthy of Love

A youth named Jared explains how practicing mindfulness has helped him accept himself even when he makes mistakes. (2 minutes)

  1. STOP for Mindfulness

Animated video explaining the popular acronym STOP: Stop, Take a Breath, Observe, Proceed. (3 minutes)

  1. Teen Talk: Managing Stress

Dr. Christopher Willard, an expert on teaching mindfulness to youth, explains the benefits of mindfulness and gives specific techniques for facing typical teen challenges. (5 minutes)

For more suggestions, check out the video playlists at on mindfulness, gratitude, and compassion.

Join the FREE Resilience Community for Helping Professionals to learn more about trauma-informed care, resilience, mindfulness, building relationships, and more! Our community features self-paced courses, a monthly live Zoom call, a weekly live meditation, and an online platform to connect with other providers/professionals in your field.

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