Our teens and tweens are living in an increasingly complex, pressured, and stressful world. They are in the midst of pivotal, teachable juncture not only in their own lives, but also as our future leaders.
A primary role of psychologists, teachers, and parents is to equip them with the tools and knowledge that mitigate the impact of this environment. Mindfulness is a powerful tool to decrease one’s response to stress, to clear brain clutter, and to live life more fully and joyfully in each moment. It is about noticing, on purpose, the present moment – without judgment, and with an attitude of kindness and curiosity about ourselves and others. Then, letting it go.
I am certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reductions – Teens/Tweens (MBSR-T). This program can be offered privately to groups or in school settings. Teens and pre-teens often struggle with competing emotions, expectations (real and perceived), issues in confidence, and attention span. While these dynamics are not new to this developmental period, they are amplified by a 24/7 connected world often lived out vividly on social media platforms. The MBSR program can improve overall coping skills, daily functioning, and mental health in multiple ways:
- Understand triggers of “stress” and how they manifest in the brain and body
- Enhance focus and concentration
- Manage emotions better across situations
- React less, and respond mindfully instead
- Communicate and connect better in relationships
- Perform better under stress (e.g. exams, competitions)
- Manage feelings of anxiety and depression proactively
- Develop greater appreciation for one’s inherent strengths
- Increase feelings of empowerment and self efficacy
- Enhance feelings of authenticity and the “real” me
- Simply feel better – more at ease physically, more alive, more content