Teenagers need to learn tools and practices to help them to manage their stress.
In my work with my teenage clients, I commonly use mindfulness and self-awareness exercises. My goal is to help teens learn how to recognize their feelings, and then use that information to respond in helpful and more positive ways.
Did you know that the ability to cope with negative feelings and move on from bad experiences can be learned? Mindfulness is a term used to describe the practice of observing one’s thoughts and body in the present moment. Mindfulness can literally affect the brain connections involved in attention, memory, and emotional regulation.
By putting a name on the negative emotion they can then begin to do something about it. I think together with teens about what they can do to address what they are feeling. Do they want to say something, or simply walk away? Would there be value in their talking with someone they trust to get another point of view?
In a moment of upset, one of the best things teens can do is to treat themselves kindly. I teach them that they can redirect the energy that is focused on the person that is upsetting them, and do something soothing for themselves. It could be as simple as getting a drink of water, or taking a couple deep breaths.
Negative feelings are a normal part of life. Staying stuck in negative feelings is not. I empower teens with the understanding that their perceptions of situations and other people create their experience. I teach teens how to improve the way they experience life.
Taking the Trouble out of the Teen Years
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