A steady flow of new and emerging research continues to suggest that mindfulness offers great benefits to health and well-being. It shifts the nature of our relationship to experience and we now know that cultivating an even-handed and openhearted stance toward life can strengthen emotional balance, resilience, and interpersonal effectiveness; skills we can all use throughout our lives in and beyond the classroom.
A new study published in the latest issue of Research in Human Development, “The Effectiveness of the Learning to BREATHE Program on Adolescent Emotion Regulation” (Metz, Frank, Reibel, Cantrell, Sanders, and Broderick, 2013), assessed the effectiveness of Learning to BREATHE (L2B), the mindfulness-based program for adolescent emotion regulation that is outlined in one of this summer’s most exciting new titles, Learning To BREATHE: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Adolescents to Cultiv
A Letter from Louise Hayes, PhD and Joseph Ciarrochi, PhD
Popular media depicts the ‘Net Generation’ as self-centered and largely focused on status updates, posts, and texting. The reality is far from this. Our work with young people has shown that they often feel disconnected, believing the world sees them as ‘problems to be solved.’ We want something better for them.
Teens are usually unaware of how harsh their thoughts about themselves (and others) can be. Spark awareness by offering your honest feedback: “Wow, Emma. You can be really mean to yourself with your thinking, can’t you?” Emma will likely register mild surprise or curiosity about your reaction. You can deepen her understanding by asking, “If someone you loved was struggling with your situation, how would you treat them?” Teens immediately grasp the incongruence.
Teens today are experiencing more stress than ever, which means greater numbers are referred to therapy. Therapy is a place teens can ventilate feelings, explore emotions, and build strong coping and communication skills. To help a wary teen stick with therapy, consider these tips: