Our children are suffering, in large part because our society values doing over being, and product over process. Our culture tends to put test scores, wealth, and status before joy, connection, and well-being. Scientific research and the media tell us that young people’s lives are increasingly stressful. For some, the stress is simply living in our fast-paced, media-saturated Western world. For others, the stress comes from being pushed to perform, “succeed,” and get into a “good” college. For still others, the stress involves surviving in extremely challenging, even traumatic, home environments and life circumstances.
Regardless of race, education, or socioeconomic status, an alarming number of children and adolescents are being diagnosed with ADHD, depression, anxiety, obesity, eating disorders, and addictions, and engaging in cutting and other self-destructive behaviors, including suicide. Cruelty, bullying, and violence are on the rise. No one is immune.
Let’s do what we can now to immunize our youth against the stresses of modern life and the related diagnoses. Let’s provide them with mindfulness skills proven to be of benefit throughout their lives. There is absolutely no reason they should wait until they are forty-five, and have lost a job, had a heart attack, or are in the midst of a divorce to learn practices that will support and sustain them.
In addition to the tools for children and teens listed at right, I am available in person and via the web to offer introductory presentations, workshops, and 8-week courses to children and adolescents privately, and in schools, after school programs, and community settings (including sports teams, performing arts, service-learning, faith-based and other youth groups).
What I felt was that I was just closing my eyes and the whole room was silent. I felt peace.
“Excited. Golden. Ticklish.”
—Mindfulness “haiku” written by a 4th grade SQP course participant
I stop fighting and relax. Relaxing makes me feel calm and relieves the anxiety I carry with me everyday. Now when I have bad or uncomfortable feelings I can stop myself, notice and examine my feelings so that my feelings don’t make my choices for me.
Mindfulness is a great class because you can chill out, and relax. It will cool you down and make you less stressed. You should try it if you are mad or sad or just want to feel better. That’s what I do. Try it!