Mindfulness Practice – Overall Mental Health
For 23 years, I have lived a very demanding schedule while balancing life’s responsibilities – family, children, obligations, responsibilities, work, travel, and dealing with my own mental health issues. I suffer from depression, anxiety, and I am diagnosed with bi-polar type 2 and PTSD. I have practiced mindfulness awareness for many years and the benefits have been powerful that I continue to practice on a daily basis. Most recently, I have become certified to teach it to others and I am proud to share with others the benefits I have received as a result of practicing mindfulness techniques. The benefits I have found are:
5 Benefits of Mindfulness Practice
- It maintains a strong immune system and physiological response to stress and negative emotions
- It improved my social relationships with family and friends
- It reduced stress, depression, and anxieties and increased my well-being and happiness
- It has increased my openess to new experiences and social settings
- It has led to greater psychological mindfulness, which included an awareness that is clear and brings me present in situations I can control by focusing on the objective and not the expectation
Having said all this, I feel better today than I ever have been. My work with teens and educators is my life and the benefits and growth I’ve experienced personally are what I want to now share with you. 25 years plus of counseling and therapy for mental health issues: Anger, Stress, Anxieties, Depression, PTSD, OCD, and more. One of the strongest practices that inspired and influenced me is the practice of Mindfulness Awareness and the overall benefits I have received. I inspire hundreds of thousands of teens, parents, and educators every year while dealing with his own mental health and family responsibilities and obligations. How do I balance life while always delivering from my heart?
Now, I wants to teach you and your teens. Let’s combine this mindfulness training program and help you to create a Mindfulness Awareness Group in your school for teens and staff. The result? Great school pride, enthusiasm, improved test scores, relationships, clarity, and so much more.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. The practice of mindful awareness has a variety of well-documented impacts, including a reduction in toxic stress, an increase in emotion regulation, and an improvement in sustained attention, focus and functioning.
A study out of the University of California – Santa Barbara suggests that teens can rewire their ability to regulate attention and stress.
While it may sound like a touchy-feely catchphrase, the concept is simple — train your brain to tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand. This centuries-old practice has been helpful for everything from chronic pain to stress reduction. Could it help teens improve their test scores? Absolutely!
Mindfulness — What’s the deal?
Not a new concept, the idea of mindfulness has been on the radar of mental health professionals for quite some time. Mindfulness is the act of freeing your mind and getting rid of the mental “clutter” so that you can be more focused and less stressed. Picture yourself grocery shopping, for example. As you roam the aisles, you are most likely not focusing on the sounds, the colorful produce, your child’s chatter from the cart or the smell of freshly-baked bread as you pass the bakery counter. If you were practicing mindfulness, you would focus on these specific moments, rather than letting your mind wander to your to-do list at home or the argument you had with your spouse.
How it applies to teens
Picture the life of a teenager today and the distractions are mind-boggling. Tests, texts, tweets, friends, sports, family, job and hobbies are all facets of a teen’s life that can quickly cause a lot of mental clutter. Jeff Yalden works with teens and with a mindfulness practice he created a program called Engaging Teens to Learning Mindfulness. Learning Mindfulness benefits the teens today because of the unhealthy habits teens are accustomed to today, such as, but are not limited to: Procrastination, over-eating, under-eating, isolating, self-harm, sleeping too much, not sleeping enough, working harder into the night at the expense of health, worrying and at times, the extreme attempt of suicide. It’s hard to focus on a test when all this is going on. Teens are “ON” 24 hours a day 7 days a week and spend over 50 hours a week on screen time. Tell me what you think this would add to your students that want to free themselves of everyday stresses.
Create a Mindfulness Group of Teens & Staff Members
What would mindfulness training do to help your teens and staff members to focus and clear the mental clutter? I teach you effective methods for dealing with stress, disappointment, change and emotions by showing you how to slow down, focus on the present and make thoughtful decisions. I will teach your group to use a combination of movement and meditation in an effort to learn ways to clear their mind and reduce stress and anxiety. With these tools, teens and staff will no longer feel powerless against their anxieties and stress. Your teens and staff can implement simple deep breathing and relaxation techniques immediately to reap some of these benefits.
Becoming more mindful, more aware, relaxes the mind and helps creates a more balanced perspective on the issues we tend to blow out of proportion. Furthermore, It improves self-esteem through the more balanced perspective it creates. We learn not to sweat the small stuff and to realize it’s all small stuff. It helps us learn to focus quickly, and to eliminate distraction, improving one’s ability to do one thing at a time and do it well — the brain gets to work the way it’s designed to work. Scores and grades go up and sometimes quite a lot. What would this mean to you and your district?
Think your teens and staff members could benefit from mindfulness training? Maybe we could all use a bit less mental clutter.
Let’s do it and create a Mindfulness Training Group at your school.