Not to long ago, I was asked to teach a stress management workshop for the students at a highly competitive private school. As I prepared for the class I began to connect with how extremely stressed out many of today’s teenagers are and how much pressure is put on them to succeed. In working with teens I am reminded on a daily basis of how much information is available to them and how this constant stream of stimuli from TV, the internet, texting, and interaction with other teens is forcing adolescents to assume adult stress at a young age. It seems as if there is very little room just to be a kid.
In this workshop we worked on breathing techniques, guided imagery, muscular relaxation, and meditation. It was amazing to see how each of the kids had their own unique experience of the various techniques with each of them finding a stress relieving method that worked well for them. Watching how much tension and anxiety they where all able to let go of made me realize that these techniques are a valuable tool that we can share with teens to give them the tools necessary to enjoy growing up.
Sharing mind-body relaxation techniques can create space for a teenager to be a kid again and release the stress of success without letting go of the ability to do their best.