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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

Mindfulness and Youth: The Time is Now

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Feb 17th 2011

teensThe benefits of mindfulness meditation are no longer something held by a select group of people. Thanks to the exponential amount of research in highly respected institutions such as the Harvard, UCLA, Duke, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin among so many others, mindfulness has now trickled into medicine, mental health, politics, business, and sports. However, one thing I often get asked is what about our youth?

Mindful Schools is an organization that has been working with youth to help them integrate mindfulness to better regulate their emotions, turn down their stress levels and help them focus so they can be more effective at school and in their relationships.

Here are a few things the kids say:

"I love having mindfulness. It has made me feel a lot better, especially through hard times"

"It feels so good. I need to teach it to my sister in high school because she is stressed out all the time."

"It helped keep me from using negative coping skills like cutting and drugs."

"With mindfulness I have been able to let go of things and move on from bad experiences.”

Endorsed by Mindful Schools and The Mind Body Awareness Project, Gina Biegel, MA, LMFT, founder of Stressed Teens and author of The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens and Catherine Phillips, MD, founder of The Mindfulness Institute, are putting together Mindfulness and Youth conference in Banff Canada on July 15-17 to give us access to the cutting edge methods and research connected with Mindfulness and Youth.

Whenever I’m teaching a mindfulness-based program I often say that I wish I would have been taught this as a kid. The wonderful thing is that this is now seeping into schools more and more, becoming available to the youth of today.

If we think about it, there’s never been a more important time to bring mindfulness to youth. If you don’t have a kid, you can see it on the playground or on the news. The age of distraction is real, the kids nowadays are becoming masters at splitting their attention between many things at once. They’ll be talking to a friend while listening to their IPod and shooting back a text.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it’s not too hard to see how the art of distraction can turn into a habitual way of dealing with life when the going gets tough. We now know that the art of healing is to eventually learn how to approach and be with uncomfortable and comfortable feelings to send the message, “I can make it.”

This is exactly what mindfulness teaches us to do.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 

 

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Great Program! - - Feb 28th 2011

Thanks for posting, it's fantastic to see that the benefits of mindfulness are becoming more recognised. I work with many people in my psychotherapy practice who are looking to learn new ways to help support themselves, and mindfulness is a great start.

http://www.paulthecounsellor.com.au

This is so interesting - Larissa - Feb 17th 2011

I am so happy to hear that mindfulness is becoming an accepted and used tool amongst educators.  I work with a Psychotherapist who uses mindfullness and meditation in her practice and she finds it to be very beneficial for her clients.  Check out her website and blog at www.JasminBalance.com for more information.

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