yoga and mindfulness

    Yoga and Mindfulness Can Reduce Stress In Teens: Trails Carolina Family Therapist Explains

    Managing stress in today’s world is more difficult than ever. Nowadays, teens have so much on their plates. Mindfulness exercises and yoga are an effective way to reduce stress.

    Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Yoga at Trails Carolina

    Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an 8 week course that teaches individuals how to practice mindfulness as a way to manage stress. At Trails, I have adapted the traditional curriculum to accommodate our rolling admissions and the population we serve. I carefully consider the specific needs of each student and design themes for mindfulness group sessions based on the struggles students are working through, and teach them skills for accessing the calm place inside of them.

    I have provided training materials to field staff so students can continue mindfulness exercises and yoga outside of the groups I conduct twice a week.

    Along with MBSR, students participate in yoga sessions which helps them learn how to reconnect with their bodies and teaches breath control. For a lot of our students, especially those who struggle with trauma, their own bodies can feel very foreign to them. Yoga can serve as the bridge between the body and the mind.

    The feedback from students has been amazing. A lot of them tell me that after yoga and mindfulness exercises, they have never felt more calm or relaxed. It provides a relief from the upsetting thoughts that many students deal with on a regular basis.

    Yoga and Meditation Can Change The Way Brains Work

    In the past few years, researchers have found that when mediation and yoga are conducted over an extended period of time, it can actually cause neurological changes. This neurological change increases your capacity to respond to stress in a productive way. That means in addition to the calm we feel immediately after completing a yoga session, there can actually be long term benefits.   

    Mindfulness Exercises at Home

    Many parents ask me what they can do at home to continue the mindfulness exercises at home. Here are a few of the tips that  I tell parents:

    • Practice meditation and mindfulness before your child returns home from Trails. By learning how to participate in these exercises yourself, you can model if for your children. This way, you can meditate together as a family.
    • Adapt meditation and mindfulness to your family’s needs. If your family has very little time to meditate, going on a walk and talking about nature can be really helpful. It’s important to be present as a family. This can be very difficult in today’s world for families.
    • Put away technology during family time. That email from work can wait during time spent with family. Everyone should have their full attention on whatever activity you are doing. This helps promote bonding and helps everyone be “in the moment”.

    Resources

    Learn more about mindfulness here:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/crisis-knocks/201003/mindfulness-based-stress-reduction-what-it-is-how-it-helps

    https://hms.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/assets/Harvard%20Now%20and%20Zen%20Reading%20Materials.pdf

    For more information about the mindfulness programming at Trails, please visit: https://trailscarolina.com/trails-carolina-mindfulness-programming/

    Trails Carolina can help

    If your teen is struggling with emotional or behavioral challenges such as trauma, defiance, and depression, Trails Carolina might be a good option for your family. We are a wilderness therapy program which helps teens ages 10-17 achieve lasting success.

    Learn more about Trails Carolina by calling 800-975-7303 or visit https://trailscarolina.com/.

    AUTHOR

    Kaitlyn Kertesz, MSW, LCSWA

    All stories by: Kaitlyn Kertesz, MSW, LCSWA

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