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Add a Little Guided Imagery to Your Teen’s Favorite Tunes to Help Relieve Stress

17 Feb

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,. . . it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Charles Dickens wrote those words in 1859, in the beginning chapter of the epoch novel A Tale of Two Cities, but the words could also be used today to describe the cascade of roller-coaster emotions we experience between the ages of 12 and 20.

People in each generation are certain theirs was the generation of young people who experienced the most stress. We have all heard the tales from our grandparents who had to walk a dozen miles in sub-zero temperatures to get to school. Of course as night followed day, they must have had to walk another dozen to get home-unless they walked to their jobs in the mines or fields or factories and then walked a dozen miles home. The truth is that they probably weren’t exaggerating, but we couldn’t commiserate because we could list so many reasons why our generation had it worse.

What we all experienced while coming of age might have been stressful, but lately we at Health Journeys are hearing from so many people who are looking for help for stressed-out teens that we did a little research and found that there seems to be a serious problem with excessive stress among today’s youth.

Psychologists, educators, researchers and parents might disagree on the main cause of the increased stress levels among teens, but the consensus is that there is cause for concern. Some cite increased pressure to perform academically, fueled by the current economic crisis which suggests an adequate college education will not be enough to compete in today’s tough job market. Others say teens are experiencing too much social pressure, facing increased levels of physical and internet bullying, struggling with peer pressure and relationships and lacking the ability to turn off the social pressure once they leave school, due to the omnipresent social media.

Results of several large surveys suggest that more than 75 percent of teens say they experience excessive stress at some times, more often during the school year, and mental health professionals say they are seeing an increase in the number of teens experiencing anxiety and depression. Many parents say they are aware their kids are burned out and over-scheduled, but they feel there is little they can do about it.

There may be no easy solution, but the good news is that the problem is being taken seriously, as more and more programs are being developed to deal with teen stress. People tell us our guided imagery programs, such as Bodhipaksa’s Mindfulness Meditations for Teens are often helpful.

In her response to the grandmother of a teenager experiencing high stress and extreme anxiety, Belleruth recommended starting out with some general, relaxing imagery, like Relaxation and Wellness before using audio programs that target the specific problems. Read her response in Teenage Girl Needs Help with Anxiety, Schoolwork. Also of interest is Belleruth’s blog post Kids in Youth Corrections Learn Meditation, Tai Chi and Guided Imagery.

Parents often find that when their teens use our imagery to help them focus and improve their grades, their stress levels drop. Belleruth’s new Concentration, Focus & Learning (including ADD, ADHD& LD) is great for most teens struggling with academic performance issues. In our 2014 Catalog and our online store, we have many audio programs that help with self-esteem, academic and athletic performance, test anxiety and be sure to check out Mellisa Dormoy’s series designed for kids and teens, which includes Shambala Stress Management for Teens.

Most of our audio programs are available in MP3 downloads, ideal for teens. As always, we welcome your comments and we encourage you to contact us with any questions about the selections we offer for you and the people in your life.