Encouraging Mindfulness:  Supporting Resiliency in an Anxious World

A growing body of research supports what any of us working with young people already know--that our young people are experiencing increasing amounts of stress.   More importantly, a growing body of evidence supports that increased time on smartphones is part of the problem. Well, smartphones are not going away, but as you consider how to shape your program and relationships with your young people this year, here are a couple of articles that offer some simple but powerful steps we can take to help counteract the stress our kids are suffering under.

A recent Washington Post article, "Teens are more stressed and anxious, but they don't know why...," stresses the importance of what many youth workers already value, the power of personal connections. The essay, written by a psychologist on a suicide hot line, also includes several excellent links to other resources on talking with young people about serious mental health concerns.

More attention is also being given to the value of mindfulness and meditation.Pediatrician Dr. Dzung X. Vo maintains Mindfulness for Teens, a website of resources for young people interested in increasing their mindfulness skills. While Dr. Vo's approach is secular, these tools can easily be adapted in developing a spiritual practice to help young people build up their resiliency by strengthening their connection to God through Christ.