A program developed to teach teenagers how to elicit the relaxation response has helped Boston area students in urban high schools to lower their anxiety levels, increase productivity and effectively manage stress. The schools have predominantly minority populations.
As reported in this column, teens are experiencing more stress than any other age group in America, according to the 2014 Stress in America™ survey from the American Psychological Association. The 6-to 8-week mind-body course, developed by experts from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, trains school teachers on how to educate teens about stress and on how to use meditation, mindfulness, imagery, diaphragmatic breathing and positive thinking to manage stress levels. The pilot study appeared in Advances in Mind-Body Medicine (2015; 29 , 6–14).
To learn more about how mind-body skills are helping teens, see “Mindfulness Practice: Empower Fragmented Teens to Become Whole,” in IDEA Fitness Journal (2012; , 78–81). For more information about the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, go to www.bensonhenryinstitute.org.