Unleashing ‘The Mindful Teen’ to thrive amid stress and adversity

Book Spotlight

Managing stress is difficult and a learned skill. As a teenager, stress can take an even greater emotional and mental toll. Teenagers are trying hard to find their true identity while going through the social obstacles of fitting in, peer pressure and bullying, not to mention navigating the physical changes that occur during the teenage years. Prom, dating, getting into college and trying to fit in are a lot to worry about. Acknowledging that the teenage years are difficult for anyone and practicing a popular concept known as mindfulness will help the teenager learn to be at ease with the many stressors that will come along during this developmental period.

Discovering mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. Mindful individuals observe their thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them as good or bad. Instead of letting life pass them by, mindful individuals live in the moment and awaken to experience. The concept of mindfulness is derived from the Buddhist religion.

The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time,” written by board-certified pediatrician Dzung X. Vo, M.D., coaches teenagers on how to deal with stress and anxiety brought on by this hormonally driven life period. Released in April 2015, this book already has prompted many positive reviews by readers of all ages and from all walks of life. The book offers a unique program based in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to help the teenager deal with stress. Being in tune with the world and one’ present situation enables individuals to sit through a stressful situation and have complete emotional control. Practicing mindfulness throughout the day can change how adolescents deal with peer pressure and other stressors brought on during the teenage years.

Through simple examples and easy-to-understand vocabulary, Vo gives a roadmap to how to handle stress in a positive way rather than focusing on the consequences of negative behaviors. This book can benefit anyone of all ages, as stress affects everyone from children to the geriatric population and mindfulness is one of the most versatile tools one can use to manage stress.

Rave reviews

According to one reviewer: “‘The Mindful Teen’ is a beautifully written book that walks the line between making mindfulness easy and accessible to teens who may or may not be inclined to delve deeply into the topic and providing real substance and depth to a powerful practice and way of living. Full of understandable, doable practices, super relevant examples, and quotes, this book doesn’t talk down to kids, but speaks up to future adults who deeply desire to overcome the challenges they face and not only succeed, but thrive. A valuable guide to living the practice of mindfulness that anyone could benefit from reading.” — Steven D. Hickman, Psy.D., founder and executive director of the University of California, San Diego Center for Mindfulness, and associate clinical professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Another Amazon reviewer says: “The chapters are clearly thought through and touch on everything from everyday stressors, to in-school stressors, to home stressors, and the exercises offered help you to flex your mindfulness muscles with techniques to awaken the wisdom inside you and, like all exercise, lead you to a sense of well-being, inner calmness, increased kindness to yourself and to others, and increased resilience to stress.”

White River Academy teaches adolescent males how to counter the many stressors of youth and prepares them for adulthood. To learn more about the different therapy and treatment options offered at the therapeutic boarding school, please visit www.whiteriveracademy.com.

About the author

Vo is a board-certified pediatrician who specializes in adolescent medicine at British Columbia Children’s Hospital and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, Canada. His medical practice, teaching, and research emphasize promoting resilience in young people to help them thrive in the face of complex stress and adversity. He has helped to develop and teach mindfulness training programs for youth with chronic stress, chronic pain, depression and anxiety.

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