By Kaye Hakopian
As we move further into the school year many students experience stress ~ the difference between problems faced and the ability to cope.
For adolescents it is not only the challenge of keeping up with work deadlines and looming exams, but also worries about being ‘ left out ‘ academically and socially. More and more there is an element of competition in all areas of life.
Anxiety fuels uncertainty in developing an inner identity and in the perception of what others think. A fear of ” ruining or spoiling things ” for family and friends is common at this stage of life.
Stress, anxiety and the tightrope of nervous tension can become the norm, establishing unhealthy and unnecessary patterns of coping. Coping well is about restoring harmony to brain function so that all the information received can be integrated.
Adolescent life is better without the feeling of being constantly ‘ on guard, ‘ readily provoked to be defensive or aggressive, over reactive to the superficial.
The suggestion is not to do less nor avoid stressful situations, but to learn to experience an ease of mind, a degree of inner calm so that problems and uncertainties no longer have the same disturbing effect.
The regular practice of Stillness (SMT) offers moments of profound quietness in which the brain is able to sort out the stream of impulses. Such moments come naturally as in daydreaming and the effect flows on into daily life.
But, ” HOW CAN I SIT AND DO NOTHING WHEN I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO ?? ”
This is a reasonable response when a student feels overloaded, struggling to meet so many expectations and demands. Trust and gentle encouragement are needed ~ just let it come, slowly and little by little a calmness comes to your mind.
You will be able to:
- think more clearly
- do more with less effort
- and respond more freely
Inner ease and naturalness lead to an understanding of things at a deeper level, beyond the active mind ~ a source of inner strength and confidence. For the adolescent this is very empowering. When nervous tension is not consuming so much energy, it is also easier to concentrate and fulfil creative potential.
While so much of learning appears complex, the practice of Stillness is essentially simple:
- LET MUSCLES RELAX
- EXPERIENCE THE RELAXATION OF BODY IN YOUR MIND
- TRANSCEND MINOR DISCOMFORT
- EXPERIENCE THE EASE OF MIND IN YOUR DAILY LIVING
- ALLOW YOURSELF THE MEDITATIVE EXPERIENCE DAILY
I encourage young people (and their parents) to make this natural practice part of their lives. Yes, it does require time and commitment but the benefits are worth making that initial step, for Quiet Time soon becomes something to look forward to, a special space to ‘just be.’
As a practitioner at the Centre I have been priviliged to see so many students discover for themselves the difference SMT makes. Having settled into the school routine, before the intensity of end of year, NOW is a perfect time to explore, establish and begin to benefit from Stillness. You will be most welcome at the SMT Centre.
© May 2015