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Mindfulness Class For Teens Starts Thursday

on February 3, 2015 - 6:13am

JJAB News:

Are you feeling the effects of stress and pressure? Who isn’t? Having trouble concentrating? It can seem impossible with the constant distractions all around us. There is a different way!

Without leaving the obligations of everyday life behind, you can learn to manage your stress, increase your ability to focus, and start living again. How? With mindfulness training, of course!

Mindfulness Class at Los Alamos High School starts during lunch period Wednesday, Feb. 5 in Ms. Ovaska’s psychology classroom. Students can register online at www.losalamosjjab.com. The nine week session follows the Mindfulness in Schools Project’s curriculum, an evidence-based program developed in the UK.

This curriculum was specifically designed by classroom teachers to help students:

  • Feel happier, calmer and more fulfilled;
  • Get along better with others;
  • Concentrate and learn better;
  • Cope with stress and anxiety; and
  • Perform better in music and sport.

Mindfulness is simply paying attention with kindness and curiosity to our breath, body, thoughts, feelings and what is happening in the world around us. Much like going to the gym strengthens muscles and building mileage increases endurance, mindful awareness training enhances our ability to focus, deal with strong emotions and enjoy life.

In a mindfulness class, rthe group practices mindful eating, breathing, listening and moving. The class takes a look at how the brain and the body work in response to stress, depression and anxiety. We learn techniques for pausing before we speak or act and calming ourselves when we are tied up in knots.

According to the Mindfulness in Schools website, “brain imaging studies show that mindfulness practice reliably and profoundly alters the structure and function of the brain to improve the quality of thought, feeling and concern for others.” 

The class offers students a chance to take time for themselves while building a life skill that they can carry into the future. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety and improving decision-making skills, these practices have the potential to cultivate kindness in schools as students become more aware of themselves and others.

Mindfulness classes are being offered free to participants as part of the Los Alamos Community Awareness Project, an initiative of the Los Alamos JJAB. More information can be found on the JJAB website http://losalamosjjab.com/. Evening classes for adults and teens start at UNM-LA the first week of March.

Mindfulness classes are led by Kristine Coblentz, who has extensive experience working with children, youth and families. She is trained in several all evidence-based mindfulness programs for all ages. To register for a class, visit http://losalamosjjab.com/ or call 505.661.4097.

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