During Red Ribbon Week and throughout the year, teach teens to exchange negative feelings for positive ones. When one expresses anger, give them a few positive emotions to trade the anger in on. Then ask them what that positive emotion looks like, feels like, and how they could make that vision become reality. Read more about mindfulness in this article and have a discussion with the teens in your life during Red Ribbon Week.
“It’s a human tendency to want to have pleasure and want to avoid pain or discomfort,” says University of Washington researcher Sarah Bowen.
Bowen has spent much of her career studying a unique approach: mindfulness, which involves cultivating moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness of thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. She and her colleagues have developed a program called Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), which combines practices like sitting meditation with standard relapse prevention skills, such as identifying events that trigger relapse. Rather than fighting or avoiding the difficult states of mind that arise when withdrawing from a substance, this combination tries to help participants to name and tolerate craving and negative emotion.
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