Which Relaxation Techniques Seem Better Suited For Teenagers?

Michelle Bailey, M.D, Duke

Question: Which relaxation techniques seem better suited for teenagers?

Answer:Relaxation techniques that may be best suited for teenagers include things that will allow them to have more control over their experience. Examples of this would include mindfulness-based stress reduction, which is a technique that teaches teenagers to be more aware of the present moment. It includes awareness of their thoughts and emotions, and teaches them how not to judge these things.

Progressive muscle relaxation is another strategy that may be helpful. This is a series of exercises that can be done from head to toe, or from the feet up towards the head. Teenagers are asked to tense each set of muscle groups for about five to ten seconds and then to relax them. This can help trigger the relaxation response, which reduces the discomfort that teenagers may feel when they're anxious or stressed.

Medical hypnosis is another therapy that can be taught by a local practitioner, pediatrician or family doctor. This allows a teenager to use these strategies whenever they're feeling stressed or anxious in situations that may occur throughout their day.

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