Tools to Help Teens Cope on Their Terms
by Annette Cravera Goggio • Oakhurst, CA
Starting from an early school age, children are taught about character, what it means to be a certain type of person, how that person acts in school and toward fellow schoolmates, and what consequences ensue by not following the published (and often sign posted) behavioral traits. By the time they are teens, they are assumed to have memorized the four (or more) pillars of character development and exemplify the actions of such persons of character, but what of self-knowledge? Of self-management? Of self-loving? The guidelines for character only serve to produce acceptable behavior, not question what feels right or wrong inside the student. What content of internal dialogue produces good judgment? Self-reliance? Concern for others?
Today, teens are witnessing adults in government, in business, in society in general, and in other countries behave in ways that makes the character development rubric irrelevant. How does a teen make sense of his reality in a world that is turning upside down? How does a teen cope with the stresses of everyday school life and come home to family discussions of terror attacks, lying and misdeeds at the highest levels of government?
It turns out not very well. Before the inauguration of our latest president, the teen suicide rate was already at an unacceptable level, at 6.63 per 100,000 (a total of 1,668 deaths between the ages of 13 and 18 in 2014), and climbing steadily since 1999. More alarming is the number of suicide attempts, girls attempting suicide three times more often than boys, but boys successfully killing themselves three times more often than girls, making up 78% of the total number dead from suicide. Though suicide is the most extreme outcome of teen stress, what lies below such action is an even higher prevalence of depression and anxiety that is not being adequately addressed.
Many factors contribute to teen stress: family dynamics, academic performance, sports performance, early-onset of puberty, sexual exploration, the availability of alcohol and drugs and risk-taking behaviors. Each factor affects both the physical and energetic aspects of the body. In 2009, as a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner, I studied the effect of stress on the energetic systems in the bodies of thirty-five teens, and found statistically significant correlations between the level of stress the teens reported experiencing and the amount of disorganization in their body’s energy. Out of the thirty-two teens that completed the entire study, those who demonstrated the most disorganization in their energy systems such as the chakras, the meridians and aura, were mostly likely to report poor relationships with family members and friends, the greatest number of areas of physical pain in the body, and describe themselves in the most negative terms. Many were taking anti-depression/anti-anxiety medications or self-medicating with alcohol.
In light of this evidence of fragility in the teen population and the opportunity a new school year brings to usher in some new tools to help teens cope on their own terms, I offer the following:
- Provide a means for your teen to learn about self in a positive, loving way: through meditation. I highly recommend Transcendental Meditation (TM) for teens aged 13 and older (as taught directly by a trained instructor of the Transcendental Meditation organization). This approach does not require concentration or self-quieting techniques that would be difficult to achieve given the rigors of a teen’s life. TM requires only a span of 20 minutes twice daily in a place the teen will not be disturbed. It is an automatic process that yields great relaxation and builds greater internal focus. As a consequence it builds confidence in the teen that he/she can cope with whatever confronts them.
- Provide the time and means for your teen to wash thoroughly at the end of the day, the whole body, including hair. Washing the body removes other people’s energy that has been absorbed into the aura during the day. Doing so calms the body and mind.
- Teach and remind your teen to open the main portals of the body and to remove non-constructive emotions before going to bed. Starting with the feet, pinch the end of each toe, then massage down the toe, massage between the toes on the top of the foot, stretch the skin of the bottom of the foot outward away from the center, rake with your fingers the ankle and hold the lower leg, pulling the energy down through the ankle and off the foot. Do the same with the hands, pinching the end of each finger, massaging down the finger, between the fingers on the top of the hand, then stretching the skin on the palm of the hand and pulling the energy down hand and off the fingertips. After opening the hands and feet, pull energy down the leg from the hip and off the foot, and then pull energy down the arm from the shoulder and off the hands. Lastly, pull the skin from the center top of the head outward to stretch the skin and open up space for energy to move up and out of the top of the head. Imagine a circle there, expanding out to the outer edge of the crown of the head. Then imagine a chimney from the base of the spine up the middle of the body to the top of the head. Place hands at the front of the body between the legs, cup the energy up the midline of the body, move it up and above the head. This process allows energy to move up and out of the body and encourages brushing of negative emotions out of the body.
- Love, love, love your teen, no matter what they say or what they do. You are the example. If you have trouble loving your teen, ask for help from Spirit to move love through you to your teen. Being a teen is hard work. Loving is easy.
Annette Goggio, MPH, EEMCP, holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in the health sciences and is the author of Healing: A Conversation. Her practice in energy medicine is based on the teaching of Dixie Yeterian, renowned clairvoyant and healer, and Donna Eden of Eden Energy Medicine. To learn more, please visit www.healingaconversationbook.com and www.aquantummoment.com.