Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Mindfulness Could Help Your Child Beat Exam Result Stress; MEDITATION AND WALKING - EVEN EATING CHOCOLATE - CAN EASE THE ANXIETY FELT BY TEENS AND PARENTS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Mindfulness Could Help Your Child Beat Exam Result Stress; MEDITATION AND WALKING - EVEN EATING CHOCOLATE - CAN EASE THE ANXIETY FELT BY TEENS AND PARENTS

Article excerpt

THEY may not let on. But rest assured, many teenagers waiting for their exam results are feeling extremely anxious at the moment. And they're not alone - there are plenty of parents equally stressed about their child's exam results, be that GCSEs, A-levels or others.

Research by the National Citizen Service (NCS) found 58% of teens say their biggest worry of the year is they won't achieve their desired exam results. More than a third of parents (36%) said they worried most about their teenage children suffering exam stress, this fear being more prevalent than concerns about teens drinking, smoking or being bullied.

In response, the NCS, which offers a summer adventure and activity programme for 16 and 17-year-olds, has teamed up with mindfulness expert Dr Danny Penman to give teens and their parents practical help to alleviate stress as they await their results.

"Mindfulness can help teens and parents," promises Dr Penman. "If you're being mindful you're fully aware of whatever's happening in the present moment, without being trapped in the past or worrying about the future - a great help when waiting for results."

Here's how to be mindful and meditate, according to Dr Penman: 1. Sit erect but relaxed, or lie down. Relax your arms and hands.

2. Close your eyes and focus on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Feel the sensations the air makes as it flows through your mouth or nose, down your throat and into your lungs. Feel your chest and stomach rise and fall. Focus on where the sensations are strongest. Observe your breath without trying to alter it in any way, or expecting anything special to happen.

Walking can a calming 3. When your mind wanders, gently shepherd it back to the breath. Don't criticise yourself. Realising your mind has wandered, and encouraging it to return to focus on the breath, is mindfulness. 4. Your mind may become calm, although this may only be short-lived. It may become filled with thoughts or powerful emotions, and these may also be fleeting. …

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