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  • Dr. Joe Novak

Mindfulness Tools for Adolescents and Adults

The other day, after finishing virtual sessions with clients, I reflected about how daily routine and life has changed over the last seven months. Sure, there are the obvious, radical changes in our lives but there are other, more subtle changes as well. Life as we know it is different. We look at things with a different lens. Our reactions are more rapid, perhaps, too sharp. We are on edge and struggle to tolerate any change or setback no matter how minor.

The poet, Charles Bukowski, in his poem, The Shoelace, wrote:

“....The dread of life is that swarm of trivialities that can kill quicker than cancer and which are always there - license plates or taxes or expired driver’s license, or hiring or firing....a shoelace that snaps with no time left…”

It is these “shoelace that snaps” moments in our lives that can spontaneously derail us. I believe we can gain control over these moments and not let them trigger a cascade of emotions. To successfully reground ourselves, we need to learn and use tools that are simple, quick and, with practice, effective. Below I have listed some tools I believe are helpful in guiding teens and adults during tough times. Some tools I personally discovered and others were found by my clients. My suggestions include tools for mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, and understanding the value of not taking meaningful moments for granted. I hope you and your adolescents will find these tools useful and helpful.


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