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Disruptive behavior in the classroom, poor academic performance, and emotional highs and lows: if you work with adolescents, you are well-aware of the challenges this age group presents. What if there were a way to help these students focus while equipping them with the mindfulness skills they need to excel in school and in life? 'Learning to Breathe* is a research-based curriculum designed to help adolescents reduce stress, improve their attention, manage emotions, and gain greater control over their own thoughts and actions - essential skills for optimizing classroom learning and promoting well-being. This breakthrough mindfulness-based program is structured around six themes that form the acronym BREATHE, and each theme has a core message. This book is the perfect tool for teachers, mental health professionals, or anyone who works with adolescents.
This study reports the results of a pilot trial of Learning to BREATHE, a mindfulness curriculum for adolescents created for a classroom setting. The primary goal of the program is to support the development of emotion regulation skills through the practice of mindfulness, which has been described as intentional, non-judgmental awareness of present-moment experience. The total class of 120 seniors (average age 17.4 years) from a private girls' school participated as part of their health curriculum. Relative to controls, participants reported decreased negative affect and increased feelings of calmness, relaxation, and self-acceptance. Improvements in emotion regulation and decreases in tiredness and aches and pains were significant in the treatment group at the conclusion of the program. Qualitative feedback indicated a high degree of program satisfaction. The results suggest that mindfulness is a potentially promising method for enhancing adolescents' emotion regulation and well-being.