Good question! It is for both teenagers and adults.
The truth is most of the teenagers I know are not going to read a book about mindfulness.
So in reality the book will be read by adults. But it is written in a style, and describes mindfulness in ways with which teenagers can connect.
It will help adults find a way of talking about mindfulness to teenagers and provides lots of examples of teenagers who have used mindfulness to handle the difficulties in their lives.
Most teenagers are sceptical too!
“Like breathing and eating raisins is going to help me when <insert catastrophe here> happens”
is the kind of thing my teenage clients say to me.
I think too often teenagers are exposed to well-intended mindfulness that was adapted from adult practices. Unfortunately they experience it as completely disconnected from their experience of life and way of being in the world.
This book talks about mindfulness in the ways that I have developed to connect with my teenage clients. The exercises are kept short and the focus is on using mindfulness in ways that take into account teenage brain development.
To become mindful we have to actively focus our attention, and then we have to keep doing it. Mindfulness is a skill rather than a state of mind, and just like any new skill, we have to practice to become competent. It is a rare genius that can sit down at a piano, kick a football, or pick up a golf club, and play well.
Many teenagers understand the importance of physical fitness, and they also know that fitness takes consistent exercise.
The Mindfulness Workout uses the metaphor of a gym workout. There are core exercises, which are the equivalent of abdominal exercises in a physical workout, and there are targeted exercises like exercises that focus on a specific muscle group. These target things like distraction, self-compassion, and social media usage.
Mental and emotional fitness is resilience, the ability to bounce back from challenges, and the capacity to deal with setbacks without becoming mired in self-criticism and low mood.
Just like a physical fitness program, regular exercise and training is required to become mentally fit and emotionally resilient. Using any exercise described inThe Mindfulness Workout for three to five minutes most days of the week will quickly increase your mental fitness. They exercises help you develop the following skills:
- Manage your feelings
- Deal with unhelpful thoughts
- Examine negative and false stories you tell yourself
- Discover your values and your strengths
- Learn to be kind to yourself
- Build healthy relationships
The Mindfulness Workout starts with the basics. Each chapter builds on the preceding chapter creating a cohesive training in mindfulness.
Chapters 3 to 5 provide the foundation exercises for a mindfulness practice. They teach approaches to working mindfully with emotions, thoughts, and rumination. The exercises in these chapters should be practiced regularly.
Read in sequence chapters 5 to 8 round out the basic mindfulness workout described in chapters 3 and 4, and support the development of mental fitness and emotional resilience for the teenage years and beyond.
Here are some of them:
- Mindfulness reduces anxiety and depression
- Mindfulness improves your physical health
- Mindfulness helps you perform better at an elite level
- Mindfulness is good for concentration
You can read more about the research behind these claims in The Mindfulness Workout!
I have noticed a few things are important to teenagers:
- They like evidence
- They want to understand the rationale for what you are proposing
- They like things that are easy to learn and quick to apply
- They are motivated by rewards
- They like real life examples
Read more in The Mindfulness Workout! You will get plenty of ideas and examples that will help you talk to teenagers about mindfulness.
It is for both!
The book is aimed at teaching mindfulness to the beginner, in particular the teenage beginner. More about adult beginners later ...
But it is also geared towards experienced adult practitioners (parents, teachers, and counsellors) who are planning on integrating mindfulness into their work with teenagers.
It provides experienced practitioners with lots of ideas about how to talk to teenagers about mindfulness and provides mindfulness exercises that are particularly aimed at teenage life - the Distraction Dimmer; Ready, Get Set, Exam; and the Mood Buster.
So now, back to the adult beginner!
I am not mentioning any names, but a few adults have quietly told me that this book finally made sense of mindfulness and helped them embark on a mindfulness practice.
If you are considering introducing mindfulness into the classroom The Mindfulness Workout will definitely help you.
- It gives you plenty of ideas for how to talk to your students about the mindfulness, both the whys and the hows
- It has lots of exercises you can do with students as classroom activities.
- You can use the resources in The Mindfulness Workout and on this website to help you create classroom lessons. You can print out extra worksheets here.
- It describes case studies based on actual teenagers who have used mindfulness
If you are considering introducing mindfulness into your psychotherapy practice The Mindfulness Workout will definitely help you.
- It gives you plenty of ideas for how to talk to teenagers about the mindfulness, both the whys and the hows
- It has lots of exercises you can teach clients and you can print worksheets for using in sessions
- It describes case studies based on actual teenagers who have used mindfulness in addressing mental health issues
- Some clients will enjoy from reading the book
- Parents who are supporting teenagers tell me they have found the ideas in the book very helpful
If you are hoping to become a more mindful family the book can really help you.
- It gives you plenty of ideas for how to talk to your teenagers about the mindfulness, both the whys and the hows
- It helps you understand teenage behaviour and how mindfulness can help
- It has lots of exercises you can introduce to your teenagers
- It can help you understand your own emotional reactions to living with your teenagers, and support you in becoming a more mindful parent