A new stress-reduction/resiliency-building curriculum developed by the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has shown to help teenagers effectively manage stress and increase productivity.
A group of Boston-area high school students significantly reduce their anxiety levels and successfully handle stress over time, reports the study.
Program directors Rana Chudnofsky, MEd, and Laura Malloy, LICSW, train educators in a curriculum that teaches the science of stress and relaxation, as well as how to help students use relaxation strategies such as breathing and imagery along with positive psychology techniques such as reframing one's thoughts.
The authors noted that this approach might be just the right treatment for youths who report feeling more stress than all other age groups. Experiencing high levels of stress has surprisingly significant long-term implications, including everything from physical and psychological health problems, to poor academic performance and an inclination toward harmful lifestyle choices.
Researchers hope to build on this evidence with future larger studies. The Resilient Youth directors are particularly interested in understanding, which aspects of the resiliency curriculum are most effective, for what stressors it was most helpful and how long students would continue to use the skills they learn.