By Dhanya Subramanian and Shravan Sundaram
Teens have a lot on their plate, and they may feel overwhelmed with thoughts of frustration and other concerns. Through a series of live zoom sessions with Q & A parts, two high-school teens will address and present current topics concerning teen health and wellness. The session will be broken down into three parts, good living practices, the teen topic for that day, and then the question and answer session.
With the knowledge and guidance from Dr. Ram Rao and his team join us as we grow together and learn about healthy ways of dealing with the ever-growing problems that we face as teenagers in a world with technology developing so rapidly. All beliefs, all religions, and all genders are welcome.
Dr. Rammohan Ram holds a PhD in neuroscience. He has over two decades of experience in research and teaching specifically in age-associated neurodegenerative diseases with special emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. He is a NAMA Board Certified Ayurveda Practitioner (AP), a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) from Yoga Alliance and a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Accreditation Council (NAMAC). He is also the author of the sensational book, Good Living Practices: “The best from Ayurveda, Yoga and Modern Science For Achieving Optimal Health, Happiness and Longevity.”
Following the first GLP teen session, here are the key takeaways that our listeners valued most.
The first part of our session discussed regular good living practices. To begin, the term “optimal health” was brought to our attention. Dr. Rao emphasized that while the mind and body work together, one must take their optimal health into their own hands. If the brain and body were separate, this would lead to a fractionate or unwholesome life. He introduced a practice that teens (as well as others) can utilize in their lives to reduce stress and bring their mind and body together.
Dr. Rao then discussed the importance of the brain and body working in unison and harmony. One way to do this is to practice eating mindfully. This includes avoiding eating when stressed. Once you have calmed down, you should eat a healthy food of your choosing while simultaneously repeating three phrases in your mind:
“I thank the food chain.”
“I am grateful for the nutrition that this food will bring to my body.”
“I wish that no one in the world should starve from hunger and famine.”
While your mind is focused on the food, your body is also focusing on eating. Therefore, both the brain and body working together makes this a meditative act, thus destressing your body.
The second way to do this is by focusing on your chewing. Chewing is an action our mouths perform while eating. While chewing, you should chew until the food is soupy while simultaneously counting the chews. While doing this exercise, you are focused on the number of chews and that attention or awareness sends impulses from the mouth to the brain. In this case, the brain and body are coming together in unity, which is another meditative act that helps to destress and calm down.
Some of our listeners who incorporated these two practices into their daily lives have said that they feel themselves slowing down. The mindful eating and chewing practices help them take some minutes for themselves to bring their minds to a calm state, and one of our listeners even says that they feel “refreshed” and “feel like [they] get more energy afterwards” following performing these exercises.
The teen topic addressed that day was Stress, specifically school related. Dr. Ram Rao laid out 7 very important habits to incorporate into our [teens] lives to help navigate our stress from school. These habits are from Sean Covey’s book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
The first is to be Proactive. It is very important for teens to be responsible and in control of our lives. Being proactive with our tasks puts us in charge of our lives.
The second habit is to Begin with the End in Mind. Dr. Rao showed importance to this habit with goal-making. Whether it be smaller goals or broader goals, they will slowly but surely pave the path towards your triumph and success.
The third habit would be Putting First Things First. This habit ultimately puts both habit 1 and 2 together to create this third habit: personal management. Prioritizing your things will help in managing time and events according to the goals set in Habit 2.
The fourth habit is to Think Win-Win. Think Win-Win is a collaborative habit that encourages compromise, cooperation, and collaboration. This habit also encourages not engaging in emotional competitions, and brings the thought of “you win, I win” resulting in people having a mutual end point that is beneficial to both sides.
The fifth habit is Seek First to Understand, then to be understood. This is telling us that active listening will help to really understand what people are saying, as opposed to cutting off the other person and blurting out what you want to say and not caring to listen to them. First listen and understand before providing a response.
The sixth habit is Synergize. This is when we can act together to overcome differences, appreciate each other's commonalities and find a common ground which then takes us back to Habit 5: Think Win-Win to find that mutual end point.
Lastly, the final habit is Sharpen the Saw. Sharpen the Saw tells us to bring balance to our body and mind, and to allow for regenerating to happen to strengthen our bodies and increase our motivation and energy. This habit emphasizes the “work/life balance,” or in this case the “school/life balance.”
We thank everyone for joining. Our next session will be in January, date TBD. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Dhanya Subramanian at firstname.lastname@example.org or Shravan Sundaram at email@example.com.