Why strengthen emotion regulation skills and cultivate compassion in adolescents?
Any transition period comes with built-in stress because of changes that accompany it. The transition to adolescence presents developmental challenges in physical, social, intellectual and psychological arenas. Adolescents typically experience more intense emotions than they previously experienced as younger children. This is the time of life when the pull to be autonomous from parents and other adults begins to strengthen, and the need to be a part of a social group increases. Life becomes more complex, and more mature coping skills are required to navigate this terrain effectively. In addition, adolescent brains are still under construction, and this is an active period for laying down neural pathways related to emotion management that can shape the course of adulthood. Many major mental illnesses have their onset in adolescence. While the trajectory of these illnesses is still unclear, promoting resilience at this life stage may reduce the risk of problematic outcomes for vulnerable individuals and strengthen the factors that promote mental health in general.
In addition to facilitating skills that help participants ‘surf the waves’ of their emotions with greater ease, L2B also intentionally cultivates wholesome emotions through activities and practice. Healthy self-compassion and compassion for others along with gratitude are practiced throughout the program.