Teens

We want to inspire you and provide you with practical ways you can improve your mental health, feel happier and build resilience.

Gratitude

This is when you think about things you are thankful for (like your friends or a super cheesy pizza!).

Empathy

Being kind to other people is a special kind of magic — because it makes you feel good too!

Mindfulness

When it feels like there are a million things going on and your mind is racing, slowing down and taking big breaths can help a lot.

Emotional Literacy

It’s ok to feel sad, grumpy or scared sometimes. But knowing your feelings will help you feel better quicker.

Let’s Practise!

As we know, if we want to get better at something, we need to practise. Our wellbeing is no different.

Here are some simple ideas to help you practise Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy every day. Because the more you practise, the better you will feel.

Gratitude

Write down or talk about three things that went well for you today. It could be something as simple as hanging with your friends or as big as winning an award! Try to do this every day at the dinner table with others or by keeping a notebook next to your bed.

Empathy

Pay attention to the feelings of people around you today. If you notice a friend looking upset, ask them if they’d like to talk about it. If a family member seems a bit stressed, offer to help out. Try to show empathy to at least one person every day.

Mindfulness

In moments where you can feel yourself getting stressed or anxious, turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe in for four counts, hold for four and out for four. Repeat this four times and you’ll hopefully feel a bit calmer!

Emotional Literacy

Did you have a day this week where you just didn’t feel great? What did you do – or what could you do – to flip your mood? A happy playlist, exercise or catching up with a friend might help next time!

Activities to try this month

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Mindfulness

Give Your Brain a Break

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Our brains work really hard for us all day.

In fact the average brain consumes about 34 gigabytes of data and information each day. To give you an idea of how much this is, a 30GB data plan will allow you to browse the internet for around 360 hours, to stream 6,000 songs or to watch 60 hours of standard-definition video.

Like any muscle in our body if we work it hard we also need to let it rest and recover.

TIP: Click on the “+” button to do the activity
Tap on the “+” button to do the activity

TRY THIS…
• Go for a walk around the block or school yard.

• As you walk look for things you have not noticed before.

• See if you can spot five things that you never noticed.

• You can also try walking and focusing on all the things you can hear.

• As you do these activities you might find your busy mind wanders to other thoughts and focus just pay attention and bring it back to what you are doing. You will get better at this the more you practise.

 

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Empathy

The Smile Challenge

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Humans have mirror neurons. This means that when we see someone else experiencing something we feel it too. It works for positive emotions like smiling and also for pain. Have you ever winced when you saw someone getting hurt?
That’s your mirror neurons.

Its pretty handy as it keeps us from hurting each other and allows us to understand how someone else is feeling.
It is essential for EMPATHY.

TIP: Click on the “+” button to do the activity
Tap on the “+” button to do the activity

TRY THIS…

1 MINUTE EXPERIMENT WITH A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER.

• ‘Person A’ is going to smile and keep smiling for 60 seconds.
• ‘Person B’ is going to look at ‘Person A’ and try to not smile.

How did Person B go? Did they smile? Was it hard to not smile?

The reason that it is so hard for Person B to not smile is that humans have mirror neurons.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

When we are online our mirror neurons do not work the same as when we are face to face. We cannot see the reactions others have to the comments we make or the content we display. Therefore, we cannot see their joy or pain and the impact our actions are having.

Do you think comments online are often a lot harsher than what people would do or say face to face?

How might not directly observing other people’s reactions to your comments impact what you say or post?

Think about your behaviour online? Do you need to change anything?

The Imperfects Podcast

Pobody’s nerfect (and that nerdy joke is proof!). But talking about the things we all struggle with — and having a laugh in process — is a great way to accept the reality of our perfectly imperfect lives. Listen to Hugh, Ryan and Josh chat to some incredibly interesting people every week and learn how you can apply some of their valuable take-aways in your day-to-day.

Harry Garside

Dr Emily

Luke McGregor

Oliver Twist

Max Gawn

Kemi Nekvapil

Free resources to help you get through the struggles of life

Port Power and mind power: Travis Boak’s transformation

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Get to know us

The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses, providing practical, evidence-based mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.

Gratitude

You say ‘thank you’ to people when they give you a gift or do something nice for you — practicing gratitude is like saying ‘thank you’ to life for the same!

Evidence

When you pay attention to all the wonderful things in your life, rather than focusing on the things you want or don’t have, your brain does something awesome — it makes you feel better about yourself and the world. And it only takes 21 days for our brains to make this switch! Practicing gratitude helps you to feel more energetic and excited about the future. You may notice that you can concentrate better at school or feel more determined to play your best in sport. It can even help you have a better sleep and not get sick as often!

Empathy

Just because your friend is hurt or upset doesn’t necessarily mean you feel the same way. But you would still show them kindness because you understand how bad it feels to be hurt or upset. This is called empathy — when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Evidence

Everyone is different. But trying to understand how someone else is feeling by being kind and compassionate towards them doesn’t just help them to feel better. When you show empathy or do something kind for someone else, your brain releases a chemical that makes you feel happy too!

Imagine you’re the richest person in the world but you have no friends or family to share it with. You wouldn’t feel very happy, would you? Empathy helps us feel closer to other people and makes us better friends and family members. This makes us feel better about ourselves and gives us more confidence, energy and overall happiness.

Mindfulness

When you run really, really fast, everything around you becomes a blur. But when you slow down, you can suddenly see everything more clearly. This is what happens when we practice mindfulness — we’re giving our brains the chance to slow down and take in what’s going on around us.

Evidence

Sometimes when there is so much going on, it can make our heads spin! We can feel sad or nervous or frustrated and not know how to make those feelings go away. But something special happens when you shift your focus away from those feelings and start to pay attention to what your body is doing instead. If you ask yourself, ‘What can I see around me?’ ‘What can I smell?’ ‘What can I hear?’ By doing this, you’re giving your brain the chance to calm down and relax. Those thoughts that were making your head spin earlier will start to get quieter. Doing this every day can help you stay focused on tasks, do better at school and be an overall happier person because your brain isn’t so cluttered and blurry.

Emotional Literacy

Happy. Sad. Confused. Excited. Scared. There are so many feelings that you can feel at any given time and all of them are perfectly normal. But being able to recognise and label those feelings as they happen can mean they don’t affect you so much over time.

Evidence

When everyone refused to say Voldemort’s name in Harry Potter, it only gave him more power. It’s the same when it comes to feelings.

When you aren’t able to express your feelings, they stay bottled up inside of you until you suddenly explode. But being able to say ‘I am feeling a bit worried at the moment’ means you can do something about it before those feelings overwhelm you. You can ask for help or you can remove yourself from the situation that causing you to worry. Practicing this will allow you to cope better when things get tough in future, such as if you have a disagreement with a friend or try out something new.