Teen Volunteers in Action held one of its two annual parent luncheons last week, to conduct business, socialize and welcome a guest speaker. Nearly 90 mothers of teenage boys attended the event, including three past presidents of the volunteer organization.
Attendees were loaded with donations for San Diego’s Karen refugees, which TVIA president Barbara Edwards said “make a huge difference” in the lives of the children.
The featured speaker for the luncheon was Jim Cahill, developer of Mindfulness-Based Biofeedback Therapy and an expert on stress management for all ages. Cahill discussed the causes of stress, the difference between “eustress” and “distress,” and presented some alarming statistics about stress in the lives of teens.
Although “stress is medicine in the right doses,” Cahill said much of the stress in our daily lives generates panic and anxiety rather than healthful motivation and stimulation.
Cahill said one in three children is estimated to suffer from stress, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, that 15 percent of high school students have considered suicide and 11 percent of those have actually created a plan.
Stress in teens results in a depressed immune system, increased irritability, depression, and impairment of memory, motor skills, alertness and concentration.
Cahill offered tools for managing stress, which included first to recognize the signs of stress, create more down-time which he said is “not just doing nothing,” spend more time in nature, have media blackouts, get more sleep which he said is particularly important for teens who are chronically sleep-deprived, and volunteer more. Helping others, he said, reduces stress.
Cahill, whose Web site is http://
/, said biofeedback provides instant feedback on elevated stress levels and is a way to control negative responses.
Serving the north coastal communities of Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, Cardiff, Encinitas and Carlsbad, TVIA is an organization of young men in grades 7-12 who are committed to community leadership through a structured program of volunteerism, philanthropy, charitable service and personal growth.
Membership for the 2012-2013 year is now open. All those interested can visit the TVIA Web site at: