mrs. neal's not-so-conventional MEDITATION [CLASS] for TEENS...

...the book and the recorded meditation


You cannot teach a man anything;
you can only help him to find it within himself.

– Galileo, scientist / astronomer


What Can You Do To Reduce Stress?

Once you have identified the causes and symptoms of stress, you need to learn a few ways you can reduce that stress in safe, healthy and natural ways — an important element in maintaining a healthy body and a healthy mind.



Now, take a look at your perspective of your life.

Here’s an oldie, but goodie: fill a glass with water to the halfway point. When you look at this glass of water, do you see your glass as half full or half empty?

If you see your glass as half empty, you are someone who tends to view your world more on the negative side; if the glass is half full, you tend to see things in a more positive light.

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Always Try To Be Positive!

Studies have shown that thinking positive thoughts and using positive visualization will release endorphins into your system and make you feel better — mentally and physically.

Think about this: a placebo is something with no pharmacological effect that is given to a patient who believes they are receiving the real thing. Placebos work because the positive mind set causes the release of the endorphins, which eases the pain.

The key word here: positive.

One way to focus on the positive is to count your blessings — a lesson I learned from my mother. Even though she had a difficult childhood, she always found something she could be thankful for.

Ask yourself these five questions she once asked me:

Did you eat today?

A lot of people did not. If you did, and your tummy is full more often than not, you are blessed.

Do you have a roof over your head?

A lot of people do not. If you have shelter from the weather, and a place to lay your head at night, you are blessed.

Are there people in your life who love you?

There are many people who go through their day feeling unloved and unwanted. If there are people who love you no matter what you do, you are blessed.

Is there someone in your life you love?

There are people who have no one to love. If you can share your life with someone, and feel love for them, you are blessed.

Do you live in a country where — for the most part — you are free to express yourself?

There are countries where a person can lose his life for saying something the government finds offensive. If your answer to this question is yes, you are blessed.

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Again, Count Your Blessings!

Be positive — see your glass as half full.

Stay focused on the good stuff!

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, stay focused on — and show gratitude for — what you do have in your life.

Make a list of all of your blessings — those things you have to be grateful for every day!

Tape this list to your mirror, and look at it every day to remind yourself that there are things in your life that you can count as blessings.

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What Else?

There are lots of other ways to reduce the stress in your life.

Meditation is, of course, a wonderful way to reduce stress and one that I highly recommend. It is a powerful tool that you can use almost any time or any place.

However, there may be times when meditation isn’t practical. It’s a good idea to create and keep handy a list of alternative methods you can use to reduce your stress.

A simple way to come up with these alternative methods you can use is to create a list of safe, healthy and natural ways to reduce or control your stress — things that you know will work for you — any time or any place.

This list can be any activity you could do (write, draw, play, work out or exercise, etc.), something you could eat (ah, comfort food!), or some place you could go (physically or mentally).

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Homework Assignment!

Take out a piece of paper (maybe you could use the back of the paper with the list of your blessings) and list the alphabet from A to Z (refer to the sample list below) leaving room next to each letter to write the things that you want on your list. Then, start your list of things you can do to reduce your stress.

Make it personal — list YOUR favorite things.

Be creative. When you have finished, you will have a list of options that will work for you. Keep this list some place handy. Then, the next time you are feeling stressed, mentally go through the alphabet and think about all those things on your list. Keep going until you hit on something that will work — right then and there — to lower your stress.


A few ideas to get you started are on the sample list below. You can use this list to help to get you started, but you should create your own list, using your own ideas — things you know will work for you.

A  =  Apple; Aerobics; Ask for help; Adventure

B  =  Blessings; Breathe; Baseball; Basketball; Banana

C  =  Chocolate; Cry; Call a friend; Calm yourself; Camp

D  =  Dance; Drive; Dive into water; Draw; Do something fun

E  =  Eat healthy food; Exercise; Examine your life

F  =  Friends; Family; Fishing; Find joy; Find a quiet place

G  =  God (pray); Game; Gardening; Grandparents

H  =  Help someone; Humor; Happy place; Have fun

I   =  Ice cream; Imagine; Instrument (play / learn to play)

J   =  Journal; Jog; Joke; Join a club or group

K  =  Kickball; Kite; Kindness; Kiss someone you love

L  =  Laugh; Let go (even for a little while); Laps (track or pool)

M =  MEDITATE; Music; Make something; Motivate

N  =  Nap; “No”; Nature; Novel (read or write one); Nutrition

O  =  Organize; Outdoors; Orange juice

P  =  Pray; Pamper; Play; Peace; Positive thoughts

Q  =  Quiet place; Quit harmful habits

R  =  Run; Read; Rest; Relaxation exercise

S   =  Sing; Swim; Smile; Sports; Spirituality

T  =  Thanks; Talk; Tai Chi; Take a walk; Tea (herbal)

U  =  Unite with friends; Use your brain (puzzles)

V  =  Volunteer; Vacation; Visualization

W =  Walk; Write; Work out; Warm and cozy place

X  =  “X”ercise; Xylophone (play one!)

Y  =  Yoga; Yell (release); Yawn; “Yes” to life

Z  =  Zoo; Zen; Zero out your day


Sit down and take some time to make the list your own, and keep adding to it when you think of something new.

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More Body Chemistry...

Do you remember what you read in previous chapters about the opiates in your body?

When you think about your life in a positive way, your body creates opiates that elevate your mood. Opiates — endorphins — are the neurotransmitters that reduce pain.

There are several ways to get your body to produce these opiates, such as meditation (of course), working out (ask a runner about a “runner’s high”) eating chocolate, laughing, or just with a little exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light by going out and getting some sun.

Acupuncture and acupressure also will produce this effect.

Experiencing something special through your senses of sight, smell, hearing, and touch also can elevate your mood, such as seeing something you perceive as beautiful, or watching a movie that you find enjoyable, or listening to beautiful music.

Who doesn’t feel better when you smell a freshly-baked batch of cookies! And think about the feeling of snuggling under a soft, warm blanket on a cold night!


These are just a few examples of ways to reduce your stress, and to work on your healthy body and healthy mind. Now, take some time to sit down and think of some things that will work for you.

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I am going to guess that I am not the only one who enjoys doing research — I challenge you to do a little extra research on your own to learn more about your body and how it works.

— ♦ —



Make that list of what you can use to reduce your stress,
and count your blessings!





Science is not only compatible with spirituality;
it is a profound source
of spirituality.

– Carl Sagan,
scientist / astronomer