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Did you know how substance abuse risks decrease when teens have natural highs? Kids face a whole lot of stress and angst when it comes to peer pressure and whether or not to use substances. To use the old, “Just say no,” will not only be met with a roll of the eyes, but it’s ineffective. We have to have a plan and strategy to fill down time as well as get their endorphins pumping. If we are a deep rooted part of their support system (as we should be) our stance has to be strong and consistent. Natural highs are powerful tools that are way underutilized.
How substance abuse risks decrease when teens have natural highs…
What’s a natural high? Fair question. It’s something that brings joy, elation and stoke to our lives that is not included substances. There is an increase in endorphins. You may envision someone sky diving or scuba diving with sharks. These are two examples, but refrain from boxing a natural high into the category of extreme sports. It’s so much more. When we engage and have an interest there is less down time. Decrease down time and remove a good chunk of boredom. One of the biggest influencers in the kick start of drug involvement? Boredom. You want to know what else? Lack of interests and a sedentary lifestyle.
Natural highs are an interest, a passion for something that suits and clicks for that person. Let’s kick out some examples:
- Join cross country
- Sign up for a cooking class, sewing course
- Take Kickboxing, Karate
- Learn how to build / repair a car
- Compete in dirt bike racing
- Enroll in a photography class
Life needs to be more than routine. Going through the motions of life every single day leaves tremendous room for boredom, depression and opens the chasm for poor decision making. No one likes to feel crappy or to maintain a state of ‘blah’ for extended periods of times. My outlook is that as long as you have a pulse and you are breathing there is opportunity to adjust the sails in life. Whether you or your young person are in a state of ‘blah’ it is not to late to get your natural high on.
Get stoked for change. Chat with your young person about what activities may be of interest. Generate a list and give yourself a timeline. If they want to try something solo that’s awesome. If they request you or their sibling or friend to participate, be willing.
Mix it up….
As you take this step in trying new things be aware that it’s ok if an activity is tried and doesn’t ‘stick.’ That’s ok, keep trying. Every try at an activity is an experience and at some point an interest or multiple ones will stick. I believe life is too short to limit ourselves from experiences. We have way too many young people who don’t have that thing, that passion, that interest that enhances their state of being. It’s a bummer and a disservice to their quality of life.
I encourage you to make this a priority if that natural high has yet to be found. Life is an adventure, a journey that too often we become fixed on things that distract instead of enhance. When our kids find that stoke it makes the experience all the more amazing as a parent.
Wishing you a heap of peace, love and stoke as your continue on with your week. Peace!