It is surely not a stretch to say that college can be quite stressful at times. With homework, projects and tests and other important matters, students can get overwhelmed at times – a feeling Kailen Krame is familiar with. Krame came to Ramapo on Friday to discuss her book “Put it in Perspective: A Teen’s Guide to Sanity,” and talk how to deal with stress through mindfulness.
During the talk, Krame analyzed her own experience with anxiety while she was in school.
“When I reflected upon why I got overwhelmed I realized it was due to the amount of responsibility I have taken with my school work, friend drama … that I allowed to run rampant because I didn’t possess the tools to self reflect upon these troublesome events,” she said.
In response to this realization her father gave her a book titled “Practicing the Power of Now,” which flipped a switch for her, causing her to realize the importance of practicing mindfulness.
“What really hit home for me was really the notion of living in the present moment and not worrying about things in the future that are about to happen or getting upset about things that happened in the past,” said Krame. “These were the things that were holding me back … so I decided to make a conscious effort to make mindfulness a part of my everyday life and see how that affected my happiness and ability to connect with happiness.”
Krame wrote her book based on her desire to share her realization in a work geared toward the teen and college-aged population, in the hopes that the teachings she learned would help people going through the same things she experienced.
She outlined five strategies needed to help achieve mindfulness. The strategies or tenets are acceptance, compassion, selfishness, resilience and fearlessness. Acceptance entails having a “going with the flow” stance when faced with obstacles. She stressed that people do not have complete control over their interactions or experiences, so they should not let troublesome details bother them.
Compassion is in regards to both other people and oneself. Trying to empathize with the problems of others and seeing how this informs their interactions is important, according to Krame. In regards to the individual, compassion refers to not beating yourself up over mistakes you have made or perceived flaws in your character.
Selfishness refers to a resistance to peer pressure. Krame emphasized not letting other people influence ones own actions. Resilience makes reference to the ability to deal with the problem at hand and learning from it without dwelling on it. Lastly, fearlessness refers to a lack of or regard for the “what ifs,” and just striving for opportunities in the present moment.
Many students felt Krame’s session was very informative.
“I am so happy I attended the event last Friday. I felt that Kailen Krame had really great experiences and insights to share with the group,” said senior Donna Elazar. “I am filled with joy that teens and young adults are increasingly learning more about contemplative practices such as meditation, and the various ways it can benefit our daily lives. I agree with her sentiments about how mindfulness education for our youth is so important to help people live happier, healthier and more meaningful lives.”