By now, you have surely heard that the Wild Boars, a Thai boys' soccer team, have all made it safely out of the cave they were trapped in for 18 days. Miraculous, yes. A nail-biter, for sure.
I know lots of kids their ages from Sunday school and from substitute teaching—and my daughter is the same age as the youngest players. I tried to put myself in the parents' place, imagining how frantic they were, and tried to imagine how my daughter and her soccer team might react in a similar situation. They would be so scared, so filled with anxiety. So panicked.
But these boys and their coach had an advantage: they grew up meditating. "Reacting to a video of them in the cave, one boy’s mother pointed out that they seemed serene: 'Look at how calm they were, sitting there waiting. No one was crying or anything. It was astonishing,' she told the AP."
A Stanford expert trained in meditation by the Dalai Lama put it this way: "For Buddhists, meditation is a go-to when distressed or in danger. . . . Cognitive resources that would otherwise be hijacked by the threat can be accessed once again, meaning that problem-solving capacities increase."
This tool is not just for Buddhists, though. Anyone can use meditation to lessen distress or increase problem-solving capacities. Try it!