Youth Athletics as Mind Medicine for Life

What an honor to contribute an article in the magazine REBOUND, by a player, for the players and fans. It was distributed to everyone during this Spring 2019 NCAA March Madness! 

Thank you @SusanSember for all you are doing for past, current, and future athletes. I cannot wait for the release of your movie!

Here is the article:



As an adult and child psychiatrist and as a mom, I believe by encouraging our children to engage in sports we can help set the foundation for overall health, wellbeing and lifelong wellness habits. There is no health without mental health. Regular exercise, good nutrition, and a practice of mindfulness create strong physical and mental wellbeing for all of us and for our children. Let’s think of participating in youth athletics as “mind medicine” and lifestyle wellbeing.

We need to pay attention to each child’s unique neurostyle (the way they perceive and process the world) and natural athletic inclination to help decide what sport or physical activity matches each individual. One size does not fit all. It is important at a young age that you expose your son or daughter to many different choices: swimming, t-ball, basketball, golf, cheerleading, skating, bowling and more. Try individual and team sports and see what sport activity is the best match for your child. Your child might have sensory challenges, behavioral issues, or physical impairments that warrant patience by you as a parent in helping them to find a realistic athletic activity that they enjoy so they can thrive physically and mentally.

Remember it is not about us living vicariously through our children, we need to respect their growth and development as individuals.

I grew up in the mid-west playing sports all year round. My parents encouraged me to sign up for all types of sports starting at age four. I excelled at some and others were not my forte. Swimming and soccer were my favorites. My love of the outdoors and swimming landed me a position as a lifeguard and then pool manager. I learned responsibility, discipline, and stayed active at a young age. I also played starting varsity goalie all four years in high school soccer and was asked to play in college. I was fearless as a goalie but after getting kicked in the mouth I realized the importance of protecting my brain. I knew that I wanted to go into medicine and decided that college soccer did not make sense with my professional goals and politely declined an offer to play.

I am sharing this as I think we need to raise our children to be aware of protecting their brain in any contact sport and to teach safe sport practices when encouraging team and individual sports. It is also important for our developing teens entering adulthood to set their own personal athletic, academic and professional goals for their best life.

It is common for parents, young children, and teens to set high expectations and to dream of playing sports in college and beyond.

According to “of the nearly 8 million students currently participating in high school athletics in the United States, only 480,000 of them will compete at NCAA schools. And of that group, only a fraction with realize their goal of becoming a professional or Olympic athlete. For the rest, the experiences of college athletics and the life lessons they learn along the way will help them as they pursue careers in other fields. Education is a vital part of the college athletics experience, and student-athletes graduate at higher rates than their peers in the student body.”

With this NCAA data in mind, set realistic expectations with your young athlete. A holistic health attitude can be taught at a young age and can last a lifetime. Encourage physical fitness, perseverance, discipline, teamwork, a flexible mindset, good nutrition, sleep habits, and academic excellence. Remind your child that in order to play high school sports, a student athlete has to maintain a certain grade point average (GPA), this is a fantastic way to link good study habits with ability to earn and play sports at a young age. A dream of playing professional sports should not be discouraged, yet realistically discussing all of the benefits of playing sports with our children sets a foundation for success in all areas of their life. Participating in individual or team sports should be fun and set an attitude for life success!
Tips to remember:

  1. One size does not fit all. Let your child try different sports that are “a match” for their individual needs, skillsets and likes.
  2. Remember it is not about us living vicariously through our children, we need to respect their growth and development as individuals.
  3. As a parent you are helping your child to create their “Life Mindset” by encouraging perseverance, discipline, teamwork, a flexible mindset, good nutrition, sleep habits, and academic excellence.
  4. Staying active, eating healthy and practicing mindfulness are lifelong “holistic health” attitudes and habits to teach our youth athletes.

Cheers to lifelong health and wellbeing!

Dr. Denise


Mind Dive Launch

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Thank you to Michel Pascal for birthing this amazing tool that will open minds, hearts and change lives! It is truly an honor to be a contributor in helping bridge spirituality, psychiatry and science.
With love and gratitude,
Dr. Denise

Mindful Awareness, Love and Empathy in a Quantum Universe Part 2- The Dr. Denise Podcast Episode 45

Dr. Denise welcomes back award winning intuitive Jennifer Shaffer  to continue the discussion about the seen and unseen energy that influences all of us.

“Who does this belong to?” A question that they discuss as an important way of discerning feelings, thoughts and actions to help one thrive and align with highest self!

You will walk away with tips, tools and more ways to access and channel higher levels of awareness in a tangible way.

Be A Conscious Parent to Raise A Happy, Healthy And Conscious Child… The Dr. Denise Show Episode 44

Dr. Denise and Cathleen O’Toole interview Ariane de Bonvoisin about her amazing children’s book series, Giggles and Joy, which invokes spiritual life lessons for kids. The emphasis of conscious parenting, co parenting and raising your child to thrive is a discussion you cannot miss!

Ariane writes, coaches and speaks frequently on issues of personal
and professional change, happiness and inspiration,
entrepreneurship, women in the workplace, parenting and the topic
of mindful living and conscious business. She has spoken and
coached at companies such as Google, Twitter, Morgan Stanley,
Investec, The IDB, KPMG, Essilor, Nestle and Redbull amongst
others. She has also been a keynote at events including Oprah’s
Conference, Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference, the Multimillion
Dollar Roundtable (MDRT) and other international conferences.
She has written articles for media outlets including Fast Company,
Business Week, Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo,
Town & Country, Advertising Age, the New York Daily News,
Huffington Post and Reader’s Digest among others. She has also
been written about in Forbes and USA Today.
Ariane grew up in 6 countries across 3 continents. With a degree in
economics and international relations from the London School of Economics at the age of 19,
Ariane began her professional career at The Boston Consulting Group working in over a dozen
countries. After an MBA from Stanford University, she moved to New York, working with media
companies Bertelsmann and Sony. In 2000, she joined Time Warner as the Managing Director
of a new $500 million digital-media venture fund.
She now focuses on life skills, change and transition, wellness and overall transformation and is
an active coach and advisor to businesses of all sizes.
She founded and was CEO and Chief Change Optimist of , a New York City-
based media company focused on guiding people through all types of changes.
Ariane has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows, including NBC’s Today Show, the CBS
Early Show, CNN and ABC News Now. Ariane’s book entitled, “The First 30 Days: Your Guide
to Making Any Change Easier” was published by Harper Collins and reached the bestseller list.
The book has now been translated in over a dozen languages. Her most recent book series,
“ Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids”, covers important life skills for children age 2-
She was selected to be a TED Resident in NYC in 2018, exploring various media initiatives to
teach life skills to young children.
Her most recent work involves leading the Executive Women’s Leadership Program for Union
Square Ventures (USV) in NYC, a six-month program for startup executives looking at personal
transformation and life skills.
She is also the co-founder of Mindful365, www.mindful365 , a website and smart phone app that
helps people live consciously a day at a time.

She is an accomplished athlete, having been a competitive swimmer, a ski instructor, and a
runner in a series of marathons and triathlons. She also reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro
and accompanied a group of students to Antarctica. She was most recently part of a movie
called The Highest Pass ( a motorcycle journey through the highest
roads in the Himalayas.
She currently lives in New York City, with her husband Alfie and her son, Everest.

Mindful Awareness, Love and Empathy in a Quantum Universe Part 1- The Dr. Denise Podcast Episode 43

Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy this episode!

Dr. Denise and award winning intuitive Jennifer Shaffer laugh, converse and reveal their shared passion for raising awareness of the seen and unseen energy that influences all of us. 

You will walk away with tips, tools and more ways to access and channel higher levels of awareness in a tangible way.

Let’s Talk About The Oracle of Tibet, Lama Tenzin Choegyal And The CED House- The Dr. Denise Podcast Episode 41


Emmy Award Winning Reporter Cathleen O’Toole and Dr. Denise continue their talk on Dr. Denise’s adventures in India. They discuss the magic of being with the children at the CED house, the enlightening visit to the Oracle of Tibet’s home, and what it is like being chaperoned by Humanitarian Lama Tenzin Choegyal, Founder of CED house! This episode will energize you and warm your heart! Continue reading…

Let’s Talk About the 2018 Body, Mind, Life Conference The Dr. Denise Show- Episode 40






Emmy Winning Reporter Cathleen O’Toole and Dr. Denise sit down and talk about Dr. Denise’s trip to India to be a speaker at the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Medical Society’s 2018 Body, Mind, Life Conference.

Dr. Denise shares stories about how Mindfullness and “One Love Thinking” influenced her trip and what it was like spending time with Lama Tenzin Choegyal and meeting The Oracle of Tibet.  You can’t miss this episode!