The teenage years require direction and support from caring adults.

I see many young people who are suffering from anorexia, depression or have been victims of abuse and I wonder where the values of our modern society are leading us.

Our children are living under enormous pressures created by society. They seem to feel the need to be slim and trendy all the time.

Part of this "cool" culture involves late-night clubbing, drinking, smoking and taking drugs at an increasingly younger age.

There is additional pressure on parents to cope with the financial and emotional burdens of providing the best for their children.

There is a high price to pay for all this and, in my view, there is a spiritual vacuum at the heart of society. This materialistic culture promotes the loss of social values which allow a community to live in harmony and love, with self-esteem and pride.

Historically, churches, temples and mosques have provided sanctuary for anyone who wants to develop an awareness of their powerful, inner selves.

These are places of reflection and introspection and provide a healing atmosphere in which it is possible to maintain composure and equanimity.

Yesterday, I attended the Satsang (Company of Truth) of the Swaminarayan faith. This spiritual workshop was helpful in defining how we can better live our lives.

In order to feel good about others, we need to feel good about ourselves. In order to feel good about ourselves, we need to take pride in what we do and have self-confidence.

We can only take pride in what we do if we follow the path of good thought, word and deed.

The three secrets that help elevate the individual pride and self-confidence which the Swaminarayan saints (Sadhus) preach are as follows:

Ideal company: Attending spiritual congregations which follow the genuine path of devotion to God and moral values creates a joyous feeling of purity and fearlessness in us. It helps create peace within ourselves and the family as well as a sense of balance, discipline and control over our mind and actions. It also helps to solve family conflicts and problems. An awareness of a higher energy beyond our selves gives us self-confidence and helps us to avoid addiction to drugs, smoking and alcohol.

Ideal family: A family which meets daily for 15 minutes or half an hour to pray together, share each other's love, which meets regularly to talk to each other, which dines together on wholesome food, and celebrates festivals together during the year will generate self-confidence among its members.

Ideal home: This has a temple of worship with spiritual books or videos for children and adults to watch regularly together. The saints also suggest a common pool of savings for a rainy day and charity.

Dr Milind Jani works as a conventional and holistic GP and Dr Asmita Jani as Ayurvedic Consultant from 3 Eaton Gardens, Hove. Call them on: 01273 777448 or email: