Emotional Wellness

Our mind and body are intimately connected and ceaselessly interact with each other.  The capacity to achieve emotional wellness refers to the ability to effectively manage our mind and body despite challenge and change. Over the past year, we have experienced unprecedented challenge and change during the pandemic. Nearly every aspect of our world has been transformed. Surprise, anxiety, isolation, need for constant adjustment, depression and loss of control are commonly reported experiences. As such, the modest goals of happiness and self-healing are more important than ever. I have found that a combination of mindfulness techniques along with attention to physical health offers worthwhile options for self-care practices in these times. Breathing:  Breathing is a powerful tool for influencing the nervous system. Even though we do not generally pay attention to our breath as it unfolds automatically, we can choose to consciously breathe a certain way, which can either act to calm or excite the nervous system. Two simple calming breathing exercises that can be easily learned are diaphragmatic breathing and anti-anxiety breathing. Diet: Food is another form of self-care. Depending on which foods we eat, we can either our well-being or worsen it. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates (beans, oatmeal, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, protein, and many other plant foods) should be a goal. Besides providing nutrients, vitamins, and energy [...]

2021-10-25T10:15:41-04:00October 25th, 2021|Mental Health, Self-Help|

Mindfulness and Joy

Video Transcription: In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, the main character played by Will Smith was often seen running - running from one station to the next in his pivotal pursuit of that which could make him happy. I personally thought the movie should have been called Running. I read quote somewhere that said, as a culture we have become so obsessed with the pursuit of happiness, yet in the process, we kind of overlook joy. While some may say that joy and happiness are the same. Some may differ. I kind of think that happiness is a measure of how good we feel over time, while joy is how we feel in the present moment. Like when you notice a multicolored rainbow in the sky, and you smile. Or when you notice a toddler who suddenly interrupts their play and starts dancing when they hear a beat, you laugh, or maybe join in with the joyous moment. Joy is a primary component in our emotional and physical well-being. Joy allows us to have moments of appreciation, contentment, gratitude, and a sense of self confidence. On a scientific level, we feel joy in our bodies, when something makes us feel joy our brain release neurotransmitters that are responsible for processes and feelings in almost every aspect of the body, [...]

2021-09-10T17:06:43-04:00September 10th, 2021|Mental Health, Self-Help|

Managing Teen Stressors and Anger

While adolescence can be an exciting time of growth, it can also be filled with social and mental health struggles. Teens face huge decisions about who they want to be and what they want to do in their lives, while also dealing with a storm of new emotions and experiences. They may rebel at the restrictions left over from childhood, while also feeling nervous about the new responsibilities they must take on. It’s a time filled with new freedoms but can also be a scary and uniquely stressful one. Given the complex developmental circumstances of adolescence, it should come as no surprise that many teens struggle with anger. Anger is an emotion we all feel, although we express it in different ways.  Anger can be a completely normal and understandable response to what teens are going through – but how do you know when it’s too much, or when it’s a sign of an underlying problem? And what can both teens and parents do when that anger rears its head? If you or your teen is struggling with constant irritability and anger, or anger that seems to come on with no apparent trigger, it could be a sign of mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression of a reaction of traumatic events.  If you have concerns about a teen, you [...]

2021-08-30T12:13:45-04:00August 4th, 2021|Family & Youth, Mental Health|

Millennials: Join the Well City Challenge

Millennials are the largest population in the U.S., the most educated, and the largest wealth generators over the next two decades – yet they are in poorer health than previous generations. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s 2019 The Health of Millennials Report found that 8 out of 10 top conditions have double-digit increases among millennials and 6 out of 10 are behavioral health conditions. How we handle their health care challenges could make or break the economy. Because Philadelphia is both a hot spot for millennials and home to world-class health care institutions, we are hopeful that our community can play a leading role in identifying and advancing new physical health and mental health solutions for the millennial generation.    The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia is joining forces with Independence Blue Cross to launch the Well City Challenge - a social impact challenge to engage and support everyday innovators with new creative ideas for addressing Philadelphia’s millennial health and mental health challenges related to three themes: Community and Social Connection, Food and Nutrition, and Mind/Body. These themes are even more important due to the rise of millennial health and mental health challenges during COVID-19, the economic recession, and the rise in the movement to combat racism and social injustice.   The Well City Challenge is focused on Philadelphia and will support community solutions for millennial health and mental health through incubator workshops, a pitch competition, mentorship, accelerator, over $50,000 in prizes and an additional $50,000 in seed investments. The Challenge is open to individuals, community groups, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and social enterprises. All backgrounds and levels of [...]

2021-01-02T16:06:35-05:00November 11th, 2020|Mental Health|
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