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|

Gratitude Journaling

If you’ve ever thought about beginning a gratitude journal, know that there’s no wrong way to do it. Studies suggest writing in a gratitude journal three times per week might have a greater impact on our well-being than journaling every day. The goal of the exercise is to think about a good event, experience, person, or thing in your life and allow yourself to enjoy the good emotions that come with it. Begin small. In your notebook, write three things you feel grateful about. It doesn’t need to be huge things; don’t overthink it. It can be a plant in your room, a meal you recently enjoyed, or a person who makes you laugh. Here are a few tips or strategies you may find helpful as you get started. Be specific as that fosters gratitude “I’m grateful for my co-workers as they helped me complete my project yesterday” will be more effective than writing “I’m grateful for my coworkers” Go for the details. Elaborating about something you’re grateful for carries more benefits than creating a list of things. Allow yourself to get personal when writing about people to whom you are grateful: focusing on people has more of an impact than focusing on things. See good things as gifts or blessings. Thinking of the good things in your life in this way helps one [...]

2021-03-16T13:35:52-04:00March 16th, 2021|Self-Help|

Men’s Health Month 2020: It’s Time for a Change

With a new decade comes the opportunity to both look back and look forward. This time for reflection gives us all a unique occasion to evaluate how we have been dealing with our health, both physical and mental. Men, especially, should take this time to do just that. According to a Cleveland Clinic study, men are less likely to take care of themselves and their health than women. They are half as likely to visit the doctor for a check-up compared to women. Over 7 million American men have not seen a doctor in over 10 years, citing embarrassment, lack of convenience, not wanting a bad diagnosis, and being told as children not to complain about medical problems as reasons for avoiding doctors visits. It's 2020, and it's time for that to change. Men from 19 to 90 still need routine checkups, and in light of COVID-19, need to take responsibility for their health. In his recent blog, Black men and boys are not immune to COVID-19 Eric Westbrook, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement writes, “ COVID-19 coronavirus seems to impact those with preexisting health conditions like diabetes, heart and lung disease that make it difficult for them to fight the virus." Here is a decade-by-decade breakdown of when men should be getting certain checkups: 20s: [...]

2021-03-16T13:44:46-04:00June 1st, 2020|Men's Health, Self-Help|
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