Posts tagged with "well-being"

Stress Awareness Month: Alleviating Stress and Working Out

Natalie Durand-Bush, PhD, CMPC

Association for Applied Sport Psychology Executive Board Member

Full Professor, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Co-Founder, Canadian Centre for Mental Health, Ottawa, Canada

Recovery plays a vital role in sport. It is necessary to prevent underperformance, overtraining, burnout, injuries, and illness. This is mainly due to the fact that athletes are subjected to ongoing physical and mental stressors while training in order to stretch their performance limits. However, it is important to balance such stressors with appropriate rest and recovery through the use of periodized approaches. Periodization programs are designed and implemented in sport to maximize the effects of physical and mental training over predetermined training cycles by varying key training variables such as volume and intensity.

The aim of these programs is to maximize long-term athlete development and peak performance during targeted competitions within identified periods or ‘mesocycles’ (e.g., hockey season, Olympic quadrennial). Each mesocycle consists of preparatory (e.g., off-season and pre-competitive season), competitive (e.g., regular competitive season), peaking (e.g., playoffs, national championship), and recovery (e.g., post-competition period prior to off-season training) periods or ‘microcycles’ that vary in length based on training objectives, athletes’ needs, and the amount of time available between peaking events. Issues often arise when periodization protocols are mismanaged and training responses are not properly monitored. For example, peaking may not occur if athletes do not respect built-in recovery activities (e.g., days off, sleep routine, naps, limited social media) as a result of fearing they will fall behind their competitors. Also, coaches who insufficiently pay attention to warning signs during high-intensity periods in which athletes require more time to physically and mentally recover can jeopardize athletes’ performance and health. The costs of poor or failed monitoring could be injury or illness, including low mental health and the onset of mental illness.

Athletes’ mental health reflects their psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Athletes who are mentally healthy are able to feel, think, and act in ways allowing them to work productively, reach their full potential and goals, enjoy life, contribute to their community, and cope with normal daily stressors. When stressors (e.g., physical, psychological) exceed athletes’ internal (e.g., resilience strategies) and external (e.g., parental and coaching support) coping resources, it can deplete them and lead to significant distress and impaired functioning. In other words, it can exacerbate an existing mental illness or trigger a new one. Symptoms to which coaches should pay attention when working with athletes include any significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns, isolation from others, unusual low energy/stamina, intense mood swings, decreased enjoyment and concentration, feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, inexplicable pain, and difficulties performing daily tasks, to name a few. Coaches noticing such changes in athletes should intervene, particularly if these changes last more than two weeks.

This entails having a private, respectful, and empathetic conversation with struggling athletes by (a) asking them specific questions regarding observed changes (e.g., “I have noticed that you look more tired and withdrawn than usual, are you struggling at the moment?”), (b) offering support (e.g., “Your mental health is important to me, what can I do to help you recover and regain your strength?”), and (c) referring them to an appropriate mental health care provider if necessary (e.g., “I’m not a mental health expert but I am seeing signs that concern me; our team has access to a mental health practitioner and I’d like you to see this person to make sure you have the resources you need to cope and get back to your normal self”). Given the crucial role of rest and recovery in the management of both athletic performance and mental health, coaches should discuss with any struggling athletes the benefits of adding recovery periods in their training program or of taking a complete break to prioritize and help them restore their mental health.

Panel for Mental Health re: Social Media

On April 30th, Facebook announced that it will be testing hiding likes on Instagram. Some will be angered by the proposed change but this could be great news for the wellness community, in light of the ongoing studies that have found Instagram to be the most detrimental social networking app for young people’s mental health.

“It’s interesting to see Instagram ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing.  The platform is very image focused and it appears that it may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety for young people,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health.

The Economist reported that while social media gave users extra scope for self-expression and community-building; it also exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to bullying and created worries about their body image and “FOMO” (“fear of missing out”). Studies show that these problems tend to be particularly severe among frequent users and young adults.

In fact, studies have shown an increase in major depressive episodes from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014 in adolescents and from 8.8% to 9.6% in young adults. The increase was larger and statistically significant in the age range of 12 to 20 years, arguably social media’s key demographic.

So the question becomes:What are some tools we could develop to help mitigate the negative effects of social media?

For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month #GroupDyynamics presents: @YOU Liked Yourself, a two-hour event that corrals peers of the creative industry and successful leaders in the wellness fields to discuss the issues that impact our global community.

Would love for you to stop by if you’re available! Happy to arrange a time for you to speak with any one of our panelists!
About Dyynamics:
 

Launched in 2016, Dyynamics is a niche blog committed to profiling creatives from all walks of life no matter their gender, race or sexuality in order to showcase cultural diversity as the force that lends to the progressive development of humanity.  The site content includes Q&A’s with visual artists and burgeoning musicians, long-form features on enterprising aesthetes, and detailed recaps of sought after events and travel destinations. Our mission is to focus on “more culture, less news”. Our goal is to connect the informed taste-maker to the people who create or purvey contemporary culture.

 
About the Panelists:
 
Bronx native Annya Santana was driven to start a clean beauty brand in response to the lack of transparency and diversity within the beauty industry. Her line “Menos Mas” promotes a lifestyle where less is more and skin care is regarded as skin food. The brand’s goal is to provide a space for the diverse community to celebrate health from the inside out.
 
Liana Naima utilizes energy work. breathwork. vocal release and mindfulness meditation in her practice to silence the mind and induce a transcendent state for healing. 
She has a BA in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. M.Ed. from Hunter College. and is a trainee of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. 
As an energy worker. she is a certified White Light Reiki Master and Vortex Energy Healing® Practitioner.  
 
Model, influencer and self-love advocate P.S.Kaguya dedicates herself to creating content and building a personal brand that promotes the unfiltered expression of individuality in the hopes that others will gain the confidence to do the same. 
 

Actor and comedian Benito Skinner has come a long way since starting his YouTube channel at the end of 2016. What began as a creative outlet quickly gained an excitable young following, with the comedian’s short one-man character sketches and pop culture parodies embraced as a welcome antidote to the relentless news cycle. “Laughing has always been my way of feeling a little better about things,” he adds. As straight men continue to dominate the international comedy scene, Skinner offers a welcome alternative — and young people are responding in large numbers. With over 477,000 followers on Instagram and more than 110,000 subscribers on YouTube, the multi-talented actor is paving his own career path. 

2019 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees

Nineteen innovation pioneers were announced on January 8th as the 2019 Class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame®(NIHF) on the main stage at CES®.

These innovators, whose inventions range from the UNIX operating system to fluoride toothpaste, will be celebrated as the newest Class of Inductees during the NIHF Induction Ceremony. In partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), NIHF will honor these Inductees in Washington, D.C. on May 1-2 at one of the innovation industry’s most highly anticipated events — “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation.”

“I am honored to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” said 2019 Inductee Bill Warner, pioneer of digital nonlinear editing for video. “I love how inventions can change the world for the better, and I am thrilled to join this year’s Class.”

THE CLASS OF 2019

• Chieko Asakawa: Web Browser for the Blind and Visually Impaired 

Chieko Asakawa invented the Home Page Reader (HPR), the first practical voice browser to provide effective Internet access for blind and visually impaired computer users. Designed to enable users to surf the internet and navigate web pages through a computer’s numeric keypad instead of a mouse, HPR debuted in 1997; by 2003, it was widely used around the world.

• Jeff Kodosky and James Truchard: Virtual Instrumentation – LabVIEW™

Kodosky and Truchard introduced LabVIEW in 1986 as a graphical programming language that enables user-defined testing and measurement and control systems. It grew to be used by engineers, scientists, academics and students around the world.

• Rebecca Richards-Kortum: Medical Devices for Low-Resource Settings

Rebecca Richards-Kortum develops low-cost, high-performance medical technologies for people in places where traditional medical equipment is not an option. She’s led the development of optical technologies to improve early detection of cervical, oral and esophageal cancer; and tools to improve newborn survival in Africa, including the Pumani CPAP system for newborns with breathing problems; BiliSpec for measuring bilirubin levels to detect jaundice; and DoseRight, for accurate dosing of children’s liquid medication.

• Dennis Ritchie (Posthumous) and Ken Thompson: UNIX Operating System 

Thompson and Ritchie’s creation of the UNIX operating system and the C programming language were pivotal developments in the progress of computer science. Today, 50 years after its beginnings, UNIX and UNIX-like systems continue to run machinery from supercomputers to smartphones. The UNIX operating system remains the basis of much of the world’s computing infrastructure, and C language — written to simplify the development of UNIX — is one of the most widely used languages today.

• Edmund O. Schweitzer III: Digital Protective Relay

Schweitzer brought the first microprocessor-based digital protective relay to market, revolutionizing the performance of electric power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment, and making a major impact in the electric power utility industry. Schweitzer’s more precise, more reliable digital relay was one-eighth the size, one-tenth the weight and one-third the price of previous mechanical relays.

• David Walt: Microwell Arrays

Walt created microwell arrays that could analyze thousands of genes simultaneously, revolutionizing the field of genetic analysis. His technology accelerated the understanding of numerous human diseases and is now being used in diagnosis. It has also made DNA sequencing more affordable and accessible.

• William J. Warner: Digital Nonlinear Editing System

Bill Warner invented the Avid Media Composer — a digital nonlinear editing system for film and video. Warner’s technology revolutionized film and video post-production by providing editors with faster, more intuitive and more creative techniques than were possible with traditional analog linear methods.

• John Baer, Karl H. Beyer Jr., Frederick Novello and James Sprague: Thiazide Diuretics/Chlorothiazide (Posthumous)

Beyer, Sprague, Baer and Novello were part of the Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories team that pioneered thiazide diuretics, the first class of drugs to safely and effectively treat hypertension. Today, thiazide diuretics remain a first-line treatment for high blood pressure and related heart problems.

• S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker: Portable Hand-Held Electric Drill (Posthumous)

Virtually all of today’s electric drills descend from the original portable hand-held drill developed by Black and Decker, whose invention spurred the growth of the modern power tool industry. By 1920, Black & Decker surpassed $1 million in annual sales and soon had offices in eight U.S. cities and a factory in Canada. Today, the company is known as Stanley Black & Decker.

• Andrew Higgins: LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel); Higgins Boats (Posthumous)

Higgins, a New Orleans-based boat builder and inventor, developed and manufactured landing craft critical to the success of the U.S. military during World War II. The best known was the Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP), or Higgins Boat, used to land American troops on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

• Joseph Lee: Bread Machines (Posthumous)
The son of slaves, Boston-area entrepreneur Joseph Lee was a pioneer in the automation of bread and bread-crumb making during the late 1800s. The self-educated inventor was a successful hotel and restaurant owner who created his machines to allow for greater efficiency in his kitchens, and by 1900 his devices were used by many of America’s leading hotels and were a fixture in hundreds of the country’s leading catering establishments.

 Joseph Muhler and William Nebergall: Stannous Fluoride Toothpaste (Posthumous)

Dentist and biochemist Muhler and inorganic chemist Nebergall developed a cavity-preventing product using stannous fluoride. In 1956, Crest®toothpaste was introduced nationally. Four years later, it became the first toothpaste to be recognized by the American Dental Association as an effective decay-preventing agent.

For full biographies of each Inductee, visit invent.org/honor/inductees/.

THE CELEBRATION

The Class of 2019 will be honored at “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” a two-day event held in our nation’s capital. Danica McKellar — star of the TV show “The Wonder Years,” Hallmark Channel regular, mathematician and author — will serve as master of ceremonies.

• May 1 – Illumination Ceremony at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum at the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, where new Inductees will place illuminated hexagons displaying their names in the Gallery of Icons.

• May 2 – The 47th Annual National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., where the new Inductee class will be honored for their contributions to society during an evening including a black-tie dinner, ceremony and after party. To learn more about the event, visit invent.org/honor/inductees/induction-ceremony/.

“The National Inventors Hall of Fame honors the innovation game-changers who have transformed our world,” said NIHF CEO Michael Oister. “Through inventions as diverse as life-saving medicines and web browsers for the visually impaired, these superhero innovators have made significant advances in our daily lives and well-being.”

Ultimate Guide to Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy represents a new approach to mental health that seeks to alleviate emotional pain and restore well-being through a series of meditative practices that involve both the body and mind.

Over the last decades, researchers and mental health professionals have realized what Hindu monks have been teaching for thousands of years – a holistic approach to psychological and physical health is the key to balance and well-being.

Yoga – which is the foundation of yoga therapy – is an extremely complex spiritual tradition that has a history of roughly five thousand years, rich literature, and clear practice guidelines.

Luckily, over the years, practitioners have simplified this approach and made it accessible to anyone who’s interested in self-exploration and self-growth.

Yoga Therapy: What is it?

Considered both an art and a discipline, yoga is an ancient Indian practice characterized by meditation and physical activity, which can improve the body’s flexibility, reduce stress, and cultivate an overall state of health and well-being.

Yoga therapy represents a collection of principles, techniques, and practices derived from Hindu philosophy and adapted to clinical settings. By using meditation, breathing techniques, and body poses, this approach aims to improve our overall health and promote a state of calm and well-being.

According to a 2013 study [1], yoga therapy helps people with mental illness by cultivating a state of calm, increasing awareness and focus, promoting acceptance and adaptability, and cultivating a sense of security.

Yoga Therapy Theory

In Sanskrit (a language of ancient India), yoga means union. In other words, yoga therapy promotes an integrative and holistic [2] approach to mental health.

The union that yoga therapists and practitioners often mention is that between body, mind, and spirit. Yoga teachings stipulate that once we unite these three fundamental aspects of human experience into one element, we can reach a state of balance and health on all levels.

Some practitioners go so far as to believe that spiritual enlightenment and true unity can only be achieved in India, the birthplace of Yoga.

However, this doesn’t mean that yoga – as a series of health-promoting practices – can’t be effective in other parts of the world. In fact, countless practitioners have successfully promoted and implemented this approach all over the globe.

How Does Yoga Therapy Suggest the Mind Works?

In yoga therapy, the relationship between body, mind, and spirit represents a fundamental element that can serve as an explanatory model for the cause of physical and mental illness and also provide a pathway to balance and healing.

We all strive, more or less consciously, to free ourselves from the limited notion of what we are or, more precisely, what we commonly believe we are. In broad lines, we tend to identify with our body, mind, possessions, relationships, social status, bringing all these elements into one comprehensive picture we call ‘life.’

But these mental constructs are merely shadows of the truth that lies within ourselves; a truth that’s often hard to understand because of ignorance, narrow-mindedness, or lack of self-awareness.

By taking a holistic approach to health, yoga therapy seeks to restore balance and well-being through a series of physical, mental, and spiritual practices.

Read more about yoga therapy HERE.