Personal Well-being

 “Live for the beauty of your own reality” – Tom Robbins

You personal well-being choices form your foundation, upon which the rest of your life depends.  You have three primary areas here: nutrition, exercise, and sleep.  This is one of those it’s easy to say, not so easy to do things. There are many factors that can pull you out of your health.  But the formula is simple:

  1. Get plenty of regular sleep.
  2. Exercise regularly: all of yourself, and to the point where you are pushing your comfort zone. Run hard, play a team sport, yoga to your limits; heavy breathing and heat-rate.  Life is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.
  3. Nutrition. Michael Pollan boils diet down to it’s simplest form: Eat Food (meaning real, whole foods), mostly plants, and not so much. The rest is marketing.

The realities are different, and the best way to make and sustain change is with a group. So, go meet someone new, who shares your goals.

VIDEOS
Food Rules according to Michael Pollan

 WEBSITES, NEWSLETTERS, and PERIODICALS
Holmes, Lindsay – Everything We Needed To Know About Well-Being, We Learned By Age 9                                                      

Consumer Reports: On HealthConsumer Reports’ Health Page provides information on healthy living products as well as articles on popular health topics and news. 

Reach Out: Well-being and ResilienceReach Out is an Australian based website that focuses on wellbeing and resilience resources for young adults. The site contains essays with relevant information, apps and online tools, resources and ideas for teaching and learning, as well as professional development tools.

Smiling MindSmiling Mind is a meditation website and phone app, which can aid in managing stress, increasing resilience, and bringing balance to the lives of young people around the world.

WisebrainWiseBrain, part of The Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, is a site managed by trained Neuroscientists and psychologists with resources and information regarding psychological wellbeing and spiritual growth. The site includes articles on related topics, materials from Train Your Brain series, brain FAQs and slide shows, and links to The Brain in the News from around the web.                                                                                                            

Gym Ticket.  Gym Ticket provides a database from which you can search for and find gyms in your area. You can search by location, gym brand, or by specialty (yoga, pilates, and kickboxing). The site has tips for joining and researching gyms as well as links for free guest passes, deals, and photo galleries so you can be informed before you go.

Psychology Today – Therapists. Psychology Today provides listings of psychologists and therapists in geographic areas across the United States and abroad. You can hone your search through multiple factors, such as issues you are facing, the type of health insurance that the doctor accepts, sexuality, religion, gender, and more. The website has profiles on the doctors listed and allows you to compare and contrast your options before choosing a place to go.

Yoga Finder. Improve your mental and physical well-being through trying out yoga classes. This website provides resources for finding classes in countries throughout the world and has listings for every state with in the USA.

TOOLS & APPS

MyFitnessPal. Leading App developer for tracking calories, with tie-ins to wearable technology like fitbit.

nef – A Toolkit for Well-being. The Mental Well-being Impact Assessment is a tool that allows for the evaluation of well-being programming and which also provides resources for people to enhance their well-being programming to ensure equitable impact. The MWIA also provides tools for measuring well-being impacts on participants.

Well-Being Assessment ToolThis link leads to a short, fourteen question quiz, that assess one’s well-being and gives simple and concise tips for improving one’s well being. Below, there is text that allows you to embed the quiz onto your website.

Workout Trainer. This app features a ‘personal instructor’ along real-time video workouts embedded in specifically designed programs lasting from 12 up to 45 minutes. (From Apple App Store). Free.

ARTICLES and BOOKS
The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutter. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. The Dalai Lama states that happiness is the purpose of life and this book explores how we can actualize this message in our lives through conversations, stories and meditations. The novel is fundamental in the field of positive psychology and has techniques for getting through life’s obstacles while maintaining a sense of inner peace that will help to foster the wellbeing in you.

Pollan, Michael. Food Rules: An Eater’s MaNual. Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with clarity, concision, and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan’s trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation. It’s an easy-to-use guide that draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, “What should I eat?” (From amazon.com, book description).

Prather, Hugh. How to Live in the World and Still be Happy. So many things in life can cause us concern and worry: work, love, money, the things we own or don’t own, physical appearance. Each one of these large segments of our life can be an obstacle to happiness; taken together, the accumulation of life concerns can become an enormous boulder blocking our way. Now, beloved author Hugh Prather, who has touched so many people with his bestselling books across the years, gives us an actual program that shows us How to Live in the World and Still Be Happy. Filled with concrete exercises developed by Hugh Prather during his years of counseling, teaching, and administering, How to Live in the World and Still Be Happy shows us how to examine our own lives so that we can learn to change the attitudes and actions that hold us back from experiencing and achieving lasting happiness. (From amazon.com, book description).

Quinn, Daniel. Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit. The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. “You are the teacher?” he asks incredulously. “I am the teacher,” the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time to save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man’s destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him—one more wonderful than he has ever imagined? (From amazon.com, book description)

Rath, Tom and Jim Harter. Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements. Rath and Harter’s novel focuses on five elements of wellbeing – career, social, financial, physical, and community well-being. The authors stress a holistic approach that contributes to a lifetime of practices that promote wellbeing. The authors highlight related research and ideas to improving your wellbeing in your personal life as well as the lives of those around you.

Seligman, Martin E. P. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. Dr. Seligman is a leader in positive psychology and this novel reflects how this field is raising the bar for the human condition. The author explores what composes wellbeing and focuses on utilizing PERMA (Positive Emotion, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment), which he argues lead to a life of fulfillment. The book explores how various groups, including the US Army have utilized these techniques in emotional resilience to engage in a fulfilling life steeped in personal wellbeing.

Shadyac, Tom. Life’s Operating Manual: With the Fear and Truth Dialogues. Just about everything today comes with an operating manual—from your computer to your car, from your cell phone to your iPad. Is it possible that Life comes with an operating manual as well? That’s the simple but powerful premise of Tom Shadyac’s inspiring and provocative first book. Written as a series of essays and dialogues, we are invited into a conversation that is both challenging and empowering. The question now is, can we discern what is written inside this operating manual and garner the courage to live in accordance with its precepts? (From amazon.com, book description).

PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES

HealthGrades.Com  Most doctor listings (including insurance company sites) don’t tell you more that the doctor’s specialty, where they trained, and their hospital affiliations. This site is expanding crowd-sourced doctor’s reviews beyond just publicly available data.

Positive Education: Teaching Well-Being to Young People. This Prezi presentation is based off of Martin Seligman’s novel, Flourish, which explores how to exact well-being in ones’ life.

Life balance, Life Change, and Work Life Balance. Features an article and ‘worksheet’ style tools in order to assess and improve your well-being. The site also offers further resources for learning more about topics from psychological theories, to writing CVs and job hunting techniques.