Dear CHL community:

With the change of the season upon us, a pandemic in the background, and the holidays soon to be siphoning off time and effort, I thought I would turn my attention, to some practices that carry us through and enhance our experiences. 

CHL serves a broad array of constituents and professionals who are required to respond to multiple demands of their roles and responsibilities, and on their time as educators, health care, community service and wellness providers, prevention and recovery specialists. According to an abundance of research, we can all benefit from mindfulness practice. 

Mindfulness is a state of awareness and consciousness that is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It is used as a therapeutic technique in healthcare, in workforce development and employee assistance, and increasingly in school settings, transforming classrooms into places that teach about how to calm the mind and body and reduce the negative effects of stress, and increase student’s ability to stay focused and avoid behavior problems. One need only to search the internet about mindfulness to find a broad array of tools, techniques, and approaches – all aimed at improving one’s experience of the day, and one’s health, relationships, and performance overall. 

In the midst of everyday life in this demanding environment and ever-changing world, it is important to ask ourselves how we are playing out our values and coping with challenges. Are there opportunities for us to change the mode of “reaction and response” to moments of reflection, empathy, and thoughtful appreciation and collaboration?

On the topic of gratitude, Dr. Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania led a series of studies on interventions that increase happiness and identified several that had long-lasting effects on increasing happiness and decreasing depressive symptoms. They found that writing 3 things that went well each day for a week can boost your happiness for the next 6 months!  As this is the season for gratitude, grab your pen and paper or your smartphone and give it a  try!

With Thanksgiving only weeks away, the Board of Directors and staff join me in expressing our gratitude for your support and inspiration.  

JoEllen

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