mental health

How social connections support your health?

emotion, health, mental health, positive thinking, relationships, stress, therapy, Uncategorized, wellness

Are we losing our ability to connect?

Quite simple, Social Wellness refers to your relationships with others.

It encompasses the idea of having positive interactions with others since we are all social beings. It involves developing and building close bonds of friendship and intimacy, practicing empathy and effective listening, as well as caring for others and for the common good.

While we have numerous technologies connecting us to friends, family and people across the country, we find ourselves more and more alone and lonely. Take a moment to observe people in coffee shops or restaurants.  Many times conversations are happening over cell phones, between one person who is present and another at the other end of the phone, rather than among the people sitting together. Our behaviors suggest using the technology is primary and having the conversation is secondary.  These observations are not intended to criticize technology, but rather to suggest a more mindful use of this tool.  Important connections happen electronically and technology can be very useful.  It is remarkable the power of a few characters to make you feel connected.  Technology isn’t the only force contributing to a disconnection among people.  Our culture encourages individualism and distraction from the present moment, materialism, and results rather than progress.  We seem to be focused on the relatively insignificant aspects of our lives rather than our happiness, relationships, and well being.

Our social health is affected by social history, cultural values, open-mindedness, and knowledge of healthy relationships.

Social Wellness Facts

  • Socially isolated people are more susceptible to illness and have a death rate two to three times higher than those who are not socially isolated.
  • People who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress.
  • Approximately 20 percent of Americans feel lonely and isolated during their free time.
  • Touching, stroking, and hugging can improve health.
  • Laughter really is good medicine.
  • Cholesterol levels go up when human companionship is lacking.
  • Warm, close friendships cause higher levels of immunoglobulin A (an antibody that helps keep away respiratory infections and cavities).
  • A strong social network can create a good mood and enhance self-esteem.

 

Social support is thought to impact physical and mental well being in several different ways.  Social support provides an individual with a route to receiving psychological and material resources.  These resources exist in three categories: instrumental (money or services), informational (advice or important information), and emotional (empathy, caring, trust, and reassurance).  Being a part of a community offers various social relationships that provide many different emotional benefits, i.e. experiencing stress-buffering due to sense of belonging.  Relationships provide identification with social roles, promote positive psychological conditions such as purpose, meaning, a sense of identity and self-worth.

In my profession of counseling, I work with individuals on a daily basis struggling to connect with others and have meaningful relationships.  Here are some guidelines:

Social Wellness Tips

1.Articulate your thoughts both in public and personal conversations.

2.Think before you speak.

3.Volunteer in your community.

4.Make others feel important, while being genuine.

5.Get to know your personal needs and pursue things and people who nurture those needs.

6.Join a club or organization that interests you.

7.Visit neighbors and friends.

8.Contact and make a specific effort to talk to the people who are supportive in your life.

9.Ask questions, and refrain from doing all the talking.

10.Send “Thank You” notes for kind deeds done in your favor.

11.Allow others to care for you.

12.Balance your social life with your personal life.

 

 

As you travel the ELM Mental Wellness path, you’ll become more aware of your importance in society as well as the impact you have on multiple environments. You’ll take an active part in improving our world by encouraging healthier living and initiating better communication with those around you.You’ll actively seek ways to preserve the beauty and balance of nature along the pathway as you discover the power to make willful choices to enhance personal relationships and important friendships, and build a better living space and community.

I can help you grow your social wellness by developing:

  • comfort with expressing yourself
  • supportive and fulfilling relationships
  • Attitude towards your relationships (and your willingness to ask for help)
  • Peer acceptance, close bonds and social skills (like assertiveness or conflict resolution)
  • The ability to accept others for being different

 

It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our

community than to think only of ourselves.

 

It is better to live in harmony with others and our

environment than to live in conflict with them.

What a PLU number can teach you about fruit and vegetable safety.

health, mental health, nutrition, weight, wellness

You know those annoying stickers you have to peel off before eating your fruit and veggies. They actually educate you how the food was grown, safely or not. If you’ve ever bought produce from a grocery chain, you’ll recognize the ones I’m talking about. They usually have a a bar code on them for scanning and a PLU code, which helps your friendly neighborhood cashier identify what type of produce you’re buying.

The PLU is the “price lookup” number and identifies the fruit or veggie, it also helps to identify something else: how the produce was cultivated. By correctly reading this code, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides

The story behind where your fruits and vegetables actually came from has been right under your nose all along! You just have to know how to analyze the labels and the PLU number. It’s actually a lot easier than you’d imagine

Here’s the basics of what you need to know about the truth behind PLU codes.

  1. If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters (or only four, in this case) of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit you’re buying. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.
  2. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8”, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables have been tampered with in an unnatural way; essentially, produce that has been genetically modified was created in a lab or over decades of artificial selection, and cannot be found in nature. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
  3. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9”, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011

 

If you’re looking to be hyper aware of what fruits and vegetables have been treated with pesticides and other chemicals and which have not, you’ll want to check out the homepage for the Environmental Working Groups. The EWG has compiled two lists to help consumers identify which produce is generally cleaner and which produce is generally tampered with; the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen.

 

The Top 5 for the “Clean Fifteen” produce are:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Sweet Peas (Frozen)

The Top 5 for the “Dirty Dozen” produce are:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Apples
  3. Nectarines
  4. Peaches
  5. Celery

How to use Emotions to your advantage.

emotion, health, mental health, positive thinking, stress, therapy, wellness

Do you feel like you can handle whatever life throws at you?

The emotional dimension of wellness recognizes awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings. Emotional wellness includes the range we feel positive and enthusiastic about our self and our life. It includes the capacity to manage feelings and related behaviors including knowing our limits, development of independence, and ability to cope effectively with stress.

Emotions are a part of who we are and how we are perceived by others.  Your mood can affect your thoughts and behaviors.  Your emotions are affected by certain events like thinking about friends and family and past and future events.  Good emotions can motivate and excite us to look forward to new things and activities.  When we feel unpleasant emotions, it can be a sign that we don’t want a certain activity or event to occur or continue.

There are good types of stress that make you feel energized, and there are bad types of stress that can have a negative impact on us – not only emotionally but physically as well.

How to deal with situations that cause bad stress: The FOUR A’s

  1. Accept situations that you can not change.
  2. Avoid things and people who cause you stress.
  3. Alter the situations you can change by communicating more effectively,
  4. Adapt to the situation with an open mind and focus on the positive.

(Ideas from http//:www.helpguide.org)

 

For many of us, it’s not a great disaster that weakens our health but instead how we handle the more frequent everyday stresses of life.  So like a rock in a stream, if we do not cope well with daily life our health is slowly worn away until it is time for a significant health effect like a heart attack. P. Granello from Wellness Counseling, 2013.

On the ELM Mental Wellness path, you’ll be able to express feelings freely and manage feelings effectively. You’ll be able to form relationships with others based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust, and respect. You’ll take on challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy. Managing your life in personally rewarding ways, and taking responsibility for your actions, will help you see life as an exciting, hopeful adventure.

 

It is better to be aware of and accept our feelings than to deny them. It is better to be optimistic in our approach to life than pessimistic.

 Be Well,

Kelle Greeson, LPCC CWC

Owner, ELM Mental Wellness

What Physical Wellness Can Teach You about Quality and Longevity of Life

Exercise, health, mental health, therapy, weight, wellness

 

Have you tried all the diets, does activity sound and feel like work, do you know your health risks?

The physical dimension of wellness recognizes the need for physical development. Improvement includes learning about diet and nutrition, incorporating regular physical activity, discouraging the use of addictive substances, and medical self care.

The most important contributor to a person’s wellness is nutrition.  Nutrition is responsible for fueling all of life’s processes.  The atoms, molecules, and cells of your body continually move and change, even though the arrangement of your tissues and organs seems to remain constant.  All of the energy you need and all of the pieces of your body come from the nutrients you derive from foods (Whitney & Rolfes, 1993).

Eat meals regularly and include a variety of healthful foods for a balanced diet.  Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water.  Drink alcohol in moderation.

We all know the benefits of regular physical activity: disease risk reduction, helps control weight, maintains bones, muscles, and joints, and reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.  Theory and research tell us the amount of pleasure or displeasure one experiences during exercise may influence the likelihood that he or she subsequently adopts or maintains regular participation.  So the most important thing is to exercise often and have fun doing activities you enjoy.  Someone asked me “How long do I have to exercise?”  I replied, “How long do you want the benefits?”

I have 20+ years experience successfully maintaining a healthy weight through continually evolving and changing my nutrition and my activity. I limit my alcohol, and try to adhere to health assessment according to age markers. I do things to take care of my body. I am mindful of my body’s health, and how it responds to stress and setbacks. I’ve learned planning, setting small goals, and making it fun determine my success.

Kelle Greeson, Owner ELM Mental Wellness.


By traveling the ELM Mental Wellness path, you’ll be able to plan, set reasonable goals, and measure your success and obstacles. You’ll understand and appreciate the relationship between sound nutrition and how your body performs. The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination and a sense of direction.

Our Physical Body is the home we will live in forever.  Take Good Care.

Click to download Physical Wellness Prescription

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Wellness Can Teach You about Quality and Longevity of Life

health, mental health, therapy, Uncategorized, wellness

Have you thought about how long you will live, how you want to live, and how healthy and spirited your life will be while living it?

Initiating a Wellness Lifestyle can be challenging, but finding the right information, the right support and resource can help you get there.

I’m Kelle Greeson, Psychotherapist, Certified Wellness Counselor, and member of the National Wellness Institute.  Over the next 6 months I will introduce you to the Interdependent Model of Wellness (referred to as the 6 Dimensions of Wellness).  Each month will include one dimension to highlight: The definition and description, what are some setbacks or factors that get in the way, suggestions to apply for improvement including a checklist to print, and local resource (s).

A person is more than one’s body.  Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.  My hope is to help you begin to recognize and address yourself as whole person.


ELM Mental Wellness provides in depth assessment, goal setting and treatment plan, intervention application, encouragement and support to achieve and complete plan.  We all need help managing the ups and downs of life every once in a while. Being aware and taking care of your mental and physical health needs can help you better understand yourself (and others!) and feel your best.