Vanessa Smith, Mental Health Advocate and Urban Planner, on Using the Arts & Cross-Disciplines to Challenge Stereotypes

“One of the biggest challenges I see is how can we promote wellness alongside policies, programs, and design that address climate change? The effects of climate change and disaster response affect people differently, and communities that have been historically marginalized will feel the effects of climate change more dramatically.
I think about a scene in the movie Parasite during a heavy rain storm. One family’s home is flooded, they lose their possessions and have to spend the night in a gym with hundreds of other people affected by the storm. Another family is able to enjoy watching the storm in spacious comfort on higher ground. How does the trauma of dealing with the rain, loss of your home, and the uncertainty of tomorrow burden people? How do our urban systems, design and policies affect our wellbeing and support (or hinder) us?
hinking about the first family’s experience we could incorporate a lens of mental health into: new policy around rapid response after a disaster, retrofitting public infrastructure and housing, flood mitigation, urban design, and new types of place-based services and programs we can develop in and with our communities.”

Part II. Microbiome and Mental Health: The Gut – Brain Axis

“eating foods with high levels of tryptophan or sweet and starchy carbohydrates boosts serotonin, the “contentment” neurotransmitter that curbs cravings, suppresses appetite, and leaves you feeling satisfied and full. Close to 60% and 90% of all your dopamine and serotonin respectively is produced in your gut, and microbes regulate levels of these mood-regulating neurotransmitter production.
Because of this gut-brain axis, neurotransmitter levels in the gut and brain mirror one another. A low level of neurotransmitters in the gut leads to constipation and indigestion, while a low level in the brain can manifest in depression. Conversely, an abundance of neurotransmitters in the gut leads to cramping and diarrhea, while an abundance in the brain can manifest in anxiety.”

Ronald Kamdem on Meaningful Living, Wellness & Work, and Advice To Live By

“I do feel very comfortable as I think just like physical health, mental heath is something to also be worked on and strengthened. I generally consider my mind to be just like my body, in constant need of some exercise so I’ve gotten comfortable having those conversations.”

Wellness Leadership: Why Wellbeing is the Priority #1 of the Wise

Whether we’re entrepreneurs or we’re simply ambitious in our career, the mantra most of us have absorbed from western culture is “If I work harder, then I’ll be successful. And if I become more successful, then I’ll be happier.” Consciously or subconsciously we believe that somewhere in the future after x, y, and z happens this magical time will exist where we will finally feel secure and fulfilled with our life.

However, upon closer examination, this formula of “deferred wellbeing” is a complete illusion. In fact, it is the formula for a fulfilled life set completely backward.

Men, Mindfulness, & Meditation: Observing the Rising Trend in Men & Self-Care

Notes on meditation from a male:
“I define meditation as little as one minute or longer to reflect upon yourself. How I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. If there’s something bothering me in any form, this is my moment to identify it and recognize it, rather than run from it. I may not have the answer for it right away, but meditation allows me to adapt accordingly.”