Live Well | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
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Promoting the Well-Being of all TTUHSC Students

Welcome! This site is part of Well Beyond, our Quality Enhancement Plan for promoting the well-being of all TTUHSC students! As a comprehensive health sciences center, TTUHSC seeks to produce knowledgeable healthcare professionals who prioritize self-care and seek to achieve healthy balances across multiple dimensions of their lives. This site will focus initially on emotional well-being; later, it will cover eight dimensions of wellness (see below).

TTUHSC Resources for Your Emotional Well-Being:

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PAS

Program of Assistance for Students

TTUHSC provides up to eight (8) free counseling sessions per student per fiscal year (Sept. 1 - Aug. 31). Any TTUHSC student can receive assistance at no cost. Counseling services consist of assessment, brief therapy, and follow-up.


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TAO
Therapy Assistance Online

TAO is an interactive, web-based program that provides well-researched and highly effective strategies to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common concerns. With TAO, you will have immediate access to highly effective therapy modules 24/7.

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Easy-to-Use Self-Care Practices:

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Mindfulness
  • Our minds are always full of chatter, including rumination and excessive worry, which trigger our brain’s stress response.
  • Mindfulness consists of observing a single phenomenon (e.g., the breath) with compassion and acceptance, thereby quieting the chatter. It looks like this: Focus --- lose focus --- gently refocus.
  • Returning focus trains the mind to reduce chatter.  Effective mindfulness practice can require as little as 5 minutes, 5 days per week, but if necessary, start with just 1-2 minutes each day. Consistency is key!
  • Research has shown many physical and psychological benefits from mindfulness. The latter include:
    • Increased positive emotion and well-being
    • Improved emotion regulation
    • Decreased rumination
    • Improved attention
    • Increased self-compassion
Intentional Breathing

Our breath is a direct pathway to the autonomic nervous system.  Through altering the type, rate, and ratio of breath, we engage the vagal pathways that influence heart-rate and messages sent to the brain.

  • Voluntary regulation of breathing often improves symptoms of anxiety and depression, and slower breathing with prolonged exhalation increases parasympathetic activity.
  • Here is a tool you might find useful as you voluntarily regulate breathing:
    Sync Your Breathing: https://yp4h.osu.edu/justbreathe
Practicing Gratitude

Our brains naturally and routinely scan for bad news, in the world and within us. This “negativity bias” is designed to ensure our survival, but it activates our stress response and has many negative consequences.

Practicing gratitude (i.e., counting our blessings) counteracts our negativity bias. The benefits include:

    • Reduced inflammation in the body
    • Lowered blood pressure
    • Improved mood 
    • Increased optimism and generosity
    • Improved sleep (if done at bedtime)

Consider keeping a “gratitude journal” in which you write down and routinely review your blessings; record two a day and see how long you can keep the list growing!

Additional Self-Care Tips
  • Get sufficient rest and prioritize healthy eating and exercise
  • Avoid “imaginary stress” caused by ruminating on the past or worrying excessively about the future
  • Engage in self-compassion (https://self-compassion.org/) 
  • Stick to a daily routine, including when you go to sleep and get up
  • Schedule downtime and seek opportunities for fun (smiles and laughter release endorphins that counter stress hormones)
  • Be aware of “time bandits” that steal your time and eliminate them or manage them
  • Avoid negative coping strategies such as isolating and misusing substances

Are You Passionate about Students’ Well-Being?

Consider joining the Student Wellness Committee!  Though originally for medical students, participation is open to all TTUHSC students with the goal of benefitting all students!  More Information    

Purpose of this Site:

  • Well Beyond and this site are for YOU, to promote your well-being while a student at TTUHSC and beyond in your healthcare career.
  • Here are the other dimensions of wellness, followed by a brief description of all eight dimensions. To Live Well, we need to grow in all of these and strive to balance them.   
      • Environmental
      • Financial
      • Intellectual
      • Occupational
      • Physical
      • Social
      • Spiritual
  • To Live Well, we need to grow in all of these dimensions of wellness and strive to achieve balance among them. 
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8 Dimensions of Wellness

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Emotional

Recognizing and accepting a wide range of feelings in yourself and others, including the productive management of those feelings and related behaviors in the face of adversity.

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Environmental

Leading a lifestyle in which we recognize our impact on the environment and promote practices that sustain the earth’s resources.

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Financial

Being mindful of your financial decision- making in order to live within your means, discern between needs and wants, and manage short- and long-term financial goals

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Intellectual

Expanding your knowledge and challenging your mind with creative and stimulating activities.

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Occupational

Utilizing your skills and talents to obtain personal satisfaction and meaning through work.

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Physical

Understanding and caring for your body through a healthy diet and regular physical activity, including the avoidance of behaviors which impair optimal performance.

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Social

Developing and maintaining healthy relationships with others as we seek to improve the communities in which we live.

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Spiritual

Exploring a connection to something bigger than ourselves, which may involve the search for meaning in life or the development of congruence among our actions, beliefs, and values.