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    

 


 

8 Dimensions of Wellness

Well Beyond is dedicated to helping you enhance your wellness in eight dimensions that are critical for aspiring healthcare professionals. The dimensions are identified below.  Click on the icon to see a definition and a few strategies to boost your wellness in that area:

 

 

QEP Program Presentations