This 40-minute podcast on emotional wellness is the first of three episodes exploring emotional wellness, one of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. This podcast is part of a 10-episode series exploring how each dimension of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness enhances recovery. Crystal Lee Brandow, Ph.D., senior project associate at Policy Research Associates, Inc., and Betty Vreeland, registered nurse and yoga instructor, discuss the importance of emotional wellness and mindfulness in recovery and wellness. Ms. Vreeland addresses topics such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for adults with behavioral health conditions and the connection between mindfulness and physical wellness.  

Emotional wellness pertains to the ability to express feelings, adjust to emotional challenges, and cope with stressful life experiences. Mindfulness practices can promote emotional wellness in individuals with behavioral health conditions and some chronic illnesses. Mindfulness has different definitions and perspectives, but Ms. Vreeland defines mindfulness as being present in the moment and paying attention in a purposeful way without judgment. Mindfulness allows one to step back and focus on being rather than doing. It reduces stress, allows one to take inventory of their emotional state, and observe what is happening in the present moment. Mindfulness promotes emotional wellness when practiced regularly or in response to stress. 

Research suggests mindfulness improves cognitive functioning, reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, and mitigates the effects of stress. Mindfulness-based treatment for cognitive therapy is recognized as an evidence-based practice for recovery. Used with other therapies, mindfulness can aid recovery for people with behavioral health conditions. It is not a substitute for medication or other treatments for serious mental illness.  

To learn more about emotional wellness, please see our emotional wellness fact sheet. 

Listen to the other episodes in this series: 

This resource was first shared in 2018. 

(Podcast, Soundcloud)