Take control of your wellbeing.
As increasing numbers of people seek to take control of their personal wellbeing, the demand for evidence-based practices and resources are on the rise. An educator and researcher at heart, AnJenette draws her knowledge and wisdom from her expansive experience of more than three decades in lifestyle medicine and mindful practices.
Who is AnJenette aka AJ?
AnJenette (AJ) Afridi, MA, ERYT-500, is a pioneer in Lifestyle Medicine, Mindful Practices, and Creator of INHALE EXHALE SMILE® Meditation and Mindfulness Targeted Skills-Based Integrated Training. AnJenette is a Lifestyle Medicine Consultant and a Meditation and Mindfulness Master Teacher with 30+ years in private practice. “AJ’s” professional credentials include a Master’s Degree in Psychology (MA) 1997, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT-500) 2002, American Psychological Association (APA) Member 1996, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Member, Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine Member, and Harvard Medical School CEU’s in Lifestyle Medicine and Mind Body Medicine (Herbert Benson, MD) the last 15 years.
AnJenette aka AJ has worked with corporations, hospitals, health centers, schools, and private clientele including adults and children. She is often featured at public and private in-person and online events, and she hosts events as well. AJ's warmth, credibility, and energetic sense of humor create an atmosphere that supports expansion, creativity, and abundant possibility. (Please see AnJenette's complete bio.)
AnJenette currently offers INHALE EXHALE SMILE® Meditation and Mindfulness Targeted Skills-Based Integrated Training / LIFESTYLE MEDICINE for Adults.
~ Lifestyle Medicine Questionnaire, Assessment & Consultation: Food, Stress, Sleep, Movement, Environment.
~ Targeted Meditation Methods: NeuroMeditation* (Focus, Open Monitoring/Mindfulness, Open Heart, Quiet Mind), Loving Kindness Meditation, Self-Compassion Meditation, Five Senses Imagery Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga Meditation, Chakra Meditation, Body Scan Meditation, Progressive Relaxation Meditation, Sitting Meditation, Movement Meditation, Walking Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Breath Awareness Meditation, Sound Meditation.
~ Targeted Mindfulness Methods: Mindful Wholesome Eating, Focused Mindfulness, Mindfulness Gratitude, Everyday Mindfulness, Mindful Compassion, Mindful Pain Management, Mindful Stress Management, Mindful Communication.
~ Adjunct Methods: Music, Movement, Laughter, Yoga.
*Research has consistently demonstrated how meditation can be beneficial for a wide range of physical and mental health concerns. Research has also shown that meditation can significantly change the structure and function of various networks in the brain. With this deeper understanding of the effects of the meditation process, we have also come to understand that not all meditation practices are the same. Different forms of meditation require different kinds of attention and intention, different sets of skills, and can actually impact different brain regions. Because each meditation style has specific effects, we can choose and tailor these practices based on our goals and needs.
NeuroMeditation is a process designed to do just that. This method of teaching meditation begins with a scientific understanding of what happens in the brain during different meditative states and why each of these practices might be beneficial for specific individuals. In this way, we can help you identify a starting point based on what you are trying to achieve. What is your motivation for meditating in the first place? Is it to reduce stress and anxiety, minimize pain, improve sleep, or work toward spiritual enlightenment?
LEARN with AJ via ZOOM, FACETIME, PHONE, or WALKSHOP. Contact us for Group Training available at discounted per person price and/or Offsite Training available at additional time/travel fees. (Due to Covid, AJ has limited in-person availability at AJ's San Francisco Bay Area Office.)
CONTACT AJ to Speak at your next virtual or in-person meeting, event, workshop, or gathering.
Who is Adi?
You'll meet Adi on ZOOM, at a walkshop, and AJ's San Francisco Bay Area Office. Adi is a F1B Goldendoodle with a sweet temperament. She is virtually non-shedding and hypoallergenic which makes her an ideal therapy dog.
The simple act of petting or holding a dog has been proven to provide a human with multiple mental and physical heath benefits. When a human pets an animal, hormones such as serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, that play a role in elevating moods, are released in the brain. Animal assisted therapy also lowers anxiety to help patients relax, provides comfort, reduces loneliness, increases mental stimulation, and provides an escape or happy distraction.
Physically, the presence of and Interaction with therapy animals can help lower blood pressure, reduce the number of medications that people need, diminish overall physical discomfort or pain, motivate people to exercise, and help children with autism in the departments of language and social interaction. (Alliance of Therapy Dogs)
What is a WALKSHOP?
In its simplest terms, a walkshop can be thought of as a workshop conducted through walking in an organic and dynamic manner. Growing evidence indicates that prolonged sedentary behavior increases the risk of several chronic health conditions and all-cause mortality. Physical movement should be incentivized in any possible shape or form because it is an essential source of personal wellbeing.
The value of both using the outdoors and walking as a way to stimulate reflective thinking have been appreciated and documented in various fields for some time. There has, for example, been a long association between the practices of walking and philosophy, first recorded in writing as early as Aristotle’s (384–322 BC) Peripatetic School and the walking scholars. The term "Peripatetic" means "of walking" or "given to walking about”.
What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
Mindfulness and meditation have been hot topics lately and these two words have been used interchangeably. This is AnJenette's working definitions and differences of Mindfulness and Meditation:
Mindfulness is the awareness of “some-thing,” while meditation is the awareness of “no-thing.”
Mindfulness is an informal practice of moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment and is also a state of mind. Mindfulness can be applied to the moments of our daily life to be fully engaged in that moment.
Meditation is a mind-body practice in which we focus our attention on something, such as an object, word, phrase, music, movement or breathing, in order to minimize distracting or stressful thoughts or feelings. Meditation is practiced for a specific amount of time.
What benefits does the research support for meditation?
US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH ON MEDITATION
"Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior."
"There are many types of meditation, but most have four elements in common: a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions); a focus of attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath); and an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them). The use of meditation increased more than threefold from 4.1% in 2012 to 14.2% in 2017." (Please see our LATEST RESEARCH.)
Why do people use meditation in the US?
Below are results from a research survey of November 2016 titled: Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Meditation Use Among US Adults: A Nationally Representative Survey. “Emerging evidence suggests substantial health benefits from using meditation. Meditation was mainly used for general wellness (76.2%), improving energy (60.0%), and aiding memory or concentration (50.0%). Anxiety (29.2%), stress (21.6%), and depression (17.8%) were the top health problems for which people used meditation; 63.6% reported that meditation had helped a great deal with these conditions. Only 34.8% disclosed their use of meditation with a health provider. These findings indicate that about 9.3 million US adults have used meditation in the past 12 months.”
"Meditation appears to provide an accessible, self-care resource that has potential value for mental health, behavioral self-regulation, and integrative medical care. Considering consumer preference for distinct types of meditation practices, understanding the underlying mechanisms, benefits, and applications of practice variations is important." (BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 2017) (Please see our LATEST RESEARCH.)
What benefits does the research support for mindfulness?
AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION ON MINDFULNESS
"We (American Psychological Association - APA) define mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait. While it might be promoted by certain practices or activities, such as meditation, it is not equivalent to or synonymous with them."
"More specifically, research on mindfulness has identified these benefits: reduced rumination, stress reduction, boosts to working memory and focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, relationship satisfaction, enhance self-insight, morality, Intuition and fear modulation, all functions associated with the brain's middle prefrontal lobe area, increased immune functioning, improvement to well-being, increase information processing speed, as well as decrease task effort and having thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand." (Please see our LATEST RESEARCH.)
What is Lifestyle Medicine?
Lifestyle Medicine is the evidence-based practice of helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect health and quality of life.
American College of Lifestyle Medicine - "Lifestyle Medicine is the use of a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection."
Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. Rates of chronic disease have never been higher, with cost of chronic conditions eating up 86% of all healthcare dollars spent. Chronic disease is so common that more than half of U.S. adults have at least one condition, accounting for 90% of healthcare spending."
Harvard Medical School - "According to the World Health Organization 80% of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancer could be prevented, primarily with improvements to diet and lifestyle. Two-thirds of all disease worldwide will soon be the result of lifestyle choices."
Federal Nutrition Research Advisory Group - "Poor nutrition is the leading cause of illnesses in the US, with unhealthy diets killing more than half a million people each year. About 46% of adults in the country have an overall poor-quality diet, and this number goes up to 56% for children, according to the paper." (Please see our BODY BRAIN FUEL.)