FAQ's

Who is AnJenette?

AnJenette Afridi, M.A. is a Health Psychology Expert, Speaker, and Advocate in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and has more than three decades of expertise in the field. AnJenette teaches Meditation, Mindfulness, and Mindful Wholesome Eating. AJ has worked with corporations, hospitals, health centers, schools, and private clientele including adults and adolescents. You can work with AJ in person at her office or off-site, by phone, or online via video conferencing. (Complete Bio at About AJ)

Why is it important to work with a "live" meditation and mindfulness expert teacher?

We are thrilled to see the growing popularity of both meditation and mindfulness. Not only has science proven that meditation boosts your health (increasing your immune system while decreasing inflammation), but it also boosts your happiness, your self-control and your ability to better connect with others, which, in turn, makes you more likely to live longer. Additionally, the latest research shows that meditation practices actually increase the amount of gray matter in your brain as well as “cortical thickness” (a key feature of individuals who are able to pay attention and focus longer).

And, when it comes to mindfulness, science has proven through numerous studies that it is a powerful natural way to reduce stress, improve your memory, and have happier relationships and overall satisfaction in life.

All of these tremendous, science-backed benefits are causing more people than ever to show interest in learning how to do it - and how to teach it. While it’s exciting to see, this surge of growth is also a bit unsettling.

Why?

There are so many opportunities to be misguided by information or mislead by less experienced teachers and so-called “experts”. Yes, more people should be meditating and, yes, everyone can benefit from the teachings of mindfulness. However, understanding basic principles or going through a “training” to become a meditation or mindfulness teacher is rarely enough. The nuances of both meditation and mindfulness are not something that can be taught online or through apps. They also aren’t something that teachers can pick up in just a few months (or even a few years) of training.

In order to reap the real benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices, you absolutely must work with a dedicated professional. Even if you don’t have an expert trainer in the area that you can train with in person, individually or in a small group, there are teachers that also offer individual and/or group trainings live online using video conferencing or FaceTime. The benefit of doing this type of live training is that the teacher or trainer can give you real-time, personalized feedback, something that no app or recorded video can do.

Being discerning before allocating your time and money on a less-than-qualified teacher or an ineffective method of training is key to getting the most out of these powerful practices.

What is health psychology?

Health Psychology’s focus is on interventions and preventions to promote wellbeing and to understand how biology, psychology, behavior, environmental, and social factors influence wellbeing.

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 definition:

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.

Potential Benefits

Improve: Focus, Memory, Resiliency, Creativity, Anxiety, Mood, Decision Making, Performance, Awareness, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Insomnia, Cognitive Decline, Addictions, Pain, Immunity, PTSD, Menopause, Food Cravings, Emotional Eating, Blood Pressure, Brain Health, Energy, Inflammation, Digestion, Circulation, Stress, Loneliness, Aging, Overall Wellbeing.

Is there science-back research on Meditation, Mindfulness and Mindful Eating?

Yes, there is a plethora of research. Please see our RESEARCH page.

What is Mindful Wholesome Eating?

Meditation can help you be a more mindful eater and help you maintain your weight as you become more mindful and intentional about what you eat, why you eat, and when you eat, you can create physical and emotional balance. Research has shown that most individuals generally aren’t paying attention to whether they’re actually hungry or full. Mindfulness exercises can help heighten your awareness of such cues and keep your mind focused on the experience of eating while also making optimal food choices.

Research studies show a dramatic increase in obesity from the early 60’s:

“From 23% obesity in 1962, reaching 39.4% in 1997, 44.5% in 2004, 56.6% in 2007, and 63.8% (adults) and 17% (children) in 2008. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported higher numbers once more, counting 65.7% of American adults as overweight, and 17% of American children, and according to the CDC, 63% of teenage girls become overweight by age 11."

Unlike poor quality processed foods like sugars, dangerous trans fats, refined flours, wholesome foods contain no additives, preservatives, or other harmful ingredients. You can eliminate the side effects from processed foods like weight gain, sleep disturbances, mood swings, blood sugar imbalances, etc. When you focus on eating wholesome organic foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, unprocessed meats, grass fed beef, free range chicken, wild fish, etc. you are putting clean, healthy, and satisfying nourishment in your body. Your body and brain will flourish with wholesome nutrient-dense foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Your optimal diet is a personal lifestyle choice. What is optimal eating for you is highly individualized and based on food allergies/sensitivities, stage of life, cultural upbringing, ethical choices, likes/dislikes, support system, and your access to healthy food. You can create a foundation of how you choose your food and experiment on what is optimal for you. When you are mindful, you pay attention to your body telling you what foods make you feel good, feel bad, gives you energy, or takes away energy, etc. You can become a mindful consumer about the foods you buy and experiment and have fun preparing the abundant wholesome colorful foods that give you energy and yes, joy. It is a personal journey and a commitment to health. Please see "Eating | Weight Management" RESEARCH.

Potential Benefits

Improve: Food Cravings, Emotional Eating, Weight, Obesity, Blood Sugar, Skin, Hair, Nails, Mood, Anxiety, Energy, Insomnia, Immune Function, Inflammation, Brain Health, Heart Health, Risk of Disease, Aging, Wellbeing.

- Hippocrates, c460-c370 BC is considered the father of medicine who was a Greek physician and is one of the most outstanding figures in history said:

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

Why do people use meditation in the US?

Below are results from a research survey of November 2016 title: 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.”

Do you teach Transcendental Meditation also known as TM? What style of meditation do you teach?

AJ: "Transcendental Meditation technique or TM is a form of meditation that utilizes a mantra and was developed by Maharishi Manhensh Yogi. The practice of TM repeats a personal mantra in a seated position with the eyes closed and is practiced for 15-20 minutes twice a day. This technique has been described as both non-religious as a technique for personal development and as a religious technique as its roots are in Hinduism."

"At age 17, I attended Transcendental Meditation (TM) seminars. Although I was aware of meditation at the time, attending TM trainings ignited my experience and passion to continue practicing. My interest continued at (undergrad) college in my first semester, I enrolled in a college course offered in the philosophy department entitled 'The Art of Meditation'. This meditation course was not based on TM and did not use a mantra. We had our eyes open focused on a candle and also closed at times focused on the breath. I still have my college notebook from that meditation course and it resides on my office bookshelf! After college, I continued my studies and practice of several styles of meditation as well as yoga and added meditation and yoga to my teaching vitae. Years later in grad school I studied 'Meditation in Movement' with the focus on the body in motion."

"Over the last four decades, I have studied and practiced several styles of meditation. In 2008, I studied with the renowned Dr. Herbert Benson at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benson wrote the iconic book in 1972 'The Relaxation Response' that introduced meditation to the mainstream. In October of 2018, I will be returning to Harvard Medical School to once again study with Dr. Benson."

"The mediation techniques that I teach are a composite of my trainings and are customized based on my client's consultation. All meditation techniques I teach are secular (non-religious) and are backed by science."

How can we can bring mindfulness into our daily activities? 

There are many ways to bring mindfulness into our daily activities. Mindful Walking is not only simple...it has abundant benefits.

The medical profession, fitness experts, and weight-loss instructors have long extolled the virtues of walking for overall improved health. In addition to burning calories, toning muscle, improving respiration, reducing risk of bone fractures, improving breathing, and increasing energy, medical science has concluded that walking is beneficial to mental health.

Mindful walking is a profound way to strengthen our connection to our body and the earth. Walk slowly and think about the act of walking. Notice what it feels like to walk, how your leg muscles stretch when you extend your legs and the way your body weight shifts as you move.

Note the carriage of your upper body as you walk, the temperature of your skin, and the texture of your clothing. Recognize what your feet feel like in your footwear. Are they cool and comfortable? Do your shoes rub?

Experience the texture of the ground underfoot. Is it soft? Slippery? Hard? How does the texture influence the sensation of walking? Do your feet sink into the ground? Does your body jolt when each foot pushes off the floor to move forward?

Notice how the air feels against your cheek. Is it cool, dry, or wet? What are you hearing...is it the sound of cars, birds, or people? If your mind drifts, pull your attention back to the act of walking. Develop a complete awareness of the experience. Don't use your inner voice; just feel the effects of walking in your mind and body while maintaining full awareness of your environment.

RESEARCH CONCLUSION: "A single bout of brisk walking or meditation, as well as a combination of walking and meditation, may positively influence affect. There is some evidence to suggest that affective benefits may be greater following meditation or a combination of meditation and walking, when compared with walking alone." See our RESEARCH page for additional information.

Potential Benefits

Improve: Weight-Promoting Genes, Food Cravings, Stress, Awareness, Creativity, Immune Function, Joint Pain, Risk of Disease, Sleep, Mood, Heart Health, Brain Health, Lung Capacity, Digestion, Balance, Vitamin D Levels, Aging.

- Hippocrates, c460-c370 BC is considered the father of medicine who was a Greek physician and is one of the most outstanding figures in history said:

"Walking is man's best medicine."

Who are your clientele?

AJ: "I work with adults of every age and adolescents."

Do you have office visits?

AJ: "Yes, I have an office in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please contact me for additional information."

What is your availability?

AJ: "I am available Monday to Friday 8AM to 6PM and evenings and weekends by request. The aforementioned are my usual hours unless I am attending a conference or hosting an event. I do have a clientele waiting list from time to time and it will be noted as such on this website."

How do you work with clients?

AJ: "I develop customized programs for adults and adolescents based on their consultation and needs. I provide individual training on Skype, Zoom, IPhone Facetime, phone, and in person at my office. I also provide group trainings on Skype, Zoom, Iphone, Facetime, and at my office as well as offsite and onsite trainings, workshops, and speaking events. All programs include email support. Please contact me for group discount rates of two or more people."

What payments do you take?

We utilize the secure Shopify Payments on our website for all our transactions.

- We accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, and all credit card and debit cards listed below:

- In the United States we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club debit and credit cards.

- In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore we accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express debit and credit cards.

- Currently only Android users can checkout with Google Pay.

- We also accept check and cash if you prefer at AnJenette's office or for a workshop or event. Payments are due upon registration.

What is AnJenette's involvement with charitable organizations and the community?

AnJenette is involved with various charities and not-for-profit organizations. Whether it’s through monetary donations or helping organizations run charitable events, AJ is committed to giving back.

If you have additional questions, please contact AnJenette.