1/19/22 TRANSFERRING AJ'S WEBSITE TO WIX. STAY TUNED!

OUR STORY

Please note we are currently transferring my website to WIX. My upgraded site will be available in February 2022. Stay tune!

Who is AnJenette?

AnJenette Afridi, MA, is CEO of ANJENETTE LLC Intentional Wellbeing Center, Founder of INHALE EXHALE SMILE® Mindful Habits to Harness Stress and Build Resilience, and a Master Mindfulness Teacher. Throughout AnJenette's dynamic career of more than 25 years, the constant thread has been her dedication and commitment to furthering her understanding of the human condition and the tools (habits) that foster human flourishing. AnJenette’s work addresses the gap in Western psychotherapy traditions that emphasize eliminating negative emotional states. She instead focuses on the tools (habits) for cultivating optimal psychological and physical wellbeing.

"INHALE EXHALE SMILE® Mindful Habits to Harness Stress and Build Resilience is an intentional approach to wellbeing integrating evidence-based mindfulness, positive psychology, and habit formation science." 

AnJenette's credentials include a master’s degree (MA) in Performance Psychology (magna cum laude), Awarded Master’s Project Research Honor on Motivation (JFK 1997), Harvard Medical School post-graduate continuing education (Herbert Benson, MD 2008-21), U-Penn Positive Psychology Certificate, Harvard Medical School Institute of Coaching Fellow, American Institute of Stress Diplomate, and American Psychological Association (APA) Member (1996). In addition, AJ holds a Coach U Training CTP (2002-04), Yoga Alliance Registered Teacher ERYT-500 (2002), Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider YACEP (2007), Mindful Schools Educator (2017-19), and TED Member. AnJenette is currently pursuing a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) at Cal Southern University (2020).

AnJenette has worked with corporations, hospitals, health centers, nonprofits, schools, and private clientele, including children, teens, adults, seniors, executives, and prenatal. AnJenette was an early adopter of meditation at age 19 and continued her lifelong mindfulness studies with Herbert Benson, MD, Harvard Medical School, author of the iconic book The Relaxation Response, and founding trustee of The American Institute of Stress. AJ's Intentional Wellbeing Center is in the San Francisco Bay Area where you will be greeted by Adi, her goldendoodle therapy dog. AJ’s warmth, credibility, and magnetic personality create an atmosphere that supports expansion, creativity, and abundant possibility.

 

Who is Adi?

"Happiness is a warm puppy."
Charles Schulz

You'll meet Adi at AJ's Intentional Wellbeing Center in the San Francisco Bay Area, WalkShops, Offsite, Zoom, and Facetime. Adi is our hypoallergenic non-shedding big-hearted and devoted Goldendoodle Therapy Dog.

Animal-assisted interventions have historically been beneficial to human health. The simple act of petting, cuddling, or interacting with a dog provides a human with multiple mental and physical health benefits. Oxytocin, the opioids, adrenaline, and serotonin that play a role in elevating mood and bringing about calmness are released in the brain.

Animal-assisted therapy lowers stress levels to help people relax, provides comfort, reduces fear, worry, loneliness, increases feelings of social support, and provides motivation, mental stimulation, and focus.

What is Inhale Exhale Smile®?

"INHALE EXHALE SMILE® Mindful Habits to Harness Stress and Build Resilience is an intentional approach to wellbeing integrating evidence-based mindfulness, positive psychology, and habit formation science." 

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the process of adapting constructively to changing factors, conditions, or environments. When you think of resilience...think "inner strength". As much as resilience involves bouncing back from these changing and often stressful experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth. Cultivating resilience gives you a “leg up” to make choices and changes that will help you adapt, grow, and thrive.

“When it comes to our collective health, how we deal with the multiple crises and problems around us also depends on the power of context - in other words, our resilience.” | Arianna Huffington

What is Self-Compassion?

Susan David, PhD, Co-founder and Co-director of the Harvard Medical School Institute of Coaching and award-winning Harvard Medical School Psychologist states: “Ultimately, self compassion is about recognizing what it means to be human. Discomfort, stress, disappointment, loss and pain are all part of the human journey. If we are not able to enter into a space of kindness to ourselves, we’re putting ourselves at odds with the reality of life. Another hallmark of humanity is imperfection: To be human is to be imperfect and to make mistakes. Self-compassion is a necessary part of our journey; it’s about recognizing that you are doing the best you can — with who you are, with what you’ve got, and with the resources that you’ve been given.” (Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David, PhD.)

Kristin Neff, PhD, one of the pioneering researchers in this field, states that cultivating self-compassion builds resiliency against depression and anxiety, while increasing life satisfaction, optimism, social connectedness, and happiness. Dr. Neff describes self-compassion as having these three elements: Self-Kindness is being kind towards oneself when encountering pain and personal shortcomings and refraining from harsh criticism of the self. Common Humanity is recognizing that suffering and personal failure is part of the shared human experience rather than isolating. Mindfulness is maintaining a non-biased awareness of our experiences and a receptive mind state in which we observe our thoughts and feelings as they are without trying to suppress or deny them. (Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive by Kristin Neff, PhD.)

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive and acknowledge their full spectrum of emotions. The field is founded on the belief that human beings desire to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. 

Major proponents of positive psychology include psychologists Martin Seligman (who promoted the concept as president of the American Psychological Association in 1998), Christopher Peterson, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. One of Seligman’s forerunners, Abraham Maslow, called attention to humanistic psychology, which focused on human strengths and potential rather than neuroses and pathologies.

Positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behavior, with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).

"The aim of Positive Psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life." | Martin Seligman

What is Storytelling?

There is a enherent magical power in storytelling. The sharing of our story can help us find our voice, reaffirm our values, build resilience, and also help others. The neurochemicals of oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins are released during storytelling. We use storytelling to connect, inspire, and heal through the powerful narratives of our challenges, joy, resilience, and sisterhood. 

Why is Kindness important?

Kindness is a learned skill marked by acts of generosity, consideration, or concern for others. Aristotle defined kindness as "helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped". Offering kindness to ourselves or to others increases our “feel-good” hormones of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Practicing kindness can change the world!

“Mindfulness brings us back to the present moment and provides the type of balanced awareness that forms the foundation of self-compassion. Like a clear, still pool without ripples, mindfulness perfectly mirrors what’s occurring without distortion. Rather than becoming lost in our own personal soap opera, mindfulness allows us to view our situation with greater perspective and helps to ensure that we don’t suffer unnecessarily.” | Kristin Neff

What is evidence-based Meditation and Mindfulness?

Meditation and Mindfulness have been hot topics lately and these two words have been used interchangeably. The following is my working definition and differences between (non-sectarian) Meditation and Mindfulness.

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. There are four meditation positions: sitting, lying down, standing, and walking. You will quickly discover your ideal position and you may eventually choose to incorporate all of the positions.

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.

Please see Benefits of Mindfulness by the American Psychological Association (APA) full article.
Please see Meditation in Depth Report by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) full article.

What are WalkShops?

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”. Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher who became one of the most influential of all modern thinkers walked daily in the forest. Charles Darwin took daily contemplative walks in the woods to think and observe nature.

Join AnJenette and Adi at your Private or Group WalkShop. Contact us for current availability and logistics.