Personal Well-Being

... Prioritize Your Health and Happiness

We each face our own, ever-changing set of personal and work-related challenges and opportunities. These interactive seminars can inform, inspire, and support you in this process, with research-based strategies, tips, and information to help you be better prepared for whatever life presents next.

Presented by The MIT Work-Life Center

Mindfulness and Interpersonal Relationships (A Three-Part Workshop Series)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 12:00pm to Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 1:30pm

Building: E25-202

Presenter: Paul Fulton, Ed.D.; Founding Member, Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy

Mindfulness is the practice of becoming more tuned in to each of our everyday experiences, be they big or small. This course will provide essential grounding in mindfulness practice and theory, paying particular attention to its application in the domain of interpersonal relationships—including ordinary daily encounters, as well as our closest, most meaningful connections. It will include a mix of lecture, discussion, guided instruction, and practice.

Before you register for this workshop, please note the following:

  • Due to high demand, this workshop series is only open to members of the MIT community
  • It is essential that you commit to all three sessions of this Mindfulness Workshop Series, which will be held from 12:00–1:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays:
  1. March 10, 2020
  2. March 17, 2020
  3. March 24, 2020
  • Participants are expected to commit to daily mindfulness practice outside of class for the duration of the course

Overcoming Digital Distraction: How to Improve Focus and Decrease Stress Using Mindfulness

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Presented by Community Wellness at MIT Medical

Building: 66-168 (Landau)

Do you feel like your smartphone is controlling you?  That you are constantly reacting to your devices and apps?  Do you dream of having hours of calm and focused time during your day to be productive and creative?  Join MIT Alum Robert Plotkin for this interactive presentation, where he will share his own struggle with digital distraction and lead you through exercises that he has created to help you develop new habits for being more in control of how you use your devices—and be less controlled by them.  These exercises are inspired by traditional mindfulness meditation and martial arts training techniques but do not require any prior experience in meditation or martial arts.

Our Everyday Environment: Sustainable Practices for a Healthier Life

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Building: 46-3189 (Brain & Cognitive Sciences)

Presenter: Lora Babb, M.E.L.P.; Sustainable Economies Program Manager, Manomet

When discussing the subject of toxins, we often think of someplace “out there,” a geographic area or body of water that’s polluted in some way by chemicals. Rarely do we think about our everyday environment—the places we live, work, and play—or about the products we put in and on our bodies. This lively and eye-opening conversation will look at what’s really in our personal care and household products and how they may be affecting our health. You’ll also learn why indoor air pollution is greater than outdoor air pollution, and how to protect your health by using safer products on your body and in your home!

How to Make Healthy Eating a Habit

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Building: 46-3189 (Brain & Cognitive Sciences)

Presenter: Heidi Roth, R.D., L.D.N., B.S.; Owner, Heidi Roth Nutrition

You made a kale smoothie for breakfast, but Jean from accounting brought in donuts for the whole office. Adiós kale smoothie! We all know what we “should” be doing to be healthy, so why aren’t we doing it? Why are bad habits so easy to create? And why does bad food taste so good? During this interactive seminar, you will learn:

  • How habits are created
  • Tips and tools to create better habits
  • Small daily habits that can have a big impact on your health and happiness

Pathways to Happiness: Focusing on What Matters

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Building: 46-3189 (Brain & Cognitive Sciences)

Presenter: Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D.; Certifying Coordinator, Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapist and Focusing Trainer, The International Focusing Institute

Did you know that the average person requires five positive comments to cancel out just one negative? This type of negative thinking is not only common, but also serves as a roadblock to well-being. If you want to learn how to retrain your brain, join this interactive workshop where you will:

  • Learn about the tenets and benefits of positive and mindful thinking for emotional and physical health
  • Define simple techniques to combat negativity bias and to enhance and deepen positivity
  • Explore and bring focus to experiences and aspects of your life that carry the most meaning and joy
  • Discuss approaches toward incorporating happiness and well-being practice into your regular routine

Breaking Through the Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Building: 46-3189 (Brain & Cognitive Sciences)

Presenter: Jason Jay, M.Ed., Ph.D.; Senior Lecturer and Director, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative

Dinner will be available beginning at 5:00 p.m. and the seminar presentation will run from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Think of the last time you tried to talk to someone who didn’t agree with you about an important issue. How did it go? Often, working toward a future where humans and nature can thrive gets stuck in the noisy traffic jam of competing ideas, priorities, and ideologies. Join MIT Sloan’s Jason Jay (senior lecturer and director, MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative) for an interactive workshop based on his book Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World. You will learn concepts and strategies for moving beyond “preaching to the choir” and leading change across lines to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Stop Stress, Build Resilience

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Building: 46-3189 (Brain & Cognitive Sciences)

Presenter: Jim Porter, M.A.L.S.; CEO, StressStop

Most of us use stress management techniques reactively—only when we are already stressed and on days when we have spare time, which come all too rarely. During this seminar, you will learn six steps that you can use to manage stress proactively. These steps focus on:

  1. Connecting the dots between your stress symptoms and your sources of stress
  2. Applying problem-solving techniques to eliminate unnecessary stress
  3. Leveraging cognitive restructuring to change your stressful thinking patterns on the fly
  4. Using present-moment awareness to turn everyday activities like walking, eating, listening, and taking a shower into restorative mindfulness moments
  5. Creating a daily resilience routine to prevent the buildup of stress
  6. Building your social support network to create short, feel-good connections with others throughout your day