Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices towards, a more successful existence. – The National Wellness Institute
We encourage cadets to strive for balance and well-being through the use of our various wellness services. The CCC believes that cadets can make safe, healthy decisions which will positively impact the campus, the community, and the future. We provide tools to empower change starting with the individual. The wellness services offered at the CCC are available to the VMI community, taking a strength-based approach based on an individual’s personal strengths. As with physical fitness, wellness is something that must be consciously worked towards in order to achieve full potential.
People who are mentally healthy feel good about themselves and others. Having good mental health means being able to deal with the demands, challenges, and changes in everyday life. Regardless of age, race, sex, or status, everybody is subject to emotional upset. Feeling angry, down, or anxious is a normal reaction to life events and these emotions tend to come and go often. However, when these emotions persist for weeks or months, and begin to interfere with daily life, it may be a signal that professional help could be useful.
10 characteristics of people who are mentally health:
- They feel good about themselves
- They do not become overwhelmed by emotions, such as fear, anger, love, jealousy, guilt, or anxiety
- They have lasting and satisfying personal relationships
- They feel comfortable with other people
- They can laugh at themselves and with others
- They have respect for themselves and for others even if there are differences
- They are able to accept life's disappointments
- They can meet life's demands and handle their problems when they arise
- They make their own decisions
- They shape their environment whenever possible and adjust to it when necessary
(provided by Mental Health America)
Heart Rate Variability / Heart Rhythm Coherence Biofeedback Training
Heart rhythm feedback training, or heart rhythm coherence biofeedback, helps cadets to learn to self-generate states of sustained positive emotions and increased physiological coherence, thereby reducing stress and improving health, emotional wellbeing, and performance. The CCC has multiple computer programs that provide biofeedback of heart rate variability/coherence: HeartMath’s emWave® Pro.
Heart rhythm patterns can become erratic and disordered during experiences of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, anxiety, or stress. This is because the branches of the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches, become less in sync. In contrast, when individuals experience positive states such as gratitude, love, appreciation, and compassion, hearty rhythms become coherent and in sync.
Biofeedback using HeartMath’s emWave Pro provides feedback on individual heart rhythm coherence through an earlobe or fingertip sensor, which the user can view onscreen and can also be used during interactive games and activities. These techniques can be applied to improve academic, work, and sports performance; HeartMath’s programs for heart rhythm coherence training have been applied to the treatment of stress and anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention Defecit/Hyperactivity Disorder, depression, and fatigue.
Light therapy involves daily, scheduled exposure to intense levels of artificial light and is used to regulate seasonal mood swings, improve sleep patterns, and enhance feelings of well-being. Not only is light therapy beneficial for seasonal affective disorder, but also for the treatment of chronic non-seasonal depression. The light therapy box and the CCC meets the recommended dose (10,000 lux) and is recommended for use in intervals of 20 to 30 minutes, which compares to the level of exposure an individual would receive on a walk outside on a sunny day. During light therapy, cadets can read, listen to music, practice mindfulness, work on a computer, or simply relax. Light therapy is not intended for use by everyone; cadets with symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, currently on prescription medications, a history of eye conditions, should speak with a physician prior to beginning light therapy.
Various books are available for loan at the CCC. You are invited to come thumb through the resource library and pick out books which suit your interests. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8a.m. to 4:30p.m.