December 2014

Aiming for Well-being

"Move. Connect. Engage."  - NWPF

Defining well-being has, for centuries, been the concern of philosophers. In recent years, however, the topic has attracted the attention of scientists within various fields, such as health and medicine, environmental studies, planning, policymaking, business management and leadership. As a result, presently, there is a growing body of knowledge identifying the factors or elements that both influence and constitute “the good life.”Well Being Cropped

In the field of psychology, the most recent proposal is Martin Seligman’s “scientific theory of well-being.” He identified five pillars which, when adopted, also culminate in an individual’s flourishing.*  

When we flourish we go beyond being just okay with our lives. We thrive. We start generating emotional vitality, meaning, happiness and well-being for ourselves and others.

The five pillars of well being and activities to realize them are as follows:

1. Positive Emotions. Embracing positive emotions such as joy, kindness, compassion,  gratitude, love, serenity, optimism can expand our vision and attitude towards life—making us more flexible and resilient when confronting adversity. 

  • Engage in deeds that make you feel good and generate goodness for others.
  • Meditate.
  • Express your gratitude.
  • Name three things that went well today.
  • Be kind and generous.
  • Take a nap under a tree.
  • Enjoy and cherish your family and friends.
  • Savor the moment.

2. Engagement. Life calls us to be active participants and live fully. What we do and call our work must issue from our character strengths and our passions. An engaged life is one of inmersion and flow in what we are passionate about. Passivity, lack of interest, disengagement and distancing only result in social and emotional isolation.

  • Move.
  • Give yourself to what you love and find absorbing.
  • Sing a song, dance, play an instrument.
  • Cook.
  • Help others.
  • Get creative, take up painting
  • Ride a bike,
  • Write a story.

3. Relationships. We are social beings. We need to love and be loved by others, while embedded in a network of positive and constructive relationships. It is within this network that we find safetey. It is our refuge when we need support and renewal.

  • Connect.
  • Establish and nourish your connections with family, friends and coworkers.
  • Send a letter or card, meet for lunch.
  • Seek those who favor positive emotions.
  • Practice reciprocity. In relationships one gives and receives.

4. Meaning. We seek a life with purpose. We feel centered, more balanced,  and experience a deeper sense of wellbeing  when we are clear about our personal strengths and values;  when we live by them;  when we  dedicate ourselves to community and to a cause larger than ourselves.

  • Engage
  • Identify your character strengths and talents.
  • Be clear about what you value in life—what you find essential and of vital importance.
  • Formulate a personal mission statement.
  • Volunteer.
  • Donate.

5. Accomplishment. We feel actualized when we accomplish what we set out to do. We like to achieve for the pleasure of achieving.  Goal attainment increases self confidence and makes us hopeful about the future.

  • Identify goals that are vital for you to achieve; stay focused; persist.
  • Savor your accomplishments.

In sum, aim for PERMA: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning. Accomplishments.


* Seligman, M. (2011) Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of a Happiness and Well-Being. New York: Free Press.



Julio F. Angulo, PhD
NWPF Blogger

April/May 2014

Tulips (1)Spring Into Action

Welcome latest edition of NWPF wellness center. Spring brings mages of longer days, the comforting warmth of sunshine and splash of color as crocuses and daffodils peak through the once frozen ground. Whether you are reviving your neglected exercise program, planning your garden or simply looking forward to spending more time outdoors, Spring is a time to start anew and reminds us of the power of possibility.

There is no better time to Spring into Action and explore what is possible than now. We encourage you to live your best with our Spring challenge as we explore the role of diet, exercise and emotional wellbeing and invite you to take a few simple steps to better health with PD.

  • Antioxidant Foods. Oxidative stress plays a role in dopaminergic  nerve cell loss. Enhance the antioxidants capacity in your diet to    combat the damaging effects of oxidative stress.    
  • One Step at a Time. Late stage PD is associated with walking and balance difficulties. Take the challenge to delay or minimize these problems with a few simple steps you can add to each day.  
  • Nature’s Moments. Nature’s beauty brings a sense of joy, wonder and healing if you take a moment to ‘see’ it. What better time to experience the healing power of nature than Springtime!

Please join NWPF in their support of living your best and Spring into Action!


Monique L. Giroux, MD
Guest Blogger, Former Medical Director of NWPF

Jan/Feb 2014

Welcome to NWPF's Online Wellness and Information Center!

This section is your comprehensive source of the information you need to live your best along with important tools to optimize your care, support positive lifestyle change and enhance the way you live with Parkinson's disease.


Monique L. Giroux, MD
Guest Blogger, Former Medical Director of NWPF

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