Friday, March 30, 2018

Distressed about Stress

Ellen Crocker, Jewel Clark and Wendy Youmans

To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College will present a program, “Distressed about Stress,” on Thursday, April 12, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church Chapel, Bethel. Presenters include Ellen Crocker, retired psychotherapist, Wendy Youmans, licensed clinical social worker and 500 hour level Kripalu Yoga Teacher, and Jewel Clark, professional musician.

Ellen will discuss the causes and symptoms of stress and offer suggestions about coping with stress. She says, “Stress is self-generated, due largely to the expectations we place on ourselves. Much of what bothers us is beyond our control. However, how we deal with it, and how we react is under our control.

Wendy will give an introduction to yoga and meditation followed by breathing exercises and meditation with the audience. She will demonstrate basic yoga and stretching that anyone can do. Wendy says,”My approach to yoga is to offer an opportunity for increased self-awareness, stress relief, fitness, and community connection and, hopefully, a healthy dose of laughter.”

In discussing the role of music, Jewel says, “When you listen to music, especially when you’re participating yourself by singing or playing an instrument, it occupies your mind in a way that distracts from stressful thinking. Also, physiologically, it can prompt your brain to produce ‘endorphins,’ a hormone that helps you to feel good."

Jewel came from a family of musical performers, including Yodeling Slim Clark, Blue Eyed Celia, and Wilf Clark and feels her musical interests and abilities were simply inherited. She has experienced how music can positively affect both the performer and the audience in those moments of “connection.” Jewel especially loves encouraging “listeners” to “participate” during her performances, because when they join in, they really seem to enjoy the act of singing themselves.

The program is sponsored as a community service by To Your Health of WMSC with the collaboration of Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44/Continuing Education. The public is invited and admission is free. For more information contact Rosabelle Tifft (824-2053).