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Research networks to measure, promote emotional wellness [FEEL GOOD?]

The US National Institutes of Health are investing big bucks to learn more about emotional well-being – how it evolves and how it might be changed. One example: The University of Wisconsin-Madison received a $2.5 million four-year grant from to establish a research network with the goal of identifying ways to measure people's emotional health and well-being in everyday life and understand how flexible those aspects of well-being could be with effective, culturally relevant interventions and training.

 The Wisconsin-Madison network is one of five funded in part by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Faculty and experts from the university’s Center for Healthy Minds are leading the effort, which will include pilot research projects, collaborations, and scientific meetings focused on interventions and prevention strategies with partners at UW-Madison, Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Well-being has been treated as a static variable in science," said principal investigator Richard Davidson, director of the Center for Healthy Minds. “This network is predicated on the idea that the way we've been doing things isn't the whole story and that well-being is plastic and something we can modify.”

In announcing the networks receiving grants, NIA stated, “Emotional well-being has been defined as an overall positive state of one’s emotions, life satisfaction, sense of meaning and purpose, and ability to pursue self-defined goals. The opportunity to research emotional well-being and its core components — a sense of balance in emotion, thoughts, social relationships, and pursuits — aligns with NIH’s broader objectives of fostering health promotion and disease prevention.”

Fascinating ideas and directions for investigating what the active-aging industry generally refers to as emotional wellness. We at ICAA will be staying tuned.

Read more in the NIA press release, here

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