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Cultivating well-being with Cortland Dahl

Two for You — take two minutes to live and lead with intention

Episode 5.6

We know well-being is important, but what do you actually intentionally DO each day to cultivate it? Where do we even start? The Center for Healthy Minds at University of Wisconsin has found research-based tools that we can learn, practice and apply in our daily lives to bolster our well-being. On which of the four core dimensions of well-being (awareness, connection, insight and purpose) do you want to focus?

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Transcript

Note: Two for You written transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before referencing content in print.

[Lori Rothstein] Hello and welcome to Two For You. This month we have scientist Cortland Dahl from the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin. And they've been researching something about the plasticity or how we can grow and cultivate well-being. So thanks for being here to share your research with us.

[Cortland Dahl] Thank you so much for having me. [Lori Rothstein] Yes. So what did you find? How do we actually grow our well-being?

[Cortland Dahl] So well-being is complex. There's many things that influence our sense of well-being, but the scientific framework that we've developed at the Center for Healthy Minds focuses on four key dimensions is what we call the four pillars of well-being, which are all skills. These are things that we can practice and when we do, it strengthens our sense of well-being.

So in short, these four are awareness, connection, insights, and purpose, what we call ASIP. We kind of use this shorthand of ASIP, but basically these four pillars are skills that we can practice and train.

[Lori Rothstein] Yah. So, if you have a tip for community leaders. How do you, what do you actually do? What can you put into practice, to grow your own well-being?

[Cortland Dahl] Well, there are simple strategies, simple skills, as I mentioned a moment ago, that strengthen all four of these, the one that I find especially helpful, is related to the 4th of these four pillars, which is purpose. A very simple thing you could do in the midst of your daily routine. It's simply the step back and reconnect with the why that underlies whatever it is you're doing. So we get so caught up in the endless to-do list, the fast pace of life. And we focus on what we're doing.

But rarely do we step back to reflect on why we're actually doing these things? So again, that's something very simple that you can do. You don't even have to stop what you're doing as you're transitioning in between meetings or even doing something mundane like doing the dishes. Just ask why, why am I really doing this?

And see if you can connect with a deeper motivation, an important core value. And then let that motivation or that value inform what it is you're doing in the moment and just has a way of reconnecting us with these deeper inspirations that we all have. But we just lose sight of a daily lives. So that's one that I find really, really powerful.

And it's also there's some great scientific evidence that highlights that, that, that skill, in particular, could be vital for resilience and for well-being.

[Lori Rothstein] On that, Thank you for sharing. Thanks for being with us today. And remember your why as you live and lead with intention.


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Authors: Lori Rothstein, Extension educator, leadership and civic engagement; Denise Stromme, former Extension educator

Reviewed in 2021

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