Mental Well-Being

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.

When it comes to mental health, self-care can help manage stress, lower the risk of illness, and increase energy. Even small acts of self-care in daily life can have a big impact.

Stress Busters

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, and while not all stress is bad, too much is unhealthy. We all have inner strengths and resilience that can help us deal with challenges and stress. Self-care is different for everyone, and may take some trail and error to see what works best for you.

Relaxation Techniques

The opposite of a stress response is a “relaxation response.” Relaxation is more than a state of mind; it physically changes the way your body functions. When your body is relaxed, breathing slows, blood pressure and oxygen consumption decrease, and some people report an increased sense of well-being.

Being able to produce the relaxation response using relaxation techniques may counteract the effects of long-term stress, which may contribute to a range of health problems including depression, digestive disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, and insomnia.


The Greater Good Science Center defines mindfulness as “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.”

Benefits of Mindfulness

Research in mindfulness has identified a wide range of benefits in different areas of psychological health, such as helping to decrease anxiety, depression, rumination, and emotional reactivity. Research has also shown mindfulness helps to increase well-being, positive affect, and concentration.

Practicing mindfulness can also be helpful to foster physical health by improving immune system function, quality of sleep, as well as decreasing blood pressure.

Indiana University’s Mindful Way to Stress Reduction Program

Healthy IU offers an 8-week Mindful Way to Stress Reduction program. Check the Healthy IU programs page for details. This program focuses on:

  • Recognizing and addressing stressful situations effectively “on the spot.”
  • Managing chronic stress.
  • Improving focus and communication.
  • Enhancing mind-body wellness.

You can also take this online Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course for free anytime.

Take a moment for mindfulness! Visit the Healthy IU programs page to see what live, online meditations are being offered this semester. Or check out a few recorded meditations below that can help you ease into mindfulness.

Before you start, make sure you are comfortable and in a place where you won’t be interrupted. These mindfulness moments may be most effective when practiced regularly and combined with good nutrition, regular exercise, and a strong social support system.

Meditations by Linda Brown, PhD, HSPP

  • Awareness of Breathing (15 minutes)
  • Body Scan (10 minutes)
  • Breath Meditation (10 minutes)

Meditations by Scott Sweet, LCSW, LCAC, MSW

  • Breathing Break (2 minutes)
  • Sounds Meditation (2 minutes)
  • Traveling Meditation (3 minutes)
  • Meditation Guide (5 minutes)
  • Body Scan (6 minutes)
  • Breathing Meditation (6 minutes)
  • Loving Kindness Meditation (6 minutes)

Meditations by SupportLinc Employee Assistance Program

  • Mindful Breathing (6 minutes)
  • Mindful Body Scan (11 minutes)
  • Mindful Thoughts (5 minutes)
  • Mindful Eating (6 minutes)

SupportLinc Employee Assistance Program (EAP), administered by CuraLinc Healthcare, is a confidential resource that provides 24/7 access to professional counseling and referrals. SupportLinc’s licensed counselors can provide short-term assistance with issues such as:

  • grief and loss
  • substance abuse
  • marriage and relationship problems
  • depression
  • work-related pressures
  • stress and anxiety

Eligibility: Services are provided at no cost to all employees, IU Residents, Graduate Appointees, Fellowship Recipients, and their household members.

Services include:

  • Unlimited 24/7/365 telephonic counseling with a professionally licensed counselor
  • Up to six face-to-face counseling sessions per issue, per year at no cost (sessions are held in-person or over secure video)
  • Access to comprehensive content and tools through SupportLinc’s website and eConnect® mobile app (Case sensitive username: iu)

Learn more about EAP »

A person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States. More than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness.

If you are experiencing a mental health concern, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

The following links can help you learn more.

Workplace Mental Health

If you or someone you know is facing a mental health concern, help is available. Visit