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You are Invited to Body Full of Joy

written by Elaine O'Brien and Nicholas Ritchey 10 July 2020

Elaine O'Brien, PhD, MAPP '08, is a positive psychology, fitness leadership, positive health promotion, movement science, aging, and well-being speaker, author, trainer, thought leader, people/project manager, educator, and consultant. Elaine creates programs promoting proactive positive health/fitness, and optimal performance. Elaine presents internationally and online. She advances health, fitness, and flourishing by inspiring people to move more and to find both enjoyment and meaning in motion via PEP: Positive Exercise Practices. Full bio. Elaine's articles are here.

Nicholas Ritchey, MAPP '08, is a Mastermind Creator and Positive Psychosomatic Advisor at LimitSlayer. Nick helps people with weight loss and personal development. Follow him: @LimitSlayer.

Add positivity, healthy awareness, and joy to your life with a free online resource sponsored by the Penn Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Alumni Association. Follow this brand new link to help you connect to your body and enjoy positive movement and the fun factor. The resource is called Body Full of Joy.

During these complex times, the Body Full of Joy Team has produced thirty one-to-two minute online videos designed to help you center, stretch, relax, energize, connect to your body, and have a laugh. You can access the series either via the link above or by going directly to the Youtube playlist.. The introductory video is embedded below.

The Body Full of Joy videos are presented by seven Positive Psychology leaders. They form a tool for increasing physical strength, mental health, and well-being by boosting positive emotions, awareness, and embodiment. Each brief video explores the transformative power of energy and somatic awareness. This well-being initiative is based on the positive psychology, movement science, and kinesthetic experience.

Amanda Moffa and Dr. Elaine O’Brien, both MAPP graduates, answered a call to action from Dr. Martin Seligman, Penn MAPP Founder and arguably the Father of Positive Psychology (at least in modern times). At an early MAPP Meeting discussing strategies to help people during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Seligman spoke about the need for “neck down” interventions to help people experience more joy and positivity.

Elaine leading the dance. Photo by Kathi Norman

In a later interview conducted by Senia Maymin, Seligman encouraged webinar attendees to “play more, dance more, and do more physical activity.” We found it validating and uplifting to have him shine a light on the importance of physical activity, the body, and movement. He called movement a “source of joy.”

After the interview, Amanda and Elaine connected, decided to collaborate, and recruited a talented team of positive psychology experts to co-create Body Full of Joy with the tag-line “Move your body and love your mind.”

Along with the goal of helping people find more positivity and joy in the moment, the team also wanted to help people apply positivity in order to fight infection, lessening the risk of disease and enhancing their ability to thrive.

May I introduce the Body Full of Joy Team

The Body Full of Joy Team

Cecilie Løvestam, MAPP 2019, RYT, is a positive psychology practitioner, facilitator, certified yoga and mindfulness teacher with a background in trauma-informed mind and body practices. After seeing friends, family and students struggling during this time of uncertainty and social distancing, Cecilie wanted to share quick and accessible ways to move, breathe, and stretch to reduce stress, boost vitality, energy, resilience and spark joy! @cecilielovestam.com & Cecilie on Instagram.

LeeAnn Mallorie, MAPP 2015, MSC, is a Women’s Embodied Leadership Specialist at Guts & Grace. LeeAnn has spent a lifetime unraveling the body-mind split both for herself and for her clients, especially depleted female leaders and change-makers. She knows the power of a simple, relevant, grounded practice to create immediate relief in the body. She wanted to share a few of her best moves!

Amanda R. Moffa, MAPP 2019, is Communications and Student Engagement Coordinator, Wharton People Analytics. After dancing professionally with the National Football League for five years and experiencing a temporary halting injury, Amanda experienced first-hand both the benefits of movement, and the pitfalls of not moving. Amanda wants to encourage as many people as possible to reap the benefits of wellness through movement. @ instagram.com/MandiMoff/

Elaine O’Brien, Ph.D. 2015, MAPP 2008, is an educator, trainer, speaker, consultant, and writer combining Positive Psychology, Lifestyle Medicine, and Positive Movement Science to help boost flow, performance, and well-being. Elaine guided early fitness industry standards/certifications. She produced/choreographed the 1st National Football League Halftime show fundraiser. She also served as the U.S. Head Judge/Trainer for the National Aerobics Championship for 10 years, encouraging the sport and positive feedback practices. She has led PEP: Positive Energy Practices around the world boosting joy and learning. For more about Elaine, see her LinkedIn profile. She speaks and writes frequently about the importance of movement to well-being, including several articles on Positive Psychology News.

Healthy body enjoying the outdoors

Nick Ritchey, MAPP 2008, is a Mastermind Creator and Positive Psychosomatic Advisor @ LimitSlayer.com. After seeing friends and family struggling with self-quarantine, Nick wanted to share some quick and easy ways to help people stress less, move more and feel better every day.

Ilene Schaffer, MA, APPC, CAPP, is a huge believer in the power of walking and its impact on mind, body and spirit, Ilene wanted to share some simple ways to super-charge your everyday stroll. @IleneSchaffer.com. Check out her movement, Take Your Thoughts for a Walk.

Laura Taylor, MAPP 2014, is Managing Coordinator of Positive Education Programs at the University of Pennsylvania, Founder of Acting Strengths, and Co-Creator of the Penn Program for Flourishing with Faisal Khan @ facebook.com/ActingStrengths/. As a long-term dancer and musical theatre artist, movement has become a means of communication, processing emotion, and cultivating well-being. I am delighted to share my source of joy with you all and hope you take our invitation to #moveyourbody and #loveyourmind.

Along with the team above, the MAPP Alumni Board, especially Kathryn Britton, Andrew Soren, Karen Warner, and Sean Doyle have been instrumental in supporting the Body Full of Joy initiative.

Join Us Moving Our Bodies Toward Joy

Research demonstrates the value of positivity, and also how positive movement alleviates (dis)stress, helps us think, sleep, and feel better. Our healthy body and positive physical activity can lead us to greater well-being. Body Full of Joy can be a quick and easy way to build healthy habits and empower your mind, body and spirit. We hope you will check it out, join in, and up your joy factor.

Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Turner, R. B., Alper, C. M., & Skoner, D. P. (2003). Emotional style and susceptibility to the common cold. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 652-657. Abstract.

Image Credits:

Woman standing outdoors Photo by Morgan Sarkissian on Unsplash
Picture of man looking at rainbow courtesy of Nicholas Ritchey
Picture of Elaine O’Brien dancing courtesy of Kathi Norman

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1 comment

Nick Ritchey 11 July 2020 - 5:22 pm

Let’s get the comments rolling!

If you’ve watched a video… say “AYE!”

Any more is a happy bonus!

Thanks for joining us!


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