Stress, Resilience, and Your Health

by Dana L. Barron, PhD
Why Stress about Stress?
We have all heard that stress is bad for our health but it can be helpful to understand exactly why that is. The body’s acute “stress response” is not inherently harmful – in fact it is an essential mechanism of survival. The brain senses danger and the body makes changes that allow for immediate action – fight or flight. Then the danger passes and the body calms back down to its natural resting state.
But the conditions of modern life are such that many of us are living in a chronic stress response, and here is where the trouble starts. Stress hormones trigger increases in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and blood sugar. Other systems in the body, notably the digestive, reproductive, and immune systems, slow down or stop in order to focus energy where it is needed most. This great when you need to run away from a tiger, but when it goes on long term, it sows the seeds of dysfunction and disease. The good news is that you can maintain health and vitality by identifying your stressors and learning tools for stress resilience.
Perform a Stress Audit
I use the diagram below to perform a Stress Audit with clients.

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Your Health is THAT important

by Dana L. Barron, PhD

Sometimes we get so lost in the sea of obligations that we lose track of what feeds our energy and what drains it. But the body is keeping score. If the balance tips too far toward draining or depleting activities, the body will start to whisper. “I’m stressed out.” Or “I’m really tired.” Or “I need a break.” We ignore it for now, and we “power through.” So it starts speaking a little louder. “I can’t sleep.” “I have a headache, an upset stomach.” . . .

The more we override the message to slow down, the louder the body must speak. . . . Here’s an exercise that might help you regain your balance, before your body starts to scream.

» Read full article

About Dana Barron

Dana L. Barron, PhD is a health coach, advocate, and herbalist. She helps clients understand the functional imbalances that are causing their symptoms and design integrative solutions to regain health and vitality. She also guides clients in their relationships with health care providers to ensure they are getting their needs met. She can be reached at 215-688-5108 or

5-Minute Stress-Reducer

By Kathleen Krol, LCSW RPT-S

Do you find yourself rushing home from work to pick up your child from aftercare or your teen from after school sports practice? Are evenings or weekends spent juggling between one child being dropped off at soccer practice and the other being picked up from dance class? If not hustling to get a child somewhere, then it may be juggling two jobs or running multiple errands. We all know the feeling of being pressured and stressed.
The following “Five Senses” technique can be very helpful when leaving in the morning, driving, or before opening the door to something new. I take 5 minutes as I am moving or driving to be aware of my environment by using my five senses. I ask myself, what do I see around me? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I taste or feel in my mouth? And what do I feel? If I am driving, am I clenching the steering wheel and if so, can I relax my grip? If walking, I might notice that my body is moving fast and my chest is tight. I pause and take a couple deep breaths.

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Is Your Teen Stressed?  Mindfulness Can Help!

by Katie May
Kylie and her mom got into a fight.  Kylie screamed, “I hate you!”, ran to her room and slammed the door.  She threw the folded pile of laundry from her bed and it scattered onto the floor. Then she curled up on the bed and cried. She noticed an emptiness in the pit of her stomach.  She began to recognize the thoughts going through her head like, “It’s not fair.  She never lets me do what I want!”  Kylie decided to take out her journal and free write. After a few minutes, her heaving sobs turned into calming breaths and she decided to go downstairs and talk to her mom about coming to a compromise with her curfew.
In all my years of working with teens, this situation has come up again and again in many similar ways.  Your teens are gaining independence and figuring out where they fit into the world.  Along with these developmental tasks comes the challenge of navigating intense emotions and being mindful of thoughts that result in a variety of wanted and unwanted behaviors.  
Mindfulness skills have proven very beneficial in helping teens with these challenges.

» Read Full Article


Welcome Jen Perry back to The Resiliency Center!

We are happy to welcome Jen Perry back to the community of practitioners at The Resiliency Center! When Jen left her counseling practice for several years to devote time to her family, she always stayed connected to the center, leading the monthly Mindful Knitting Circle on Saturdays.  A Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Mindfulness and Acceptance techniques, Jen is excited to be returning. For over 15 years, she has helped people with anxiety and panic, depression, trauma, parenting and life transition challenges. Jen also teaches meditation and mindfulness classes.

To learn more, schedule a session, or sign up for a mindfulness program, contact her at or 215-292-5056. 

» Read Jen's Bio
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Featured Programs


Stress, Resilience, and Your Health – A 2-Part Series

Wednesdays, 9/30 & 10/7

Learn how stress creates imbalances in the body that lead to troublesome symptoms. Become familiar with a variety of stressors that include food, the environment, and infections, as well as mental and emotional stress. Learn simple self-care practices that will reduce stress and improve your health and well-being.

RSVP required. Space is limited. Contact Dana Barron, PhD, Health Coach and Advocate at 215-688-5108 or healingpath coaching


Meeting Your Self: Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Mondays, 7:30 - 9:30pm
6-Week Course, Begins 9/21

Most of us believe that being kind to others is important. However, most of us treat ourselves with a degree of disdain and harshness with which we would never dream of treating someone else. In this mindfulness class we will learn techniques designed to cultivate true acceptance, compassion and friendliness towards ourselves.

To learn more, contact Jen Perry at or (215) 292-5056


Labyrinth Walking to Reduce Stress

Saturday 9/26, 1-3 pm
Rain date Sunday 9/27, 1-3 pm

Walking the Labyrinth can be a wonderful way to reduce stress, practice mindfulness, and connect to your body and your spirit. Join Brittiney George, CRS and Alix Amar, LCSW for the first gathering of a new monthly series called Connection, Expression, and Movement (CEM).

Connection, Expression and Movement (CEM) is a monthly workshop series focusing on body-mind integration which will combine art, meditation, movement and connection. First workshop near Elkins Park with following programs held at The Resiliency Center. To RSVP or to learn more, contact Brittiney George at 610-389-7866 or movebackintolife


"I Know What to Do with My Feelings" Children’s Program

Sundays, 11am – 12pm
9/20 – 10/18  

Skills to express emotions and calm anxiety through yoga, relaxation, art, and play activities. Pre-registration required. Contact Kathleen Krol at or 215-289-3101 to learn more.

September Events

Learn more about all of our offerings – and how to RSVP – by clicking on the program title on our online calendar or following the links below. 


Tween Empowerment Group

Tuesdays, 5 - 6:30 pm
» RSVP to Elizabeth Campbell at elizabethanne or 610-757-8163.

Laughter Yoga

Monthly on Mondays
» Register

Sound Meditation and Relaxation Experience

Every other Sunday at 7pm
» Register

Teen Girls Yoga, Stress Reduction, & Confidence Building

Weekly on Mondays, 5:45-7pm
» Register

Rumi and Hafiz Poetry Evening

Monthly on Wednesdays
» Register

Rest, Restore, and Move Class

Every other Tuesday
» Register

EMDR Consultation Group

Monthly on Fridays
» Learn More

LPC Supervision Group for Therapists

2 Wednesdays per month, 5:30-7:30 pm
» Learn More

New Moms Group

Monthly on Wednesdays

Youth and Tween Peer Group Therapy

2 Wednesdays per month

Interstitial Cystitis/Pelvic Pain Support Group

Monthly on Wednesdays

Teen Group Therapy Circle

» Learn More

The Philadelphia Writer’s Workshop

» Learn More

Drum to Your Hearts Desire!

Every other Friday at 7:30 pm


Morning Meditation

Mondays at 8:30 am

Evening Meditation

Thursdays at 7:30 pm

Qi Gong Classes 

Thursdays at 2 and 6:15 pm

Knitting Circle

Monthly on Saturdays

DBT Skills Group

Weekly beginning in September
Groups are forming now 

» Learn More
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Quote of the Month

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
~William James
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