The Howell Foundation holds its fourth installment of the series Health and Happiness with its Integrative Approach to Stress: Reducing Stress and Increasing Happiness

  • Sharing the happiness –and the knowledge- through a research-based approach to stress
  • Going beyond ‘Fight of Flight’ and ‘Tend and Befriend’:  Newly released findings for the ‘fighters’ of the world and how they summarize the importance of relationships and stress
  • The meaning of connections, compassion, gratitude and growth under stress  

San Diego, CA, March 18th.- Having an audience stand up and hug their fellow attendee is just a very unusual way to start a seminar presentation.  But according to Dr. Bhatti, Integrative Psychiatrist and Wellness Physician at the UCSD Executive Health & Wellness and Concierge Medicine programs – and featured speaker of the event, hugging someone for 20 seconds raises oxytocin levels the natural way, reducing blood pressure almost immediately.  

 It certainly opened our minds to the science behind how men and women relate and deal with stress – starting with the differences between mechanistic and relational wellness, through the gender differences in the causes and effects of stress, to concluding with quick and effective stress management techniques – not your typical seminar on the yoga and meditation benefits.

But then again, the Health and Happiness Series from the Doris A. Howell Foundation is not ‘typical’.   Focused on women’s (and men’s) health, the Health and Happiness Series presents the latest research on happiness in a unique, thought-provoking way.

So what was new on stress management?

After learning from Dr. Carole Banka  the gender differences between men and women when it comes to stress – and while many of us have heard the term ‘fight or flight’, it turns out men might not always be the ‘fighters’ in the differences of how men and women deal with stressful situations.   It was surprising to learn that the longest running study on wellness and men (now on its 75th year) concludes with the need for men to cultivate and have long lasting connections and relationships – this study still running and being evaluated today.

The simple techniques demonstrated in the seminar are a practical way to manage your daily stress and include a mindful approach to what is considered the 4 pillars of well-being: connections, compassion, gratitude and growth.   For a complete review on the Health and Happiness presentation, click here.

Now about that 20-second hug… we are NOT suggesting you stand and just hug your co-worker though! It is however, a question of making a difference and promoting health; stress being a strong condition that can lead to serious illness. 

For more information on the Health and Happiness Series events, and for information on the events that the Doris A. Howell Foundation hosts throughout the year, visit  

In the mean time, this is what our guests are commenting: 

I enjoyed the balance between scientific evidence and theory coupled with tactics to tackle stress.  I also loved there was a differentiation and focus between women and men” 

I found every part of the presentation relevant, as the stress level is high due to ill health of my husband and pet.  Very practical techniques to assist in my sleep pattern.  Excellent presentation”  

“All of it.  Though it was very informative and useful.  I really enjoy the “non western” approach to stress and health management” 

I truly enjoyed being reminded to be mindful using the breathing technique.  And I love the heart and business care takeaway” 

Loved Dr. Bhatti’s tips.  Very easy and practical” 

The stress chart exercise really brought to light the things in my life that I need to change” 

Thanks for the card with ideas for stress reductions.   Really easy to carry with me”

 “Wonderful sense of humor-great emphasis on science and very practical exercises to do daily” 

“I found every part of the presentation relevant, as the stress level is high due to ill health of my husband and pet.  Very practical techniques to assist in my sleep pattern.  Excellent presentation!”

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