WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Memorial Middle School students were treated to an assembly funded by the Municipal Alliance Against Alcoholism & Drug Abuse with Matt Bellace, a youth motivational speaker and stand-up comedian. Dr. Bellace has a Ph.D. in clinical neuropsychology and author of the book, "A Better High.” The program, “A Better High,” focused on natural highs, emotional resilience and mental health. The presentation was a combination of stand-up comedy, interactive demonstrations and stories.
He started by doing a tower support exercise with a group of eight students, to illustrate to them the power of support from their peers.
Bellace had the students do a short meditation to stress the benefits of the practice. "Navy Seals use this to calm themselves," he said. "Your generation is chronically energized. There's so much light in your face." The use of electronics, especially at night suppresses melatonin, which is essential to good sleep.
Bellace also used music to illustrate the power of emotions, by playing a song guessing game, with songs like "Happy," "Thunderstruck," "Under Pressure," and "Lose Yourself." He encouraged them to listen to music, as well as exercise, as he said it releases endormorphins, neurochemicals released by your body that produce a "natural high."
In telling the students about his brother, who suffered from drug addiction, he noted that addicts can overcome when they find something they love. "When you're struggling, lean on healthy people for support," he said. Learning how to express emotions in a healthy way is one of the most important things that they can do.
Find out more about Bellace at www.mattbellace.com, and natural highs at www.naturalhigh.org.