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                         BrainCurves July Newsletter                     

CUE BREATHING: INHALE. EXHALE.

It's been a challenging few weeks (to say the least). As I grapple with the way hate has snuffed the life out of so many recently, I grieve. I am at once angry, anxious, sad, and shocked. You see, tragedies like these reverberate in the hearts and minds of much of humanity, as it rips through the basic foundation that we lay our trust upon. I am struggling with how to grieve alongside you.

My own journey of grief includes writing and speaking about trauma, tragedy, grief, and loss in all of its iterations. I want to share some of those writings with you in the hope that they humbly offer some kind of outlet. Honestly, it feels like the least I can do as a psychologist during a time like this.

   

You’ll find that this newsletter includes links to my recent writings and also a brand new podcast interview with Morgan Dix, co-founder of About Meditation. During this interview, Morgan and I talk about the actual neurophysiologic importance of a grief process, five ways to grieve mindfully, and the concept of collective grief - something that has resonated since the advent of worldwide social media and 24-hour news cycles. We are ALL, collectively, continuously exposed to the trauma of these events.

Your thoughts, comments, ideas, perspectives on these articles and podcast are welcome without judgment, and with the utmost sensitivity.
 
Aside from writing, I’ve been finding solace in mindfulness. Especially during times of repeated tragedy, engaging in mindfulness can help us decrease stress levels and elicit a sense of increased calm that is necessary to reflect, grieve, regroup, and take the next appropriate actions necessary to prevent more tragedies.
 
I am often asked what mindfulness REALLY is, and how it can be practiced.
 
CUE BREATHING: INHALE. EXHALE.
 
Many have found that one of the surest ways to begin to hone clarity and focus is to pay attention to the one thing that is always within us, our breath.
 
Diaphragmatic Breathing, or “Belly Breathing”, is a way of breathing that utilizes the diaphragm, and allows for a fuller, slower, and more rhythmical breath. This is a technique used to focus and calm ourselves so that we may potentially reduce the negative impacts on our bodies caused by the stress of grieving.
 
By breathing fully through our diaphragm, we are creating a relaxed physiological state. By sustaining our attention on the breath, we are training our mind to focus on this sensation as it unfolds in the moment. By connecting back to our essence, we are better able to move forward productively, to be a vessel for growth and change
 
In this free video download I talk more about the definition of mindfulness and also share a personally curated guided breathing exercise.  
 
Mindfulness can be found in every breath we take, and so can healing, even if in some small way, one moment at a time.

 
 
Team ‪#BrainCurves and I continue to grieve the tragedies, the traumas, and the tumult. Please do not ever hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can support you during this time of great pain and loss.
 
To healing and growing. To thriving, together, from breath to breath...

- Jennifer Wolkin, PhD

                   
           

 BrainSpiration 
From the Desk of
Jennifer Wolkin, PhD
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PTSD Resources
This PTSD Resource packet provides information about the depth and breadth of the suffering that PTSD can create, but also emphasizes the prospect of effective treatment and conveys the possibility of healing.
Love Was Love That Night...Until Hate Walked In: Mindful Grieving After Tragedy
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Jennifer Wolkin, PhD in Private Practice

 
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