“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness,
which unites your body to your thoughts.
Whenever your mind becomes scattered,
use your breath as the means
to take hold of your mind again.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh* , The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
Years ago, while studying with a professor at NYU who was looking at brains scans of monks, I decided to stay for a few months at various monasteries. One of them was Deer Park - under the guidance of Thich Nhat Hanh. It was an eye-opening experience. We engaged in many meditation and mindful breathing practices.
Having control over our attentional systems is the most important element we can possibly have in order for any other kind of progress or technique to work.
One way we can work these attentional systems is to focus on our breath. Even if it is fast initially, there is still a rhythm to it, and it is always with us. This makes it an ever-present tool for improving our attentional control. Focusing on this and using our voluntary somatic nervous system tools to extend it or slow it down also works inhibitory control networks. These are critical for emotion regulation.
Noticing something rhythmic and steady is one of the ways we can regulate our internal state because it induces brainwave activity related to relaxed, open awareness.
Sometimes shallow and fast breathing is related to anxious thinking. While there are often deeper roots to our anxiety related to our experiences and beliefs we have about ourselves,* breathing is our first step to gaining more control over our attentional focus.
*(I cover this in my book, and we will also look at how our beliefs can be influenced by our attachment experiences in the December 5 seminar).
Learn more about the science of mindful breathing in this short video (2:49)
Thank you! Have a wonderful week!
p.s.- Podcast Season 4 is coming soon! Stay tuned.
p.p.s.- I will be holding a raffle for signed copies of my book in mid-december!
Attachment theory is not a 'theory'.. it's a part of our neurophysiological operating system
In this month’s workshop, we will explore how attachment principles affect many aspects of our behaviors and emotional reactions.
Attachment is so foundational to our nervous system functioning that it has been coined by scientists as ‘regulation theory’ a 'biological imperative' and ‘biobehavioral attunement’.
The need for SECURE attachment figures is critical. Fortunately, we can learn and earn that secure status even if we were not modeled it as children, but it takes awareness and commitment to become an ‘earned secure’.
If you plan to to be around family during the holiday season, this workshop will give you insights into the how family systems are affected by attachment dynamics and what we can do to better navigate them.
Participants get an audio recording, notes and handouts for each seminar. You can also register for the remaining 7 sessions at a 15% discount and get the previous sessions recordings and notes HERE
Review from the latest workshop:
“I found her November workshop on emotional regulation very valuable and loved the engagement and interactivity- people asked questions for a long time after the end of the workshop and Stefanie answered everyone. People are attending from around the world. These workshops are as special as I thought they would be. Just Stefanie’s mapping of arousal/ valence provided a very useful map to work with in understanding my own response and those of the people I work with.”
Special thanks to Integrated Human Performance Coaching Team, Coach Kristin Horstman, AUSTAT and the team in Australia for bringing their engagement and insights to each of these sessions
Also a HUGE THANK YOU to Gina D’Andrea-Penna for creating incredible notes for people to refer to after the session!
Human Systems Intelligence & Resilience
Coach, Consultant and Workshop Facilitator
Contact me if you’d like to learn more about my Neuroscience Project coaching and organizational consulting services!
*please note that the suggestions and exercises offered in these videos are not offered as a substitute for professional mental health care or medical care and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any mental health or medical conditions.