Physical:

  • Any physical yoga practice – yoga provides uniquely physical work to both discharge energy and stimulate the Vagus nerve throughout the entire practice
  • Deep pressure on hands – clap or tap center of hand
  • Deep pressure on feet – stomp, jump, standing with awareness on the soles of the feet
  • Deep pressure on the back - rest on back and draw knees into chest
  • Deep pressure on the belly – rest on the belly with arm and legs comfortable
  • Twists – seated and reclining
  • Lateral Stretches – stretching the right or left side rib cage
  • Forward folding – child’s pose in chair or on the floor
  • Humming, Hollering, Laughing, Chanting yoga mantra
  • Rocking back and forth – for example, seated cat/cow or rocking between plank and downdog
  • Splashing cold water on your face


  • Breath Work:

    Breath sensing – bringing your notice to the physical qualities of breath
  • In breath/expansion, Out breath/ease or release
  • Noticing the sound of breath
  • Noticing the temperature of breath
  • Noticing Rhythm of breath
  • Extended Exhale – notice # of average beats to inhale, extend exhale by 1-2 extra beats. For example, breathe in for 4 beats, breath out for 5 to 6 beats. Practice for 5 minutes

    Infuse the brain with good to combat natural negativity bias

    In the past: Create a resource/refuge by recalling a time you felt: safe, resilient/tough, cared for, noticed or had a sense of belonging, felt capable, joyful, felt loved. Notice the details of the scene: who is present, the sights surrounding you, scents, sounds, taste, temperature, colors present, recall the emotion you felt, actions you took or that others took on your behalf. Recall as much detail as possible to fire/wire your brain for this implicit memory. In the present: Pause in the moment when you feel joy, gratitude, a sense of well-being or safety. Let the experience in to your brain by noticing it at least for 30 seconds. Use the same attention to the details above to begin to wire it into your brain. See link to Dr. Rick Hanson’s TEDTalk

    Meditation – changes the structure of your brain

  • Many different types of meditation – experiment and pick one that resonates with your personality and interests
  • Two great places to start
  •           Body Sensing/Body Scan (located here on my website)
              iRest Yoga Nidra practices with Dr. Richard Miller www.irest.org
  • 5 min. a day for 8 weeks will change the brain structure
  • Amygdala (1st responder)- gray matter shrinks
  • Hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (long term memory, empathy, emotional regulation, personality, decision-making) - gray matter thickens and increases


  • For studies on the neuroscience of mindfulness visit:

    positivepsychology.com/mindfulness-brain-research-neuroscience