One year into the pandemic, many of us are waiting for "normal" (whatever that might look like!) to return before we make plans, take action, or even acknowledge dreams for the future. COVID-19, lockdown and ongoing uncertainty have made it difficult to move forward, let alone thrive.

Neuroscience explains how and why this happens in our brain. Over the course of my many years in the neuroscience field, I've discovered several basic truths.

Our entire being — mind, body, spirit — feels and works better when we mindfully attend to all aspects of it. By the time we reach adulthood, most of us know exercise and movement are essential to our well-being; we understand that healthy eating creates energy and ease for our digestive system; and we realize that good (and enough) sleep keeps our bodies and minds in equilibrium.

But what do you know about how your brain works and what it needs to function optimally?  Did you know your immune system is inhibited by negative self-talk and worry?

My work in the personal/leadership development, psychology and coaching arenas led to me neuroscience. I wanted to know as much and more, about how the brain works, as I had learned though my yoga, anatomy and physiology training, about the body.  

When I worked for Trinity College in Dublin in leadership development, I became distracted by the warning signs of extreme fatigue and burnout in the executives who were enrolled in our programs for organizational and change management.

All I wanted to do was to help them prevent their own burnout and step back into choice, health and grace. The same call came so strongly from my heart:

“Hey Mr./Ms., you don’t have to live with that awful suffering of your mind-heart-soul. You have a choice: you can begin again today to live the life you love.”

Daily, I see people suffering with stiff legs, tight backs, sore knees, misaligned spines, and aching shoulders. I know if I can get them to move, even gently, their pain and discomfort can be eased and eliminated over time.  

It is the same with neuroscience. If we can become conscious of how our brain functions and recognize the symptoms of exhaustion, over-thinking, and stress, we can take simple steps to relieve that agony and step back into conscious choice. Every breath then becomes intentional, and we can begin again on the path that leads us to where we want to go today.

Fortunately, we human beings have evolved to be tough and genius; we are designed to navigate challenges and create exciting, joyful lives.

My colleague Christina Neuhoff and I have designed an "owner's guide" to your brain during this especially stressful time. This workshop will offer you strategies for flourishing, even during the most challenging times.  Join us this Saturday for simple and effective action to move into thriving.

It's guaranteed to make you feel great and equip you with strategies and the knowledge to thrive — even if it is imperfectly!

Learn how your brain works under stress and how to use that knowledge and insight to thrive, even in these challenging times.

Over the course of the last year, so much has been asked of us: processing disturbing statistics, facing sobering medical details, working with continuously changing rules and regulations, dealing with experiences of solitude or isolation, taming moments of worry or anxiety, managing concern for loved ones, grappling with personal loss, and juggling the demands of virtual work, home schooling and parenting.

All this is not easy — and for most of us, it's not over yet.

How can we replenish our energies, recharge our batteries and reset our internal compasses in a way that is grounded, focused and direct, so that we can flourish?

This feels especially challenging when many of our usual ways to do just that feel unavailable or restricted. We can’t go the gym for a workout, meet a friend for lunch, get a massage or attend a music festival.

How do we keep our hopes and strength up? How can we find a way to BE with enormous strain and challenges in a way that nourishes us and compensates for depleting demands?

Join guest teacher Christina Neuhoff and me Saturday March 20th and 27th as we combine our broad expertise and experience in team/personal coaching, workplace well-being and leadership development. Our approach is down-to-earth and our ethos is to work through evidence-based science. Doing this work can reset your compass for health, happiness and success in a matter of hours.

In Part I: Why we feel what we feel these days and what’s important now, we'll dare to take a closer look at what's happening under the surface of our brains and bodies during this challenging time and, together, we'll figure out ways to best support ourselves, our loved ones, team colleagues, friends & family.

In Part II: Our emotions in perspective — we are all successful sculptors, unclutter some long-held myths about how our brains work. We'll uncover new and exciting neuroscience research findings relevant to our experience every day. We'll talk about perceptions, emotions and predictions. And in the process, we'll practice together, showing you how a better understanding of all of this helps us to sculpt more resilient and joyful lives.

The workshops are designed to be stimulating, interactive and fun; all you need is your Zoom, your curiosity and willingness to engage.

For more information, feel free to email me at hildeeiselen (at) gmail (dot) com, and to register, create a free studio BE account at this link.

Guest post by studio BE faculty member Hilde Eiselen

Christina Neuhoff's expertise is lifelong learning and team learning. She supports individuals and teams to thrive and become connected and future-fit. She is among the pioneers working with Narrative Coaching & Integrative Development as a comprehensive, holistic and systemic approach to human development and transformation, grounded in up-to-date neuroscience evidence.

Hilde Eiselen works as a coach and therapist with special interest in the neuroscience of leadership. Her extensive career spans the executive and personal growth areas. With a background in psychology and an MBA from Trinity College, Dublin, she was CEO of the Trinity Institute of Management Education for 10 years, an executive leadership centre. Before that Hilde was in corporate life, holding executive management positions in multinational corporations.

Born in South Africa, Hilde has worked in 24 countries and lived in six. She now runs an executive retreat in the Wicklow hills, not far from Dublin. This location facilitates her work and research on the relationship between successful, sustained leadership and wellness. Choosing to live in Ireland, Hilde can indulge her passion for people, deep love of nature, and the outdoors.

Hilde is a senior International Yoga Alliance teacher with a lifetime of experience teaching and studying with world-class international masters in Europe, Africa, and the US. She qualified in Hatha, Karuna Iyengar(Ruth White) and Yin Yoga (Paul Grilley) and trained in Somatics, Dynamic & Five Element Yoga. Last summer/autumn she trained with Gary Carter in London.

With circa 4,000 hours of formal training in yoga, anatomy and physiology, Hilde still loves learning and teaching. She is skilled and experienced at teaching yoga to absolutely anyone: from complete beginners to athletes, improvers, to advanced practitioners, special needs and remedial yoga. Her style is unique and safety is paramount in her online classes. She teaches from the heart, and her classes are welcoming and manageable.

Hilde is inspired to work effectively and live wholeheartedly in a way that respects your health and honors your relationships. How? By integrating all that you are in every moment, conscious and present.

Feature images via the author