Rewiring Our Brains For Effectiveness And Well-being with Linda Graham, MFT

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Graham points out that it is possible to train our brains, our bodies, and our hearts to access our intuitive wisdom, not only to get through the tough times but to grow and become more conscious in the process. This training is supported by research scientists who have found that combining mindfulness and neuroscience, which includes neuroplasticity, can lead us to more resilience and well-being. She describes the five intelligences of the body and mind and tells us, “We’re able to actually regulate the responses of our automatic nervous system so that we’re not too revved up [with] too much anxiety or fear and we’re not too shut down.” She also talks about not bypassing negative emotions and advises that we practice self-compassion saying, “True compassion and any of the positive emotions that we practice actually shift the functioning of the brain out of the negativity bias of the brain, out of contraction, out of reactivity into more openness, into more receptivity, into possibilities of learning and optimism. Any time we practice compassion, kindness, gratitude, joy, awe, delight, we’re shifting the functioning of the brain. So it’s important to cultivate positive emotions, not just to feel better, but so that we can actually do better. The direct, immediate, cause and effect outcome of these positive emotion practices is resilience.” She goes on to point out that when we feel safe, held, loved, and valued by other people, we are supported in our ability to be resilient. She recommends exercise, sleep, nutrition, learning something new, and hanging out with healthy brains as activities that support our brains to be more active and engaged. And when we are feeling overwhelmed it’s helpful to remember that we can’t solve everything, that our task is to mend the little patch where we are. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Linda Graham, MFT is a licensed psychotherapist and meditation teacher in full-time practice in the San Francisco Bay area. She integrates her passion for neuroscience, mindfulness, and relational psychology through trainings, workshops, and conferences. She publishes a monthly e-newsletter entitled Healing and Awakening into Aliveness and Wholeness and weekly e-quotes on resources for recovering resilience, archived on her website. 

Linda Graham is the author of:

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Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is response flexibility
  • How does the prefrontal cortex of the brain become the CEO of resilience
  • What are the five intelligences of the body and mind
  • Why shame can derail our resilience in a big way and an exercise to alleviate shame
  • Why small practices done often are most effective
  • Why it is important to not bypass negative emotions
  • What we can do when we get frustrated by technology
  • Why putting your hand on your heart resets your nervous system
  • How negative emotions narrow our focus and options and positive ones broaden our perspective
  • Why having a sense of safety opens up our neuroplasticity
  • How men are culturally trained to not show how they feel but can train themselves for better neuroplasticity
  • What are some ways to promote healthy relationships and ways to prune them when they become toxic
  • What is the “Just Like Me” exercise to repair relationships
  • Why doing a gratitude practice before getting out of bed helps us to enter the day in a state of calm

Host: Justine Willis Toms         Interview Date: 11/16/2018         Program Number: 3662

Music Playlist

From Album: Neurosphere
Artist: EsoTerra
2012  EsoTerra

Opening Essay: Track 02 – In This Moment
Music Break 1: Track 03 – Sacred Desert
Music Break 2: Track 07 - Flow
Music Break 3: Track 09 – Lattice of Attunement