This class features a unique combination of stress reduction exercises and informative science to improve your health during the Coronavirus. Who doesn't want to learn while also relaxing and having fun? Voted my best neuroscience lecture because you learn while lowering your stress. This also means that you will retain the material better, (since "affect-loaded experiences have a greater likelihood of being retained by the brain than cognitive based material," [Beaudoin and Zimmerman, 2011, p.12]).
The class demonstrates 21 exercises to improve mood and immunity, (with the bonus exercise and handouts [located in the "Settling in" and "Tip #4" sections] the course includes a total of 40 exercises). The free preview ends discussing the definition of integration which is high differentiation and high linkage. In the relational neuroscience framework being taught, integration equals health and is what you need in order to become more resilient to stress. Every exercise you practice during this class involves differentiating (separating from) and linking in various ways. The more you differentiate and link, the more integrated you become; the higher the level of your integration, the more you experience positive emotions. This class is intending to both teach and give an experience of integration.
Many of these exercises highlight the breath because it is a tool to help merge the sympathetic nervous system (breathing in) and the parasympathetic nervous system (which comes more strongly online with long exhales). You're taught both practical exercises, (a more left hemispheric focus,) and visualization methods especially focused on kindness and self-compassion, (based on compassion researchers and educators like Dr. Kelly McGonical, Tara Brach, and Dr. Kristin Neff).
Immediately after the explanation on integration, you learn about how to widen what's called your "window of tolerance" or "optimal arousal zone," and how a wider window means an increased capacity to tolerate and manage stress. Since this is not intended to be a more in-depth class on relational neuroscience (interpersonal neurobiology,) the explanation is brief and quickly moves into more relaxation exercises. (Additional handouts are included for those who want more information.) The class focus is cultivating that rest and digest, parasympathetic state, then also educating the listener on the quickest and easiest ways according to science to get there and stay there.
Highlights: Getting you into a relaxed state, practicing together as you learn exercises that you can use throughout your life, an explanation for Dr. Dan Siegel's 3 Pillars of Mind Training especially kind intention and why kindness is the quickest path to achieving your brain's capacity for excellent executive function, a breathing technique from an ER physician to prepare for or fight COVID-19, a scientist's guided light meditation evoking the endorphin-producing capacities of the periaqueductal gray.