Your Personal Trainer for the Brain


Yesterday I attended the first class of Julie Bjelland’s new class, “7 Steps to Embody the Gifts of Your Sensitivity” and I have to say, it’s already causing some major positive shifts in me.

Rarely has anything had this kind of effect on me so quickly. Putting into practice just a couple of Julie’s suggestions has also helped my husband (who is also Highly Sensitive). So I just have to tell you about this.

Julie calls herself a “personal trainer for the brain,” and it’s refreshing to see her science-based approach. In the first class, Julie explained how the HSP’s brain is different (more activity in amygdala and insula, which is why we process things so deeply, feel and perceive everything), and how to activate the calming centers in the brain.

She gave us very specific but easy things to do to “drain the container” of all we take in–which is much more than non-HSPs. She explained why we need to process our experiences, how to do that–and what will happen if we don’t.

This was very helpful for me concerning an HSP loved one with memory issues. I asked Julie if such issues can be caused by “sensory overload” and she explained how it’s possible. If the “emotional brain” is overloaded, then it “switches off” the cognitive brain. Nothing gets in (no new memories form), and the person can’t access what’s there as well either.

Julie’s approach is very positive: this trait of High Sensitivity has challenges, but also many gifts if we can just get rid of the layer of overwhelm that can obscure those gifts. That is the goal of her course.

She gave us some very specific exercises to do, which I started: keep a “positive journal,” and ask 3 people what they appreciate about you. (Then you return the favor.) Julie explained why it takes 5 positives to overcome one negative (it’s the way our brains are wired, called “negative bias”), and told us that while a negative registers in the brain immediately, it takes 5 seconds for a positive to “stick.” So what you need to do is really take the time to let the positive in “all the way down” (letting that “depth of processing” aspect of the trait work for us).

Of course, these are practices that can benefit anyone, but for an HSP they can make all the difference between stress and overwhelm, or peace and joy.

This is just a taste of what you’d get if you signed up for her course.

There is also a private Facebook group which looks to be very active. It’s so validating to see other HSPs with the same struggles. Validation is something HSPs often lack, since we’re only 20% of the population. When you’ve grown up with messages like–

  • “You’re too sensitive.”
  • “What’s wrong with you?”
  • “Toughen up” (males got this a lot)

–validation that you really are “normal” (for an HSP) is like a glass of cold water to a thirsty person.

You can listen to a preview of the course from a webinar Julie did a couple of weeks ago. In that webinar, Julie also gave some practical tips you can start using right away, such as the breathing technique that came out #1 in my Heart Rate Variability test.

When you go to this link, it will say in the upper right hand corner that there is a recording, a replay of that webinar. Click on “Yes, give me access to the free recording!” Put in your name and email, and you’ll get to the recording. If you want to order the course, you can do it from that page too, so keep it open until you decide one way or the other.

Everything is recorded, and she even provides transcripts. There are practices like the ones I mentioned above for each week that will make huge difference if you do them.

Sign up is open through August 27, so if you join in this time frame you will be able to catch up quickly.

I hope to see you in the class and the Facebook group!

To sign up for my list on healing for HSPs, go here.

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