WPP 024: Emily Irwin on mindfulness

One of the things that’s really difficult with loss is staying self-regulated, and being able to take care of ourselves and knowing what it takes to take care of ourselves. And mindfulness can have a really big impact on self-regulation.
— Emily Irwin
Emily headshot.jpg

I had such a great discussion with Emily Irwin for this episode. Emily is a therapist and a mindfulness expert based here in Seattle. It seems that mindfulness is all around us these days, so I thought it would be interesting to explore how it might be useful for us as widowed parents, as well as for our kids and teenagers.

Emily and I covered a lot of ground in this discussion:

  • What is mindfulness, and what it is not;

  • Some common myths and misconceptions about mindfulness;

  • How mindfulness can be beneficial for widowed parents and their kids/teens;

  • Ideas for practicing gratitude, such as a gratitude jar or the gratitude toss;

  • Considerations for trauma-sensitive mindfulness;

  • What is neuroplasticity, and how it is something that benefits us through our entire lives, not just when we’re young;

  • How some early research shows that mindfulness has the potential to help improve teens’ resilience to stress; and

  • Tips for practicing self-compassion, and why it’s so important.

I hope you enjoy my discussion with Emily Irwin.

Links & resources for this episode

Mindful Schools
Hoberman Sphere
YouTube: Soul Pancake gratitude letters
YouTube: Mindfulness is a Superpower
10% Happier with Dan Harris Podcast
University of Washington’s Center for Child and Family Well-Being
University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness
UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center
Susan Kaiser Greenland - website and Mindful Games activity cards
Episode 11 with Lane Pease
Episode 13 with Dr. Lisa Damour
Widowed Parent Podcast discussion group

Books discussed
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story, by Dan Harris
Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing, by Christopher Willard and Daniel Rechtschaffen
Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankyl
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book, by Dan Harris
Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Families, by Susan Kaiser Greenland
The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens, by Dr. Karen Bluth
Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, by David Treleaven
Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls, by Dr. Lisa Damour
Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, by Dr. Lisa Damour
Books by Shawn Achor
Books by Dr. Dan Siegel

Where to find Emily
Psychology Today profile
Facebook: @margaroad
email: contact@margaroad.com

More links for listeners

Get my guide “What I’ve learned about widowed parenting”
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