WE ARE A NON-PROFIT MADE UP OF EDUCATORS, RESEARCHERS, AND FACILITATORS.
Founder & Executive Director
It wasn’t that long ago that I felt like I was turned inside out. The world could trigger all kinds of reactions in me, but I was completely powerless over my emotions and my
health. I felt raw and overexposed, struggling with everything and everyone in my environment.
At times, my autoimmune diagnoses—rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Hashimoto's, Ehlers-Danlos, Parsonage-Turner syndrome—made it nearly impossible for me to shower, turn doorknobs, or even stand upright. I felt pretty hopeless.
In 2012, I stumbled upon the ACE study. I learned that my ACE score of 8 was the root of my physical, social, and emotional disruptions. It was quite an epiphany... that despite what many of us think, feeling good doesn't actually come naturally.
Once I recognized feeling bad as a "default survival state", I was able to understand that feeling good is a learned skill, and that success and even health are, too. And that, like all skills, feeling good takes training and practice.
Since then, I have received my Masters in Education in Trauma and Resilience, become a trauma recovery hypnotherapist, a meditation teacher, a meridian tapping instructor, a holistic nutritionist, a reiki practitioner, and founded the non-profit Emotion Hygiene Alliance.
Director of Operations
I've spent the past few years immersed in learning new ways of being and thinking. It ultimately led me to some life-changing coaching in the areas of emotional well-being, self-worth, and attachment science.
It was on this path of personal development that I met Lena, who was speaking at a women's retreat I attended. I was immediately drawn to what she shared about emotion hygiene and her mission to share the science and knowledge that helps people live better lives.
I had always been drawn to helping others. I'd spent most of my life working at and volunteering in the nonprofit sector, focusing primarily on child and teen development.
In 2017, after receiving my Masters in Organizational Communication, I became the People and Culture Manager at a
non-profit start-up. There, I gained the valuable skill of supporting leadership.
My passion for personal growth, serving others, and operationalizing projects (Lena loves how much I love spreadsheets! ) combined with my years in the non-profit sector were the right formula for joining Lena in her mission at the Emotion Hygiene Alliance.
Amanda considers herself a lifelong student. Movement and meditation have always been an important part of her life. Her mediation practice led her to visit Unplug Meditation a few years ago where she took Lena’s EFT and Emotion Hygiene meditation classes.
Amanda and Lena soon began a collaboration to create jewelry tools for your emotion hygiene. Lena encouraged Amanda to step in to teaching and the rest is history.
Amanda is so excited to be a part of the Emotion Hygiene Alliance and teach the movement mediation practice to children. I strongly believe that if more people are given the tools Lena has created to practice emotion hygiene regularly the world would be a better, kinder place.
Amanda has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 20 years. She has always been drawn to movement through soccer, tennis, snowboarding, hiking, yoga, paddle boarding and more. She believes wholeheartedly in the combination of movement and meditation to help soothe and heal trauma and toxic stress to help you feel better every day.
EXPLORE HOW HEALTH AND HAPPINESS HAPPEN
WHAT IS WELL-BEING?
We've defined 5 states of prosocial health
Peace // Pleasure // Play // Purpose // Presence
to correlate with the states of antisocial defense
Freeze // Flight // Fight // Fright // Flag
Knowing how to go from reactive states to prosocial states of health is the next step.
WHAT IS EMOTION HYGIENE?
We've harnessed 15 social-emotional resources and converted them into actionable hygiene.
Once you understand that emotions are tools to support our well-being, all that's left is to know how to evoke these powerful well-being levers.
WHAT TOOLS ARE BEST FOR ME?
By culling robust research, we've identified the most reliable pathways to override unwanted feelings, emotions, reactions, and behavior.
"It's like I found the remote control to my brain, body, and emotions."
Rather than pitching a fixed scientific definition of well-being, we’re constantly unearthing clues and evidence about how well-being manifests itself in the mind and body. It’s not a static "thing" – but a set of skills that can be learned and cultivated over time, just like learning to play a musical instrument or riding a bike.
— Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin at Madison
THE EMOTION HYGIENE FRAMEWORK WAS BUILT UPON FOUR AREAS
OF PARADIGM-SHATTERING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
We learned from Polyvagal Theory how primitive defense systems were recruited for “Social Engagement”. This banding together gave us mammals the opportunity to thrive far beyond each of our own individual capabilities; and created our individual dependency on social systems for our survival.
With this transition through evolution there was a change in our autonomic nervous system. Our autonomic nervous system changed from a system that was solely a system that enabled us to mobilize and enabled us to shut down, and could be used for, in a sense, two different types of defenses: one was to run and flee, and one was to basically immobilize, like a reptile. But with mammals, we had a new branch of the autonomic nervous system that basically was in one way the “cheerleader,” and in another way the “conductor” of these other two more primitive systems. — Stephen Porges
We learned from Attachment science that in order for the defense systems to stand down and give way for such vital Social Engagement we need repeated experiences (→26 yrs), via our primary relationships, environment, and life experiences, of attuned connection and felt safety — a safe haven — as well as a secure base from which to explore.
ACEs, Toxic Stress Science
We learned from ACEs Science how profoundly and pervasively these childhood experiences shape our brain, health, behavior, relationships, performance, and life trajectory. Because of the ACE study and hundreds of subsequent studies from around the world, we are starting to understand the immense lifelong impact that toxic stress has on health and well-being.
Broaden and Build Theory
From Broaden and Build Theory, we learned that positive emotions serve necessary adaptive functions — they are tools that broaden our repertoire and perspective and build enduring personal resources.
Positive emotions serve as markers of flourishing. [they are outcomes]
But this is not the whole story: Positive emotions also produce flourishing . [they are tools]
Positive emotions help us feel better, do better, connect better, and they feel good.
— Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE SUGGESTS WELL-BEING CAN BE CULTIVATED THROUGH PRACTICE IN DAILY LIFE