To empower individuals with resilience tools to support sustainable habits that promote physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and mental wellness.
We create and curate evidence-based resources for cultivating wellness through neuroplasticity that can be incorporated into an existing self-care practice or serve as an introduction to neural retraining techniques.
What does "brain gardening" mean?
There are actually two answers to this question.
Brain Gardening® refers to what is more often known as brain retraining, brain rewiring, neural retraining techniques, or other practices centered on self-guided neuroplasticity.
The term “neuroplasticity” was first used by Polish neuroscientist Jerzy Konorski in 1948 to describe observed changes in neuronal structure—neurons are the cells that make up our brains). It refers to the brain’s ability to adapt. During Alina’s journey of retraining her brain out of trauma patterns (fight/flight/freeze/fawn) and a chronic state of survival, she saw many parallels to the care and attention one would give a garden.
There is a definite science to gardening and a difference between a plant thriving and merely surviving. As she practiced phasing out neural pathways that were not of service to optimal well-being, she envisioned herself plucking weeds of unwanted behaviors and germinating seeds of new habits. The practice supported a more sustainable way of living with the level of care and attention offered to previously non-conscious thoughts and behaviors.
Brain Gardening® is also a play on the term “brainstorming”.
If you read through Alina’s recovery story, you will learn the role storms had in her development of complex post-traumatic stress disorder and other related issues. The concept of brainstorming also has a quality of chaos to its process whereas gardening is typically a more methodical and meditative activity. Through creating new, positive associations with weather conditions, and undoing the emotional imprinting with hurricanes and tornados, she focused heavily on gardening and fostering an appreciation for rain and wind—and especially on the resilience of nature in the wake of natural disasters.
Resilience is one of our key pillars—that includes supporting our planet and our environment in our business practices.
That’s why we are mindful of materials for our products and partner with suppliers committed to sustainable business practices. We prioritize the use of digital products. For printed items, we use vegetable-based inks and FSC® certified paper whenever possible.
Access to information and tools is especially important to us as we strive to fill an information gap present from limited access to mental healthcare.
Through our online platform, we aim to provide equal opportunity to access our resources regardless of location, age, socio-economic class, or religion. In the design of our materials, we implement consideration for those with physical or cognitive disabilities.
Diversity & Inclusion
We consult with experts who also maintain such values and who can offer a lens without conscious or implicit bias.
We are committed to providing resources to people of all backgrounds, races, genders, sexual orientations, political and religious affiliations, geographic locations, abilities, and neurotypes.
Letter from the Creator of Brain Gardening®
One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. The long-term mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are unknown. Despite this, there is still insufficient access to mental health care and a general lack of healthy coping skills for managing stress and anxiety. People lack the same access to mental health providers as they have for other medical providers, and if they can find a mental health professional, many are often out-of-network and result in higher out-of-pocket costs.
Nearly half of the 60 million adults and children living with mental health conditions in the United States go without any treatment. People who seek treatment must navigate a fragmented and costly system full of obstacles. As a result, many people cannot access mental health care when they need it most. Without appropriate resilience tools, people often develop physical health challenges from toxic or chronic stress levels, leading to a downward spiral that is then harder to surface from. These challenges effect not only the person experiencing them, but those around them as well as their communities.
I have a deep understanding of the impacts of stress, unresolved trauma, and getting “stuck” in a chronic state of fight/flight/freeze/fawn—I myself have lived it to the point of being bedridden with my only outings being medical appointments. The healthcare field in its current state failed to instill a sense of hope for me or offer the type of sustainable relief I have gained through applying the principles of neuroplasticity into my own life. The knowledge I have to share is not from an exclusively academic standpoint where I merely studied it from afar, but through firsthand, lived experience and applied research.
At Brain Gardening®, we believe everyone should have access to resilience tools to cultivate sustainable habits that promote physical, emotional, and mental wellness. My background as a visual designer, often presenting research jargon and scientific evidence in user-friendly forms, coupled with my personal journey recovering from complex post-traumatic stress disorder and other chronic health challenges, has led me to create Brain Gardening® to support others in better supporting themselves. My program is science-based, utilizing the latest research from neuroscience and behavioral health fields, but presented through my designer’s lens so it is more relatable to the everyday person and serves as a bridge between breakthrough research and individual lifestyles/habits. I have curated and created resilience tools in a largely visual format that also seek to engage the body’s other senses in consideration of all learning styles. This is particularly of use to those experiencing cognitive effects of stress such as brain fog and have limited ability to process written information. Plus, in this ever-changing fast-paced world, not everyone has the free time to sit through a lecture or read through a science textbook and piece it all together themselves. Let Brain Gardening® support you on a journey to better mental health and overall wellness.