Neuroscience tells us that, to be more productive and creative, we need to give our brains a break. It’s the quiet mind that produces the best insights. But it’s a challenge to take that sort of time off in the midst of a busy day. Here are some specific, quick and easy ways to build purposeful break time into your day.
New research from the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging suggests that people who meditate show more gray matter in certain regions of the brain, show stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy. In other words, meditation might make your brain bigger, faster and “younger”. As lead researcher Eileen Luders explains, “it appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain.”
Tip: If you commute via public transportation (or even if you’re a passenger in a car pool) use the time to close your eyes for 10 minutes. If you drive, leave a little early, park and spend 10 minutes in the car before you walk into work. Choose a very specific image, such as a waterfall, beach or tree, and try to focus on it alone. If other thoughts get in the way, gently push them aside. Do this once or twice per day. The goal is to let your mind achieve a sense of relaxed awareness.
Matthew E. May is a speaker and advisor to companies such as Toyota, Edmunds.com, Intuit and ADP http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/12/quick_and_easy_ways_to_quiet_y.html