The field of Neuroscience is (pardon the pun) extremely heady. Today’s guest on the Neurosummit, Mark Waldman, has had to sift through 33,000 studies to identify the 6 core components of consciousness. He uses this research for a very specific outcome: practical neuroscience.
The language used by brain researchers can be incredibly intellectual and convoluted, and the latest groundbreaking studies about the brain can focus primarily on the methodology of the experiment and the chemical reactions, instead of Mark’s specialty, which is practical implementation.
As a professor in Loyola Marymount’s Executive MBA Program, Mark has made it his mission to provide actionable exercises based on the latest in brain research. As a close friend and trusted advisor of John Assaraf (my guest from Monday on the Neurosummit), Mark has created numerous papers, video trainings, and audio recordings that help people to use their brains more effectively.
Mindfulness and Neuroscience
I love Mark’s Neurotips! When I asked him to come onto the Neurosummit for the 3rd time, I asked him to package together the essentials of practical neuroscience for my listeners. He condensed the wisdom and knowledge spread over his 14 published books, and created an all-new workbook with 150 of his best Neurotips, and we went through some of them on the interview.
“Create a new affirmation every day. That makes you more aware of what you are saying, and gives you a neurochemical boost to go after that desire more effectively.”
Your brain can get bored repeating the same affirmation day after day, and you won’t believe it anymore. Take the core element of your affirmation, he says, and present it to your mind in 3 or 4 different ways. This will keep the idea new and fresh, and make it more effective.
Please note, this isn’t a theory put forward by a writer who has been experimenting with his own affirmations. This is recommended by a brain researcher who studies how the brain works, and is constantly uncovering new ways to leverage its effectiveness.
He had some surprising things to say about mindfulness and awareness. One of the exercises we did during the interview was the slowest head roll…I have ever done!
The Neuroscience of Productivity
The brain can only stay highly focused for 10-20 minutes, he says, and after that the dopamine that inspires you to do the work in the first place is exhausted.
What’s the solution? Mark recommends giving your brain a break at regular intervals. He uses a ‘mindfulness bell’ that goes off every 20 minutes. When the bell goes off, he does something very specific:
When you yawn, your brain takes a break and rejuvenates itself.
Then, he takes a full 60 seconds to roll his head around his neck, one time.
Have you ever tried to roll your head that slowly? We tried it during the interview, and I was surprised at how hard it was! Try it right now, and see if you notice, as I did, all the tiny little pockets of pain in the neck.
Those are muscle tensions, Mark says, that get in the way of our productivity. It is only by rolling the neck super slowly that we can release that tension. Try it again twenty minutes later, and the pain is gone!
One of the reasons I love Mark’s work so much is that it provides actionable exercises based on the latest cutting-edge research. He has put together an astounding array of exercises in a package he is offering just to the Aware Show listeners, called “Consciousness, Spirituality, and the Brain.” Watch the interview replay below, and review all of the tools and exercises that could lead you to a much more efficient mindset.