Mindfulness Lucid Smart Pill

Why Mastering Mindfulness Could Make Your Career

What do Walt Disney, General Mills and Google have in common? All have recognised that in the fast paced, technology driven world of today, an investment into slowing their staff down could actually speed them up, ultimately having a positive impact on their people and their bottom line. A growing number of research studies have provided compelling evidence that mastering mindfulness can literally change our brains.

One recent study suggests that effective mindfulness training resulted in changes in the grey matter in the parts of the brain involved in learning, memory and emotional regulation! What does this mean in the workplace? Improved visuo-spatial processing, better working memory, more focus, improved creativity & enhanced innovation.

In case you couldn’t tell, we at Lucid are passionate about body betterment, neuro-enhancement, productivity & focus. To be kept up to date on any other blogs or infographics, add yourself to our community mailing list.

Mindfulness can be a bit of a doozy to understand, let alone master. When you start linking it with productivity, everything really comes unravelled. Aren’t they meant to be polar opposites? Mindfulness is about paying attention, living in the moment, awakening to experiences and having total awareness of thoughts, feelings, sensations & surrounds. Productivity is about efficiency, improvement, and rate of output. It doesn’t make sense that the two can work hand in hand. Or does it?

If it were only our rational brain that played a role in productivity, we would have no use for mindfulness. What makes us human is our rational brain so it is understandable we place so much emphasis on our power to harness it. The fact is though, evolution has deemed it important that the human brain has two other layers that come under it and that play equally important roles, often getting in the way of the rational brain doing what it does best.Lucid Smart Pill Brain

1) The Neocortex

Known as the neomammalian brain, the neocortex is the rational layer. It strategises, hypothesises, plans, masters language and perception. Creative thinking & innovation is done in the neocortex as well.

2) The Limbic Layer

Also known as the ‘paleomammalian brain’, the limbic layer is the emotional centre and handles feelings, memories and motivations. Emotions such as distress, fear or anger will activate this part of the brain and it will focus on dealing with them first, not leaving much or any capacity for the neocortex.

3) The Reptilian Layer

The most ancient of the three. This part of the brain has two purposes – keeping you alive and procreating (yep, you got it – sex drive!). Activated by adrenaline, the reptilian layer is where the fight or flight instinct is based and any stimulation to this part of the brain will get ALL of your brain’s attention.

The unicorn-valued question

How can mindfulness help harness the brain and more importantly, make your career? Going back to research for a moment, MRI scans after the completion of an 8 week course of mindfulness practice showed that the amygdala (centred in the reptilian brain) started to shrink. At the same time, the neocortex started to get thicker. The rational brain quite literally grew! But even more importantly, their functional connectivity changed.

The connection between the reptilian brain and the rest of the brain got weaker and the connection between the neocortex and the rest of the brain got stronger. The more time the patients spent mastering mindfulness, the more their primal stress responses started to be superseded by thoughtful ones.

The benefit of putting all this attention onto the neocortex is, of course, improved creativity, innovation, strategic thinking & decision making. That in itself should be enough to have the career-minded turning to ‘living in the moment’ but a separate study into cognitive rigidity also demonstrated that those who had mastered mindfulness were able to come up with new and innovative solutions to problems while those who hadn’t stuck to outdated or difficult to apply ones.

Right. You get it. Now what?

As the title of this blog and all the research contained within it suggest, success is linked with mastery. The better you get; the more improvements you should see in your brain & work performance. My next blog on this topic will share some mindful apps you can use to train your brain.  Meanwhile, I kind of adore this Huffington Post toe in the water guide to mindlessness: 6 Steps to turn mindless activities into mindful ones.

In case you couldn’t tell, we at Lucid are passionate about body betterment, neuro-enhancement, productivity & focus. To be kept up to date on any other blogs or infographics, add yourself to our community mailing list.
Amie Weller Colbert

Amie is the CXO of Lucid. With her decade of experience in successfully creating and building brands, Amie is integral to the future reach of the Lucid brand and products.