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Dr Shanida Nataraja NEUROSCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS AND ITS IMPACT ON WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain:

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Shanida Nataraja NEUROSCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS AND ITS IMPACT ON WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Shanida Nataraja NEUROSCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS AND ITS IMPACT ON WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

2 INTRODUCTION

3 B RAIN IS BIOSUPERCOMPUTER THAT ALLOWS US TO RUN ON AUTO - PILOT The brain: Weighs 1½ lbs Has the consistency of jelly Contains 100 billion brain cells Is highly interconnected It controls behavior so efficiently that we can run on auto-pilot Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

4 S TRUCTURE OF BRAIN IS HIGHLY COMPLEX AND DISTINCT STRUCTURES HAVE SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS

5 H UMANS HAVE A HIGHLY DEVELOPED FOREBRAIN WITH TWO SIDES WITH DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS Humans have two sides to their forebrain, each with a different functions Right brain Abstract Intuitive Holistic Creativity Left brain Rational Analytical Reductionist Language Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

6 A RE YOU RIGHT - BRAINED OR LEFT - BRAINED ? W HICH WAY DOES THE DANCER SPIN ?

7 MINDFULNESS AND HEALTH

8 M INDFULNESS HAS POSITIVE EFFECT ON PHYSICAL HEALTH Improves acceptance, coping strategies and well-being chronic pain 1982 Improved well- being, symptom control in patients with fibromyalgia 1992 Improved skin clearing in psoriasis and symptom relief in IBS 1998 Improved immune function in healthy and HIV patients 2003 Reduces stress, anxiety & depression, and improved symptoms in heart disease 2003 Reduces blood pressure (normotensive, cancer) 2004 Improved glycaemic control in diabetes 2007 Reduced levels of cortisol and stress 2007 Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

9 M INDFULNESS HAS POSITIVE EFFECT ON MENTAL HEALTH Reduces anxiety 1992 Reduced risk of relapse or recurrence in depression 2000 Improved anxiety & depression in bipolar disorder 2008 Improves sleep time and efficiency in chronic insomnia 2008 Weight loss in women with binge eating disorders and/or obesity 1999 Improved decision making & abstinence in substance abuse 2006 Improves well- being, QoL and coping strategies in cancer patients 2008 Reduced anxiety and stress in schizophrenia 2010 Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

10 M INDFULNESS PRACTICE HAS MULTITUDE OF EFFECTS OF COGNITIVE FUNCTION Promotes insightful problem-solving Cultivates positive attitude to perceived stress Facilitates sustained attention Enhances emotional intelligence Increases openness and extroversion Reduces negative emotions and worrying Promotes emotional stability Enhances curiosity and receptiveness to new experiences Decreases tendency to self-reference Cultivates observing attitude Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

11 B RAIN IMAGING RESEARCH

12 O BSERVING MEDITATORS IN LABORATORY REVEALS BRAIN REGIONS INVOLVED IN MEDITATION Newberg and DAquili observed experienced meditators in controlled laboratory conditions Radioactive tracer was released into blood at peak moment of meditation These methods allow visualisation of blood flow in specific brain regions Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

13 M INDFULNESS MEDITATION INVOLVES CHANGES IN FRONTAL AND PARIETAL LOBES Frontal lobe Increased activity in attentional networks Decreased activity in surrounding areas Parietal lobe Decreased activity in orientation area Decreased activity in networks involved in relaying experiences through language Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

14 F OCUSED ATTENTION PROMPTS SHIFT FROM LEFT TO RIGHT BRAIN Left-brain Rational Analytical Logical Right-brain Abstract Holistic Intuitive Meditation elicits shift to different mode of perceiving and thinking Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

15 M INDFULNESS MEDITATION INVOLVES CHANGES IN LIMBIC SYSTEM AND MIDBRAIN STRUCTURES Limbic system Increased activity in amygdala and hippocampus Autonomic nervous system Increased activity in hypothalamus and midbrain Sequential activation of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

16 L ONG - TERM MEDITATION ELICITS DISTINCT CHANGES IN NUMEROUS AREAS OF BRAIN Attention Increased activity in attention networks in frontal cortex Perception Increased/assymetrical activity in thalamus Emotional regulation Increased activity in limbic system Autonomic function Increased activity in midbrain Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

17 M INDFULNESS HAS FOUR KEY EFFECTS ON BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR Subjective Focused attention for extended periods of time Distractions disturb focus less frequently (executive attention) Objective Increased activity in and cortical thickness of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) Subjective Enhanced awareness of bodily states and subtle bodily sensations Objective Increased activity in insula (interoreceptive awareness) Increased cortical thickness and grey matter density of insula Subjective Less prone to emotional or behavioural outbursts Objective Increased activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC) Greater control of PFC over amygdala Subjective Improved and expanded sense of identity (self) Objective Decrease activity in default mode network (DMN; self-referential processing), including mPFC and posterior cingulate gyrus Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

18 E LECTRICAL BRAIN WAVE RESEARCH

19 R ECORDINGS IDENTIFY FOUR MAJOR TYPES OF BRAIN WAVES Delta Unconscious Theta Creative subconscious Painting Writing Composing Alpha Relaxed alertness Relaxing Playing sport Listening to music Beta Active thought Strategising Problem-solving Communicating Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

20 Theta Creative subconscious M EDITATION IS ASSOCIATED WITH DISTINCT BRAIN WAVE PATTERN Alpha Relaxed alertness Delta Unconscious Beta Active thought Theta Creative subconscious Alpha Relaxed alertness Beta Active thought Decrease in activityIncrease in activity Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

21 D IFFERENT LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS LINKED WITH DIFFERENT BRAIN WAVE PATTERNS Panic states Hypnogogic/ hypnopompic Deep sleep High beta High alpha High delta Dreaming sleep High theta MeditativeHigh alpha/theta Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

22 Theta Creative subconscious Alpha Relaxed alertness Delta Unconscious Beta Active thought Theta Creative subconscious Alpha Relaxed alertness Beta Active thought Decrease in activityIncrease in activity A WAKENED OR HIGH - PERFORMANCE STATE ASSOCIATED WITH DISTINCT BRAIN WAVE CHANGES Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

23 HIGH PERFORMANCE MIND ASSOCIATED WITH DISTINCT BRAIN WAVE CHANGES Observed in healers, spiritual masters and meditators (permanent state) Observed in artists, composers, dancers, inventors, mathematicians, scientists (transient insight) Associated with high performance and creativity Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation

24 A NY QUESTIONS ?

25 Dr Shanida Nataraja NEUROSCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS AND ITS IMPACT ON WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE


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