I’m back at ITV Studios this month delivering Mindfulness for Business and Stress Resilience. Leadership development is our primary area of expertise, however through my work thousands of leaders across the UK and Europe I have come to understand that ’Self Leadership’ must come first.
The practice of developing strategic and healthy behaviours is top on the agenda in all leadership programs we run. The benefits of some kind of stress resilience practice, and an understanding of what is going on neurologically is key to irradiating self sabotaging behaviours. What might seem like fluffier concepts, we find are often the things directly impacting business results and bottom line.
In my prep for an up coming gig I found some interesting information about behaviour…
A study published in PLOS ONE, showed that grey matter in specific regions of the Prefrontal cortex of the brain (the part of the brain that deals with conscious thought processes, strategy, judgement, decision making, attention span etc) reduces in cases of longer periods of addiction, becoming less effective and able. (It’s worth considering modern day ‘addiction’ i.e unhelpful behaviours that have become unconscious habits). More interestingly, during a period of recovery from alcohol, cocaine or heroin the grey matter in subjects abstinent for a sustained period of time did not only return to normal base levels, the matter became even greater in its density
The research suggests that people previously suffering a loss of self control had, through sustained and seasoned cognitive effort had developed entirely new novel strategies beyond what was previously possible for them and pre intoxication.
In today’s society addiction can take many forms, including excess social media, sex, sugar, caffeine and so on. Each of these having varying degrees of impact on brain functionality, capacity and effectiveness.
On the flip side, a sustained Mindfulness practice and something more nourishing can build our ability to deal with daily challenges and thrive to high levels of performance. For example: yoga, running, gym, classes, adequate water consumption, meditation, journaling, reading, time with family and friends, good sleep pattern, healthy diet,and regular gratitude all come highly recommended.
My conclusion on this topic is that habits are formed through repetition; do something bad for long enough and you expect relative outcomes. your brain is forming in accordance to the behaviours you do over time. Do some thing kind and nourishing and you will reap the benefits of ‘mindful living’ some of which are listed below:
- Greater clarity, productivity & efficiency
- Self compassion
- Better relationships
- Calm body and mind
- Enhanced communication
- Empowered choice
- Better Sleep
- Improve how we related to others
- Released creativity