Well that was an eye opener. It has taken me a while to report on this but I completed my Healthy Mind Platter table for the week and was shocked to see quite a few gaps. The most surprising was Play Time. Except that I went paddling on the Sunday, I didn’t have any!! I’d be very interested to find out how others build in play time – especially during the working week. I definitely need help with this.
I discovered, and so did a few others that it is possible to get more than one benefit out of the same activity, even at the same time.
I now have the healthy mind platter above my computer to remind myself about aiming for each of the elements daily.
The other interesting thing I learnt at the conference was that when we are presented with some sort of stimulus we have an emotional response (through the amygdala in the brain) within 40 milliseconds but don’t form a thought about the stimulus for at least 80 milliseconds. That really underpins the need for mindfulness so that we catch ourselves before going into automatic reponses driven by our emotions and past experiences.
I also learnt that the Amygdala is the only part of the brain that doesn’t need practice to embed something. If the experience is strong enough, we create a lasting (often life long) reaction that will always be with us. This finding has changed the way pschologists are dealing with post traumatic stress as people are now taught to work to change their behaviour/thoughts when they have the old reaction they will always have. In other words, they expect their emotional reaction but learn to manage their behaviour following the reaction. This is instead of the work to desensitise people to the stimulus.
I’ll bring you a few more conference learnings in the next blog.