Public access to the field of neuroscience has benefited from a number of writers who bring the complexities of the discipline into more common and accessible language. Three such books: How We Decide - Jonah Lehrer, Dr. Dan Siegel’s - Mindsight and The Mind and the Brain by Scwartz and Begley provide strong and useful ways into recent developments in the field.
One particular dimension of the field is the conversation about neuroplasticity, which in simple terms is the brains adaptation and continued process of change. In the adjacent work being done by neuroscientists who focus on strategies for gaining improvements Mindfulness is frequently recommended.
Sara Lazar’s article , The Neurobiology of Mindfulness – Reshaping Your Brain, shows some of the ways that research supports the practice of mindfulness as a healthy addition to one’s life.
My simple version of this is to stop at key points and ask myself, “What is the one thing that I want to focus on in the next period (hour, day, week or?) I make my description of that one thing as rich and as detailed as possible. Then I ask myself what I will do when the one thing is done. Maybe have another cup of coffee. Head out for dinner. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Specificity when imagining the task, the outcome and the shift I will make after completion all help lessen distractions and supports effective results and more efficient use of time.
In the same way that sports psychologists have enhanced all of our understanding of performance (c.f. Tony Schwartz), Neuroscientists are bringing new and better tools for us to manage the complexity of our days with more focus, less stress and greater insight.
Are these books Summer beach reading? Maybe not.
Are they to be included in your short list of practices that will enhance your life. Definitely.