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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


The important thing (to build resilience, manage stress) is to set a definite schedule”

Ques­tion by Iso­bel Mar­tinez:
In the chap­ter about man­ag­ing stress and build­ing resilience, the sharp­brains guide talks about things like aer­o­bic exer­cise, med­i­ta­tion and biofeed­back-based train­ing games. Where should a 46-year-old HR exec­u­tive start? I’m inter­est­ed in myself and also in what to poten­tial­ly bring to the orga­ni­za­tion.

Dr_Andrew_NewbergAnswer by Dr. Andrew New­berg:
Well, cer­tain­ly all three are ways of help­ing the brain. You should prob­a­bly work towards out­lin­ing a pro­gram in which you work towards incor­po­rat­ing all three approach­es. This could include eval­u­at­ing your own sched­ule to deter­mine the best time for you to do each of these. For exam­ple, if you like to exer­cise in the morn­ing, and have the time, then that might be a good start­ing point — doing an exer­cise pro­gram (walk­ing, run­ning, train­ing, etc) for 30 min­utes in the morn­ing at least 3–4 times per week. Med­i­ta­tion is some­thing that can be done at any time. Maybe you have time in the mid­dle of the day or before bed. And med­i­ta­tion prac­tices can be rel­a­tive­ly short (i.e. 5 min­utes) or longer (30–60 min­utes). But I would start with some­thing short and easy to accom­plish so that you feel that you are able to do it. Then you can start adding in the brain exer­cis­es. Again, I think the impor­tant thing is to set a def­i­nite sched­ule so you can be sure to fol­low it and real­ly work towards cre­at­ing a pro­gram that you can fol­low and accom­plish. Then you can slow­ly tweak or increase what you are doing as you move into the pro­gram. You might even try to blend some things — for exam­ple, try a walk­ing med­i­ta­tion for 20 min­utes. For the orga­ni­za­tion, a sim­i­lar approach would make sense, mak­ing sure peo­ple have the time to incor­po­rate some walk­ing dur­ing lunch or brief med­i­ta­tions through­out the day.

> Keep read­ing Q&A tran­script with Dr. New­berg on Med­i­ta­tion, Stress and the Brain

> Send your brain and brain health ques­tions to oth­er rec­og­nized experts

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