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Quick and Easy Ways to Quiet Your Mind(Repost)

Viewed 3490 times 2012-12-27 11:30 |System category:Life

Neuroscience tells us that, to be more productive and creative, we need to give our brains a break. It's the quiet mind that produces the best insights. But it's a challenge to take that sort of time off in the midst of a busy day. Here are three specific, quick and easy ways to build purposeful break time into your day.

Quick meditation
New research from the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging suggests that people who meditate show more gray matter in certain regions of the brain, show stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy. In other words, meditation might make your brain bigger, faster and "younger". As lead researcher Eileen Luders explains, "it appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain."
Tip: If you commute via public transportation (or even if you're a passenger in a car pool) use the time to close your eyes for 10 minutes. If you drive, leave a little early, park and spend 10 minutes in the car before you walk into work. Choose a very specific image, such as a waterfall, beach or tree, and try to focus on it alone. If other thoughts get in the way, gently push them aside. Do this once or twice per day. The goal is to let your mind achieve a sense of relaxed awareness.

Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, renown for his research and theories on expertise, points out that top performers in fields ranging from music to science to sports tend to work in approximately 90-minute cycles and then take a break. We are designed to pulse, to move between spending and renewing energy. Pulsing is the simplest, easiest, most immediate way to build breaks into your day.
Tip: Download a "break-reminder" utility, such as Scirocco or Healthy Hints, and set it to ping you every 90 minutes. Focus hard on a particular task until that cue. And then take a walk, talk to a colleague, doodle or listen to music. Do anything that renews you and gives you a "second wind," even if you think you don't need it. You do. Five minutes later, get back to work.

Daydream walks
Most people have heard the story about how 3M's Arthur Fry came up with the idea for the Post-it note: he was daydreaming in church. Jonathan Schooler, a researcher at UC Santa Barbara, has repeatedly shown that people like Fry who daydream and let their minds wander score higher on creativity tests. What separates this from meditation is that, instead of emptying your mind, you're letting it fill up with random thoughts. The trick is to remain aware enough to recognize a sudden insight when it comes.
Tip: Start by taking 20 minutes, two days a week during your lunch break to take a stroll and daydream. Think about anything you want besides work — a beach vacation, building your dream house, playing shortstop for the Yankees, whatever. Ramp it up to three or four days a week. The next time someone catches you daydreaming on the job and asks you why you're not working, tell them that in fact you're tapping into your creative brain.



马修·梅(Matthew E. May | 2012年12月24号上午8:00



洛杉矶加州大学精神成像实验室的最新研究结果表明,经常冥想可令大脑特定的区域显示更多灰质,在大脑区域之间建立更强的联系,减少随年龄增长患有脑萎缩的风险。换而言之,冥想不但可使您的大脑更发达、反应更迅速,还能“更年轻”。正如首席研究员艾琳·吕德斯(Eileen Luders)所述:“这项高强度思维训练可能会改变大脑的物理结构。”



心理学家安德斯·埃里克森( K. Anders Ericsson)因其在专业知识领域的研究和理论而闻名于世,他指出无论音乐、科学或体育界,每个领域的佼佼者都倾向于工作90分钟左右后稍事休息,依次循环。间隔休息的目的在于耗能后可马上恢复能量。在工作期间,间隔休息是最简单、方便、直接的方法。

提示:下载一个“休息提醒”程序,例如SciroccoHealthy Hint,设置成每90分钟提醒一次。提示响起之前全神贯注工作,休息时自处走动一下、与同事聊聊天、随便涂鸦或听听音乐。即使不疲倦,也要放松,可令您再次“精神焕发”。五分钟后继续工作。


很多人都知道3M公司的亚瑟·佛莱(Arthur Fry)提出的便利贴创意,即在教堂里做“白日梦”。加州大学圣塔芭芭拉分校的乔纳森·斯库勒(Jonathan Schooler)不断证明像弗莱一样喜欢幻想、畅游脑海的人在创造力测试中得分较高。区别于要清空脑海的冥想,漫步幻想需要您徜徉在想象中。技巧是保持一定清醒,出现奇思妙想时可立即捕捉。



(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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