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Ingrid Ashwin asks a psychiatrist, an academic, a medical doctor, business consultant, coach and a neuroscientist how we can maximise our brain power to perform to our best potential.
Dr Tara Swart says, “In a knowledge economy people are paid to use their brains to face constant change, so learning and adaptability have become synonymous with success.” It is her mission to spread simple, pragmatic neuro-science based messages that change the way people work and to make the world of work a happier place.
Most of our New Year’s resolutions are typically about our physical, social and financial wellbeing. These were identified as the most common personal New Year’s resolutions in 2015?
Similarly, we return to work with bold and altruistic ambitions that typically focus on ways to increase sales, reduce costs, improve productivity, grow our customer base and build shareholder value.
What then about our mental and emotional wellbeing? What we do know, is that we pay attention to our bodies, friends and family, career, financial and business performance. However do we fail to consciously take care of our brain power? To establish if we are paying enough attention to maximise our brain power, I sought the advice of a Neuroscientist, a psychiatrist, an Academic and a Medical Doctor.
This is what she said.
As a psychiatrist and business coach, I believe that helping others, having positive rewarding relationships and enjoying life certainly contribute to our sense of meaning and purpose.
And then as a neuroscientist I have shown how learning something new will help you grow new neurons from embryonic nerve cells and is most likely in the case of a new skill which requires cognitive stimulation like a new language or playing a musical instrument, in particular something you don’t have a natural talent for. Getting organised and getting out of debt is about reducing your stress levels. Whether this is financial or social as in loneliness.”
Q: IA “What then is the missing link to develop your brain power?”
A: TS. “It boils down to consciously changing your mindsets and applying focus and attention coupled with deliberate practice to get your brain to look at the way you do things differently. It is only by changing your mindset that you can affect real change to achieve your desired behavioural change and ultimately fulfil your New Years’ Resolutions.
I use applied neuroscience to work with top teams to explore responses for stress and how to stimulate behaviour change to keep the brain agile and resilient in stressful situations. Whether I apply my knowledge of neuroscience, psychiatry or business performance it always boils down to meaning and purpose.”
DR TARA SWART’S LIST OF TOP 10 PRACTISES TO MAXIMISE YOUR BRAIN POWER AND THE BRAIN POWER OF THE PEOPLE IN YOUR ORGANISATION IN 2015.
10.Practice makes perfect. With each time you practice a new behaviour new links between neurons and new pathways grow stronger.
And finally advice to manage your stress in a world of cyber clutter.
On the 18th March 2015, Dr Tara Swart, a medical doctor, neuroscientist, psychiatrist, MIT Faculty member and global consultant to C Suite Executives, will present her latest findings in respect of Neuroscience for Leadership at The Progress Conference at The Forum, Campus Bryanston.