I recently interviewed Dr Stan Rodski for our podcast ‘The Health Sessions‘, he had just written a book called the Neuroscience of Mindfulness and I was intrigued to understand how neuroscience can help address workplace burnout. It seems that most of us are burning the candles at both ends and when asked how we are, we’re quick to reply with a single word… BUSY. Ring any bells?
He used the simple analogy of a recently shaken snow globe as the default state of our brains and explained how we REALLY need to let the snow settle a few times each day in order to prevent cognitive decline further down the track. I asked how we could settle the snow as most of our days are filled with workplace tasks, social media distractions and family commitments with very little downtime. He smiled and said two words, micro-breaks.
A micro-break is (according to Dr Rodski) a very quick and scientifically proven technique that allows the brain to settle for a moment. This moment gives the thumbs-up for the body to enable a cascade of biological processes that will help to keep the brain healthy and young (more on amyloid plaque formation later). It takes no longer than a minute and should be performed 2-3 times each day.
- Exhale COMPLETELY through the mouth (there should be nothing left!)
- Inhale through the nose filling the chest cavity entirely
- Hold for 5 seconds
- Repeat for 3 rounds
It’s that simple and literally takes a minute to perform, give it a go and see how you feel. Set a reminder on your smart phone and make micro-breaks a quick and simple part of your health toolkit. The full conversation with Dr Rodski will be available on our podcast soon.