Mental Exercise

Center for Investigating Healthy Minds
Oct. 04, 2013 - Nancy

I was invited to a “Share the Vision Breakfast” yesterday where Dr. Richard Davidson (famous neuroscientist) discussed the research being conducted at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. Dr. Davidson created the center as a place to carry out his life mission of finding ways to help relieve human suffering and increase happiness. Big mission…right?! I learned about some of their latest research, which incorporates the use of iPads and computer games for adolescents to recognize emotion. They are also working with local grade schools to implement and study the impact of a kindness and compassion curriculum.

Dr. Davidson is also, of course, continuing to study the impact of meditation in various venues. Implementing meditation practices to increase employee wellbeing, alleviate symptoms of specific health conditions, and reduce the stress experienced by military veterans are a few examples. His message was “well being can be learned”; “we can train our mind to cultivate wellbeing”. He predicts that people will be exercising mentally just as they are exercising physically now – “mental exercise is important in the promotion of wellbeing”.

The cool thing is Dr. Davidson’s work keeps coming up in my life. When I started my master’s program, the first research I cited that really resonated with me was the work of Dr. Davidson. The concept that after mindfulness training a person could feel more engaged in their work, energized and less anxious was and still is very powerful. Then I heard him speak at the National Wellness Conference where he shared his research related to meditation and neuroplasticity. Finally, I attended a breakfast where Dr. Davidson is sharing his vision. During this meeting, I heard a faculty member from the University of Wisconsin, Madison School of Nursing say she will be teaching nursing students mindfulness…wow, full circle for me. This certainly wasn’t part of my nursing curriculum!

What does all of this mean to me as a coach? It means we truly can change our mindset, which is what creates lasting changes. Wellbeing is a learned behavior and you may not be aware of the current patterns that are holding you back – at work or at home. You may feel stuck. As a coach, I can help you uncover these patterns in order to move forward with an inspiring and achievable vision.