Did You Know?The brain gets about 8 gallons of blood every hour. And, it needs 8 to 12 glasses of water per day to maintain proper electrolytic balance. The human brain also uses about 20% of the body’s oxygen.Did You Know?A human brain consists of 78% water, 10% fat, and 8% protein.Did You Know?Current research suggests that a child’s limbic area develops 100% capacity by 12-13 years of age. The brain’s frontal lobes (prefrontal cortex) reach its full development between 22-24 years of age.Did You Know?If laid out on a table, its folds, or wrinkles in the cortex, its size would equal a single page of a standard newspaper—yet it is the size of a grapefruit.If possible, consultants might use a visual representation of the brain. A small grapefruit is good for this purpose, or simply put your two fists together with thumbs, representing the inner brain, tucked inside the fingers. Broad generalizations are often made in popular psychology about certain functions (logic, creativity) being lateralized, that is, located in the right or left side of the brain. These ideas need to be treated carefully because lateralizations are often distributed across the brain. While brain research confirms that both sides of the brain are involved in nearly every human activity, we do know that the left side of the brain is the seat of language and processes in a logical and sequential order. The right side is more visual and processes intuitively, integratively, and randomly. But no one is “left-brained or right-brained.” So, in general the left and right hemispheres of the brain process information in different ways. The left side tends to process INDUCTIVELY (from the specific to the general, from part to whole), whereas the right side processes DEDUCTIVELY (from the general to the specific, from the big picture to details). Individuals tend to process information using a dominant side. However, it is important to realize that learning is enhanced when all of our senses are used. It should be remembered that the brain is an integrative organ, that too great an emphasis on hemispheric distinctions will blur the true nature of neural activity in the brain. Each hemisphere, through the cerebral cortex, communicates with the other through the corpus callosum, a bundle of 250 million nerve fibers. (Another smaller fiber bundle that connects the two hemispheres is called the anterior commissure). It is the left hemisphere that receives and sends information to the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere that deals with the left side of the body. So, although there are two hemispheres, they constantly communicate with and complement each other!What is not shown are the major lobes and cerebellum of the brain. Brain lobes were originally a purely anatomical classification, but now we know they are related to different brain functions. There are four major lobes. The frontal lobe is involved in conscious thought and associated with reasoning, motor skills, higher lever cognition, and expressive language. At the back of the frontal lobe, near the central sulcus, lies the motor cortex. This area of the brain receives information from various lobes of the brain and uses the information to carry out body movements. The parietal lobe plays important roles in integrating sensory information from various senses, and in the manipulation of objects. Portions of the parietal lobe are involved with visual-spatial processing. A portion of the brain known as the somatosensory cortex is located in this lobe and is essential to the processing of the body’s senses. The occipital lobe deals specifically with the sense of sight and is associated with interpreting visual stimuli and information. The temporal lobe regulates the senses of smell and sound, as well as processes complex stimuli like faces and scenes. The hippocampus is also located in the temporal lobe, which is why this portion of the brain is also heavily associated with the formation of memories.The human brain is a very complex organ. Neurologists and neurophysiologists have made incredible strides in the last few decades, offering explanations about function, chemical and electrical relationships of the lobes and cortices of the brain, and many other things—including the effects of mindful attention on brain function and growth in light of neuroplasticity. Did You Know?A stegosaurus weighed approximately 6,000 pounds—about as much as two Honda Accords, but it had a brain that weighed only approximately 2.47 ounces. So, its brain was only 0.004% of its total body weight. In contrast, an adult human weighs on average approximately 175 pounds and has a brain that weighs approximately 3 pounds. Therefore, the human brain is about 2% of the total body weight. This makes the brain to body ratio of the human 500 times greater than that of the stegosaurus. Although we are focusing today on the limbic system and Prefrontal Cortex, or PFC (see Slide 35), some major parts of the brain should be briefly mentioned at this point in the workshop to emphasize the importance of neuroscience to MindUP™. Consultants should review the MindUP™ Illustrated Neuroscience Glossary. With respect to the Limbic system, Daniel Goleman and Tara Bennett-Goleman (Emotional Alchemy, 2001) suggest that mindful work (borrowing this term from physicists who define work as “amount of energy transferred by a force acting through a distance” works because of the relationship between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. Simply put, the amygdala is the part of the brain that decides if we should get angry or anxious (among other things), and the prefrontal cortex is the part that makes us stop and think about things (it is also known as the inhibitory centre). The prefrontal cortex is very good at analyzing and planning, but it takes a long time to make decisions. Conversely, the amygdala is simpler (and older in evolutionary terms). It makes rapid judgments about a situation and has a powerful effect on our emotions and behavior because it is linked to survival needs. For example, if a human sees a lion ready to pounce, the amygdala will trigger a fight or flight response long before the prefrontal cortex responds. Odours intensified the transfer of information to the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming longer-term memories. Specifically, rosemary and lavender enhanced memory, jasmine increased problem solving capacity,peppermint enhanced focused attention and physical performance, and cinnamon allowed for greater focused attention. But in making snap judgments, the amygdala is prone to error, such as seeing danger where there is none. This is particularly true in contemporary society where social conflicts are far more common than encounters with predators and basically harmless; but as emotionally charged situations they can trigger uncontrollable fear or anger that leads to conflict, anxiety, and stress. Because there is roughly a quarter of a second gap between the time an event occurs and the time it takes the amygdala to react, a skilled meditator may be able to intervene before a fight, freeze, or flight response takes over, and perhaps even redirect it into more constructive or positive feelings. Think of mindful attention as the opposite of ADD (attention deficit disorder). A wider, more flexible attention span makes it easier to be aware of a situation, easier to be objective in emotionally or morally difficult situations, and easier to achieve a state of responsive, creative awareness or "flow". The critical question becomes what mechanisms in the brain might explain why changing one's mental focus can have such large effects on mood and metabolism. Mindful attention has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate and respiration; to reduce anxiety, anger, hostility and mild-to-moderate depression; to help alleviate insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes and infertility; and to relieve some types of pain, most notably tension headaches. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, is a significant first step in understanding what goes on in the brain during mindful attention activities. The study was led by Richard Davidson, director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The underlying theory—one of many theories of depression—is that, in people who are stressed, anxious or depressed, the right frontal cortex of the brain is overactive and the left frontal cortex underactive. Such people sometimes show a heightened activation of the amygdala, a key center in the brain for processing fear. By contrast, people who are habitually calm and happy typically show greater activity in the left frontal cortex relative to the right, according to the theory. These lucky folks pump out less of the stress hormone cortisol, recover faster from negative events and have higher levels of certain immune cells. Each person has a natural “set point,” a baseline frontal cortex activity level that is characteristically tipped left or right, and around which daily fluctuations of mood swirl. What mindful breathing and attention may do is nudge this balance in a direction more favorable to the individual. Although an integrated, complex “system,” the brain has specific areas of functionality. The cerebrum, or cortex, is the largest part of the human brain, associated with higher brain function such as thought and action. Nerve cells make up the gray surface of the cerebrum that is a little thicker than a thumb. White nerve fibers underneath carry signals between the nerve cells and other parts of the brain and body. The neocortex plays a role in many brain activities. It is a six-layered structure of the cerebral cortex that is only found in mammals. It is thought that the neocortex is a recently evolved structure, and is associated with “higher” information processing by more fully evolved animals. MindUP™ focuses especially on the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. This emphasis is not fortuitous: until adulthood, the capacity of the frontal lobe to control the excesses of emotion stemming from the limbic area is not fully operational. Thus because the rational system matures slowly in children and adolescents, they are more likely to engage in risky behavior, submit to their emotions, and undergo swift personality shifts. However, although the limbic area is associated with emotion, its components continually interact with many other areas of the brain. For example, the hippocampus plays a significant role in consolidating learning and converting information from working memory to long-term memory. Interestingly, the hippocampus is active in recall of objects, places, and facts, but not personal memories. The amygdala is crucial because of its role in emotions, especially fear: it regulates an individual’s interactions with the environment and determines flight, fight, or freeze. When active, information does not “flow” to the prefrontal cortex and thus forestalls the active use of reason and problem solving. The amygdala also affects survival with regards to eating and reproducing the species. Interestingly, its location near the hippocampus and activity revealed in PET scans suggests to researchers that the amygdala plays an important role in encoding memories with emotional resonances. Thus, memories are laced with positive and negative emotions.
WHAT IS HUMILITY?• Humility is being humble…• But what does being humble really mean??
HAVE YOU HEARD OF HUMBLE PIE?• When you eat a slice of ‘humble pie’…• … it means admitting you were wrong when you thought you were right!!• …it means making a mistake and realizing you were wrong
HUMILITY IS….• Humility is…• Admitting mistakes and learning from them.• Seeing mistakes as tools for growth.
HUMILITY IS….• Humility is thinking of the needs of others before your own… and being happy about it.
WHY PRACTICE HUMILITY? • Without humility, people act as if what they have to say and what they think… is much more important than what anyone else is saying or doing.
WHY PRACTICE HUMILITY? • Without humility, people become so focused on themselves and their accomplishments… and forget the needs of others.
WHY PRACTICE HUMILITY? • With humility, instead of comparing ourselves to others, we are grateful for what we can do.
WHY PRACTICE HUMILITY? • With humility…we treat others as equals, different yet equal… whomever they are.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE HUMILITY?• STOP worrying about impressing others.• Be yourself and be your best.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE HUMILITY?• Stop worrying about your failures and mistakes and instead learn from them.
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE HUMILITY?• Admit mistakes and do what you need to do to repair them.• Use tools like…1) ‘I’m sorry’2) being empathetic3) showing care and concern
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE HUMILITY?• When you do something wonderful or great… be thankful, not boastful.
THE VIRTUE OF HUMILITY AND HOW IT RELATES TO MIND UP…• Humility is about having enough self control to think of others before yourself…• Mind Up is all about…being provided with some tools to better use your brain &mind!
MIND UP AT CHARTWELL…Mind Up is designed to help young people…• …sharpen their focus and attention,• …heighten their awareness of their environment and themselves by paying attention to what they sense and feel…
WHAT TYPE OF TOOLS WILL MIND UP PROVIDE FOR YOU?? Learning how the brain works…Prefrontal Cortex (executive function, planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision-making and moderatingcorrect social behavior) Hippocampus Amygdala (compares new learning (encodes emotional to past learning andmessages for long-term encodes information storage in the brain) from working memory to long-term storage)
WHAT TYPE OF TOOLS WILL MIND UP PROVIDE FOR YOU…??• Learning how to become ‘self aware’ through breath…• Using Core Practice
HOW MIND UP CAN HELP…• Helps kids learn how the brain works…• Helps kids learn how to become ‘self aware’• Uses that self-awareness to be more in touch with our thoughts and emotions and to better regulate our behaviors
OUR MIND UP PLAN @ CHARTWELL…• November and December...will be devoted to reviewing: • Lesson 1: The Parts of the Brain • Lesson 2: Mindful Awareness • Lesson 3: Core Practice
OUR MIND UP PLAN @ CHARTWELL…• January to March...will be devoted to reviewing: • Lessons 4-9 • Mindful Smelling and Tasting • Mindful Moving