Shifting from Mind Full to Mindful Decision-Making Mode
In the last few blog posts I have been sharing with you how your brain determines the difficulty of a task and how emotional hijacking impacts the decision-making process in all of us. Let me know share some information on how to move out of “Mind Full” mode and shift into a better and more desirable mindful decision-making method.
Neuroscience research is now revealing that mindfulness practices and meditation can train the brain to be less reactive to emotional swings. These techniques can also help prevent the wrong modules from hijacking control of our brains and decisions.
In his book Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, Daniel Goleman describes a study conducted with Buddhist monks:
The meditators’ brains were scanned while they saw disturbing images of people suffering, like burn victims. The seasoned practitioners’ brains revealed a lowered level of reactivity in the amygdala; they were more immune to emotional hijacking. The reason: their brains had stronger operative connectivity between the prefrontal cortex, which manages reactivity, and the amygdala, which triggers such reactions. As neuroscientists know, the stronger this particular link in the brain, the less a person will be hijacked by emotional downs and ups of all sorts.
When you are better able to cope and control your feelings, rather than just reacting instinctively to them, the greater will be your ability to remain calm and reject emotional hijacking. And, of course, the less you are hijacked by emotional swings, the better decisions you will make. This is why the first decision to make is the decision to pause and become determined to respond, rather than react.
The importance of maintaining control over the interactions between emotions and the brain has long been a secret of success for those in high-pressure careers, from ancient Samurai warriors to astronauts and Navy SEALs. We are now at a time when this knowledge can be applied to decision making for all levels of leaders, in all types of organizations.
We can help you bring this knowledge and these skills into your organization. Our one-day workshop Making Better Decisions: Shifting from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership Skills provides best-practice skills on how to prevent emotional hijacking of the decision-making process, as well as tips and techniques for building and sustaining short-term and long-term brain health for you and your colleagues. Contact me now at 760-835-7870 to discuss how best to bring this program into your organization.
This article is partially excerpted from my recent book Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes: How to go from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.