Studies have proven, that contrary to popular belief, neither female nor male brains can perform complex multitasking. Instead, the brain switches its focus from one activity to another, involving around 0.2 seconds between the activities where it is focusing on neither.
During this transition phase, the brain releases a small amount of dopamine, which is part of the reward system of the brain. This can often be the reason we find starting new tasks, new projects, or distracting procrastinations so much more appealing than focusing on a single task to completion.
The thing is, this dopamine hit, whilst mildly pleasurable (even if only through a sort of neurochemical addiction), can also enforce distractions from our longer-term goals, reduce our ability to regulate thoughts healthily, and hinder our ability to stay attuned to the present moment (to live mindfully – repeatedly associated with increased long-term happiness).
Fortunately for us, we can intervene to help our minds think more happily AND effectively!
Practising exercises like mindfulness meditation and more formal meditation practices can increase our ability to focus and execute tasks efficiently, and even increase our productivity and creativity.*
There are dozens more practical exercises in my guidebook to happier thoughts – 100 Steps Happier, or we can work together directly for a couple of weeks to get a personalised plan. Coaching starts at $15/week (around £11) and you can get a free week with code: HAPPINESSWEEK.
Here my latest video: Before You Get Any Older…
With love and gratitude,
*Mindfulness-based stress reduction for older adults: effects on executive function, frontal alpha asymmetry and immune function. Moynihan JA1, Chapman BP, Klorman R, Krasner MS, Duberstein PR, Brown KW, Talbot NL. 2013;68(1):34-43. DOI: 10.1159/000350949. Epub 2013 Jun 15
Initial results from a study of the effects of meditation on multitasking performance. David M. Levy － University of Washington, DOI: 10.1145/1979742.1979862
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