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GIVING YOUR BRAIN A REST

With restful sleep, the brain also requires restful downtime. To ensure that the brain has stamina when it is most needed, a person must experience awake rest during the day. Awake rest may include:

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* Sitting quietly.

* Playing a game for five minutes.

* Laughing.

* Listening to music.

* Meditating.

Ten-minute breaks can help refresh and rest the brain while at work, but longer stretches of awake rest are also required during the day. Individuals can try working for 50 minutes at a time, and then taking 10-minute pauses.

Downtime is critical for the adult human brain. With proper downtime, a person’s “up time” can be much more productive.

Exercise can also improve mental stamina and mental performance. The increased intake of oxygen, combined with increased blood flow, means that physical exercise is the single best thing a person can do to keep his or her brain healthy. Mental exercise is also an important part of keeping the brain limber, of course, but being active up to 150 minutes per week can radically improve a person’s mental outlook.

The brain is constantly growing and changing, and people enjoy the feeling of connectedness that arises when they have meaningful, significant interactions with other humans. Humans are social creatures, and the brain therefore works at its optimum level when a person has trusting, connected relationships with others.

Building trust and bonding with colleagues changes neurochemistry for the better, and generally leads to higher quality results on collaborative projects.

People should take the time to communicate emotionally with colleagues and really get to know them. When discussing workplace matters, people should respond to questions and comments with statements that show an active interest in the speaker and his or her contributions. These bonding moments can foster an environment where people feel more confident and connected.

Ego management is crucial for people who are trying to build trusting relationships. Ego plays a big role in how people approach everyday interactions, and keeping an eye on ego ensures that people communicate in a way that builds trust with others. Some people naturally have strong egos, while others have weak egos.

In some situations, being too assertive can undermine efforts to build trust.

The same is true of people who have weak egos. Individuals can take a personal inventory to determine whether the majority of daily interactions are being helped or hampered by their egos. The ego can never really go away, but being aware of the strength of one’s ego can help teams and individuals work at a higher level.

Collaboration has allowed human beings to survive and thrive since the dawn of time. Collaboration influences human neurochemistry in a positive way.

Working in a team causes feelings of joy in the brain. To maximize a team’s potential, team members should get to know the other members of the team and take note of ways they can best contribute based on their skills.

Communication is a key part of building a winning team. A team that works well together will not have to overcome as many neurochemical pitfalls, such as stress or distractions.

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