Interested in the science behind mind and brain acitivities?

– Head of research Rasmus Friis explains

Why do it?

  • Remove disturbing thoughts and help you focus

  • Reduce symptoms of stress

  • Improve information processing

The science

The purpose of mind and brain exercises is to allow you to empty your brain for distracting thoughts and help you focus afterwards. We do this either through guided mindfulness exercises or through brain exercises that challenge the connectivity between the two hemispheres of your brain.

Science shows that performing mindfulness exercises regularly in your everyday life will reduce work-related stress. Moreover, implementation of mindfulness exercises leads to increased life satisfaction, general well-being, and better mood. The positive effects on general well-being have proved decisive for an improved work engagement.

Performing brain exercises activating both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, elevates the stimulation of the brain bridge. When practicing cross-coordination the blood flow increases and thereby the supply of oxygen, nutrients and hormonal signaling molecules to the brain bridge. As a result, the brain bridge thickens, and processing of information moves quicker between the hemispheres.

Take-home message

  • Mindfulness exercises are a useful tool to increase quality of sleep.
  • Cognitive and cross-coordination exercises improve the communication between the two brain hemispheres, resulting in a faster and more effective brain.

Bedtime reading if you are a nerd like us

Janssen, M., Heerkens, Y., Kuijer, W., van der Heijden, B., & Engels, J. (2018). Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on employees’ mental health: A systematic review. PloS one, pp. 1-37.

Nielsen, J. B., & Christiansen, L. (2016). Det Motoriske Systems Neuroanatomi. In L. Christiansen, M. Schram Christensen, S. Sparre Geertsen, A. Herskind, H. Hultborn, J. Lundbye-Jensen, . . . P. Aagaard, Fra tanke til handling – bevægelsens neurobiologi (pp. 64-80). Glumsø: HjerneForum.

Widmaier, E. P., Raff, H., & Strang, K. T. (2014). Neuronal Signaling and the Structure of the Nervous System. In E. P. Widmaier, H. Raff, & K. T. Strang, Vander’s Human Physiology – The Mechanisms of Body Function (pp. 138-190). New York: McGraw Hill.

Widmaier, E. P., Raff, H., & Strang, K. T. (2014). The Endocrine System. In E. P. Widmaier, H. Raff, & K. T. Strang, Vander’s Human Physiology – The Mechanisms of Body Function (pp. 319-361). New York: McGraw Hill.

This post is also available in: Danish