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Is the workplace bad for your brain?
by Chris Zdeb
Edmonton Journal Translate This Article
27 September 2005
On 27 September 2005 Edmonton Journal reported:
Researchers who have long known that stress can damage the heart are now looking at the effects of stress on the brain. Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management, told the Edmonton Journal that stress makes a person solely focused on the problem at hand and unable to see the bigger picture. He recommends the Transcendental Meditation Programme (TM) as a remedy.
It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring
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'The brain is constantly rewiring itself—every experience rewires the brain, and if you're under constant stress, your brain is rewiring to just deal with surface facts, the immediate experience,' Travis explained to writer Chris Zdeb.
Travis went on to say that more and more people are entering the workplace who are unable to plan ahead or make far-reaching decisions, both functions of the prefrontal cortex.
'Over time, the body's natural feedback mechanisms break down, so even when you're not in a stressful situation, your body's activation remains permanently on and at a higher level,' Travis was quoted as saying. The result: high blood pressure, high anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
To counter these effects, Travis and other researchers, physicians, and businessmen are recommending the practice of the Transcendental Meditation Programme, a simple meditation technique that helps produce a state of 'restful alertness' in the brain.
Travis explained that TM is different from other meditation techniques in that 'it connects you to the deeper, quieter part of yourself'. He noted that while exercise, an avenue many take as a means to release stress, stimulates blood flow to the brain, it only relieves the effects of stress while you're exercising. Unfortunately, the negative effects of stress return once the person gets back to the stress of the office.
On the other hand, according to Travis, the effects of meditation are cumulative in producing a state of restful alertness that can help workers handle stress on a continuous basis.
Travis will be part of a panel of medical researchers and business leaders taking part in the first annual national brain conference for business in New York City this week, which will explore the impact of job stress on the brain. The article noted that Travis, the most published American researcher in the field of meditation and the brain, will present new research showing the effects of meditation on executive brain functioning.
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