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A Bird’s Eye View: Using Meta-Awareness to Observe Your Attention

By November 18, 2021 No Comments

Today, Commander Divine talks to Dr. Amishi Jha about her work as a neuroscientist, her studies on mindfulness training, and her recent book Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day.

Dr. Amishi Jha (@amishijha) is a professor of psychology at the University of Miami. She serves as the Director of Contemplative Neuroscience for the Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative, which she co-founded in 2010. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California–Davis and postdoctoral training at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University. Dr. Jha’s work has been featured at NATO, the World Economic Forum, and The Pentagon. She has received coverage in The New York Times, NPR, TIME, Forbes and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Neuroplasticity, the ability for our brains to change and grow new neurons, is possible at any age. When our minds are functioning at their peak, we have full control of three types of attention that Dr. Amishi describes. 
  • Taking a bird’s eye view allows us to observe where our attention is. Focus is going to wander, but through practice we are able to bring the “flashlight” back to where we want it. 
  • Multi-tasking is a myth. Our brains are able to switch quickly between tasks, but that depletes energy. Sometimes it is a necessary part of life, but mono-tasking is much more efficient, and should be the goal whenever possible. 
  • Mindfulness training is transformative. Changes in brain activity are visible in functional MRis, but it’s important to remember that just as changes in the body take time, changes in the brain take time. In Dr. Amishi Jah’s studies, she saw results beginning after four weeks of training.

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