|Learning New Ways to Think to Deal with Stress|
|By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ|
The technology today related to how our brain works has made significant gains in the areas of determining how to maximize your mental capacity or brain power. What that means is that regardless of your childhood growth, there are still reasonable and simple means to allow more learning capabilities if you learn how to think in a different manner, changing your lifestyle and using what you already have stored inside your brain to become better at what you do.
Correctional agencies, private, local, state or federal, should revisit their training programs and see if they are investing their efforts into the right areas of their business and employee development plans. Cast aside any myths you might have heard before and consider this as a possibility to improve your thinking. This includes the myth that after your so-called ‘critical window of childhood” learning periods, there are still ways to change the brain’s way to make it more functional and effective. This is a real-time phenomenon described as neuroplasticity.
Focusing on the plasticity of the brain and learning more about mindfulness and relative functions, you can increase your existing capacity by simple meditation techniques, such as yoga or other wellness exercises concentrating on breathing controls that help build denser gray matter in parts of the brain associated with your individual learning as well as your memory, controlling emotions and compassion.
Meditation can increase focus and create a mindful awareness that fosters a better environment both personal and professional and at the same time provides them with better self-development and higher performance. It refers to self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration.
Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Correctional employees should make time in their daily schedule to include this practice. It can be done anywhere and all it takes is mindfulness that it is important and a priority to remain healthy and smart.
Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way—involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training which should be supplemented with training your body to remain in shape and good health.
Most such programs have harvested enthusiastic support from employees, who often see a marked improvement in their mind-sets and job performance. Working your mind and learning how to use your existing brain through the meditation process, can add value to your life in areas that are directly related to stress and productivity in your life, your job or your daily challenges in the workplace or competition in sports. Isn’t it time we change our perception of stress and do something about it? Most people agree, it’s time to make a change in the way we treat our employees and give them better tools.
Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."
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