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Marni welcomes Neuroscience Researcher and Creator of Neuroscience 101, Mark Waldman. Mark is the author of fourteen books including the national bestseller, How God Changes Your Brain, a book that was chosen by Oprah as a must-read. His work has been published in neuroscience and psychology journals, in Time and Forbes, and he is featured in many Youtube videos and a TEDx talk.

 

Key takeaways from this episode: 

 

  • Why women make better leaders
  • An 10-second exercise to be calm instantly
  • How to control your runaway thoughts
  • How to prep your mind for a first date
  • A likely cause depression

 

Neurowisdom is the New Science of Brain Science [2:35]

 Mark coined the term ‘neurowisdom’ for the time when we think we are being knowledgeable. Our brains have a thinking network, a salience network, and an imagination network. The salience network is stronger in women than in men. Empathy, intuition, compassion, and self-love traits can all be attributed to the salience network. When you stimulate the salience part of your brain you balance out your creative imagination and your ability to make wise decisions. 

 

Men, on the other hand, have a larger amygdala, which is the threat center of the brain. Research suggests that this explains why men are more aggressive in general. The thinking brain is our conscious planning mind where we carry out tasks. Mark believes that women make better leaders, therapists, and parents because of their more developed salience network. If you have a female brain your social brain is more developed.

 

Research shows that all mammals can be born with a male or female body but the brain develops autonomously with different hormones. It explains a lot of the conflict around gender identity. 

 

How to Create Connection & Intimacy by Optimizing Your Brain [12:08]

 Are you aware of the term ‘hot-headed’? Mark says that yawning is a thermal regulatory mechanism for the brain.  When you yawn more cerebral blood flow circulates in your imagination center. Yawning slows down all the chatter in the thinking part of the thinking brain. 

 

While we can’t live full-time in the empathetic part of the brain, diving into a meditative state or any form of relaxed meditative practice stimulates your salience network. Any time you take a few seconds to sit back and observe all of your rambling thoughts and feelings inside, you are creating a balance between the three networks and your motivational network.

 

Mindfulness practices can make substantial structural changes within the brain. But to function better right now in the moment, brief forms of meditation have an immediate effect. To become aware in an instant, download the mindfulness clock and take 10-60 seconds at a time to do a mindful yawn. This can be done at work or right before a date.  

 

80% of the time you can take someone who has intense pain and bring their pain down to zero or one with yawning in 20 minutes.

 

Creating a Mindful State Before a Date [35:56]

An important way to stay calm is to pay attention to your intuition and take your fingers and stroke the palm and fingers of your opposite palm. Take a full 60 seconds to do it and become aware of the sensation and daydream.

 

Your imagination center puts together all kinds of thoughts and combinations of what is possible to achieve a particular goal. When you are in a relaxed mindful state of awareness you can mix your inner knowledge with outer knowledge. 

 

When someone asks you a question, try to respond in 10 or 20 words maximum because that is all a person can consistently listen to.  

 

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