Conscious leadership development is based in neurobiology, quantum physics and transformational education.  The premise is that when the mind changes our brain changes too.  What flows through our mind sculpts our brain, so when we learn to use our mind to think differently we physically alter our neurology and change our brain for the better.

When we can learn to regulate our actions, words and thoughts we create benefits for both ourselves and for others.  This requires us to:

  • access and drive our neurology from our pre-frontal cortex
  • support and maintain calm with our parasympathetic nervous system
  • generate positive emotions in our limbic system by bathing our brain in serotonin and dopamine.

One of the best ways to achieve this is through contemplative practices.  One of the best contemplative practices is meditation.  Hanson and Mendius (2009) state that mediation activates our peripheral nervous system which:

  • Improves cortical and psychological functioning, including attention, compassion and empathy.
  • Lifts mood.
  • Increases alpha, theta and gamma brainwaves.
  • Decreases stress related cortisol.
  • Strengthens our immune system.
  • Helps a variety of medical conditions including heart disease, asthma, diabetes, PMS and chronic pain.
  • Reduces a range of psychological conditions including insomnia, anxiety, phobias and eating disorders.

One of the easiest and most effective methods to mediate is using Mindfulness.  Mindfulness is mind training where through a very simple practice we focus our attention to strengthen our “brain muscle” – much like doing weights to build skeletal muscles.

Rasmus Hougaard from the Potential Project also identified some additional benefits from regular mindfulness practice:

  • Improved memory.
  • Reduced depression.
  • Reduced cellular aging.
  • Increase vigilance and improved reaction time.


There are four steps to train in mindfulness referred to as the ABCD of Mindfulness Training.

  1. Anatomy – taking note of our body physiology.  Sitting comfortably with a straight back, hands resting lightly on your knees and your eyes shut.
  2. Breathing – belly breathing.  This breathing becomes the focus of mindful practice producing a rhythmic flow of in and out breaths.
  3. Counting – breathing is practiced in sets of 10.  Each in/out breath is counted as 1 – continuing up to 10.  When you reach 10 start again at 1 and repeat the count to 10.
  4. Distractions – initially it is almost impossible to continue breathing/counting to 10 without your mind wandering or being distracted by internal or external musings.  Each time you catch yourself in a distraction, acknowledge it, let it go then bring your attention back to your breathing and commence counting from 1 to 10 again.

Repeat this for anywhere between 2 – 30 minutes a couple of times a day.  The more the better, but 5 minutes twice a day will produce immediate and profound results.

Each time we do this we are “flexing out brain focus muscle” and forming a new neural pathway.  As our attention muscle gets stronger (and it will!) we get the positive benefits of increased focus and attentional power in our everyday lives.  This has a cumulative effect of improving our quality of life, happiness and wellbeing.


Posted in On Balance