Learning about your brain on the job

Image credit: J E Theriot on Flickr

Image credit: J E Theriot on Flickr

“Every single day your brain makes all your decisions. It’s your memory. It’s everything – but who thinks about that?” asks brain coach Gary Anaka, one of the guest speakers who will be at the 1st Annual Northern BC Safety Conference in Prince George on May 30, 2015.

“The brain you have is 30,000 years old and it hasn’t changed much,” he said. “That means we are not equipped to be living in this electronic virtual world. It’s overwhelming us.”

The part of the brain that gets overloaded is known as the “prefrontal cortex,” Gary said. He’s talking about the front of your brain, where the analyzing, reasoning, and thinking happens.

In his workshops, Gary refers to the prefrontal cortex as “the captain of your ship.”

“When that thinking part of the brain gets overwhelmed, you can start to daydream or not pay attention,” Gary said. “You don’t make proper decisions and you can’t focus and you make mistakes and that’s how accidents happen.”

The key is to keep the front of your brain active – and Gary has a few tips for doing this.

Upshifting your brain

In his talk Your brain on the job, Gary will elaborate on the above and he will offer three or four exercises to keep the brain “upshifted” and ready to work safely.

“There are ways to keep the brain focused in the front – in the prefrontal cortex” he said. “If workers all understood how their brains operate, we would really reduce the accident rate and save lives because everything I teach people is free to use. It doesn’t cost anything. We can learn to work with our brain and keep it upshifted so we don’t make mistakes. We’re healthier happier people – and it’s not only in our work world. It’s also our personal world – our family world.”

This conference is free to attend (thanks to generous sponsors) and is suitable for all workers, supervisors, and owners working in Nothern BC’s forest industry. Thanks to Gary for talking with me.


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