The Power of Mind

❤ Special Guest Post By Trishna Patnaik, BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but Artist by Choice ❤

The evolution in the journey of Mind, from being a whole virtual entity driving the thoughts, feelings, emotions towards a more defined brain with its neurological system in place, there certainly a “mysterious something” or Mind, that actually does need to focus, in order to trigger stimulus towards the desired section of the brain.

Over the years since the foundation of Psychology in 1894, ‘Mind’ has significantly lost its space to Neuro Sciences which have been scientifically establishing the functions of the brain and its composed neurological systems to explain human capabilities leading towards processing, storing and recalling information; in order to see, hear and respond; by way of expressing emotions and communicating the usage of languages etc.

It is vital to note that the neuroscience research has made constant progress along a multilevel hierarchy right from behaviour and emotions leading towards molecular interactions and genetic expressions. In fact, various experiments have clearly established that the human brain has specific areas that are identified for each trigger like emotions, memory, intelligence, knowledge, senses etc. and the impulses to and from these earmarked spaces are carried by the intricate network of neurons, that do continue to grow up to a certain age.

There is an increase in activities of specific parts of the brain that are activated by each of these triggers.

Whereas the question does remain as to how do we control such triggers? How do we go on to prioritise an impulse or an activity over the others? Our well-wishers have often advised us to stay focused. So, the focus is on what? How can we then focus?

Despite the very evolution in the journey of Mind, from being a whole and sole virtual entity driving our thoughts, feelings, emotions to a being a more defined brain with its neurological system, there is a “mysterious something” or Mind, that always needs to focus, in order to trigger the stimulus to the desired section of the brain.

Please make a good note that human beings play different roles in their daily lives such as that of a spouse, a son or daughter, a parent, a student, a teacher, a boss, a subordinate, a team member etc. Each role has a defined framework within which it does operate. This ensures that none of these roles are uni-dimensional.

It is critical to note that the days we perform our roles effectively, paying an appropriate attention to their dimensions, it turns out to be the most productive days in our lives and then we do feel happy and content. In a way today’s world our roles have often multiplied and the very nuances of each role have become far more complex. While understanding each role is very important, executing them to their fullest potential depends on how well we have tuned our Minds to stay engaged to suit the roles we do perform.

A Few Examples May Explain This Better…

An extremely intelligent academic student does not pay attention in class and barely manages to clear his exams

A Piano student makes mistakes on the same musical piece in different places when (s)he plays it multiple times, without repeating the same mistakes

A well-prepared speaker suddenly loses his way while speaking on an intense topic

A multi-tasking corporate senior executive does not listen to an intended conversation with his colleagues, and then delivers a misinformed decision

A smart individual contributor is promoted to lead a complex team without any prior preparation

A busy boss does conduct a critical appraisal discussion with one of her key team members, interrupted with multiple calls, ending up in a constrained conflict

A student’s role demands him or her to listen and pay attention in class.

Allowing any thought, feeling or emotion which triggers a different stimulus, increasing the activities of other parts of the brain, not relevant, is bound to be very counter-productive. Not only for the growing children or the teenagers, but this is applicable for grown-tup adults in any facet of life that they struggle if they are unable to tune their Minds to play a role or its nuance effectively.

Let Us Analyse This Further:

Playing roles in our daily lives are synonymous with acting, where actors characterize different personas. The process starts with understanding the character and it is personas in the context of a story as the character unfolds within that story. Studies are then conducted with actors portraying characters that they themselves are not, trying to establish a connection with the activities in the brain, which have remained totally inconclusive. For instance:

The Actor understands and conceives the character, maps the personas of the character onto his or her own Mind, which in turn triggers the required behaviours and expressions in the context of the environment or the situation, in which the character interacts with others.

How Different Is This Process From The Roles We Play In Our Daily Lives?

The success or failure of our roles depends on how well we understand them and how well we can stay engaged with them. Understanding the roles may be a direct outcome of the time we invest in each of them and the process we take on to adopt. More experiential the process is, the better will be the outcome.  Staying engaged is an aspect which depends on how well the Mind can quickly put the guard rails and channelise all energy to stimulate the right parts of the brain to continuously support the very engagement.

This aspect of Mind is still a hypothesis and science which has not yet been able to pin it down and connect it to any physical matter of our body. There are various practices which do promise to discipline this aspect of our Mind, by way of including meditation, breathing exercises etc. Many of those who do practice them have reported improvements in the health of their Mind and Body over a period of time.

Now, How Does It All Happens Remains A Mystery.

If Mind is the guiding force of the stimulus or the energy to trigger the correct section of the brain or its network of neurons to function, keeping Mind in check, becomes an imperative for mankind to attain desired levels of effectiveness. It is believed and has even been demonstrated that meditational practices help Mind to focus and not to wander. This would mean that the mysterious Mind can possibly be trained over a time curve.

The Mind flutters and wanders about, the slightest disturbance throws us off, and unwelcome thoughts pester us annoyingly. Over a period of time the Mind settles into the right rhythms and focuses more.

The Power of Mind is unexplored to a large extent. We have departed from the core fundamentals to train our Minds as our life became faster and more complex. The importance of understanding our roles and truly staying engaged with them cannot be duly undermined. Most often we would jump into the roles without understanding the required emotional construct for it. This can be seen further when students will be given tasks to handle without preparing their Minds to engage with them. Employees will take up the roles which would be half understood or hardly ever explained. It is almost like taking a plunge into a deep-water body with no training on swimming. Yes, one may learn to actually stay afloat and even then, swim but it would be at a risk of getting possibly being drowned.

About the Author

Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years.

After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest.

She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.

Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.

Trishna fancies the art of creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.

 

5 Ways Cryptocurrency Companies Can Use Neuromarketing to Grow Their Market Share

Relationship Between Neuromarketing & Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Cardano is crazy popular right now. More and more people have started investing in crypto because they are beginning to realize its value.

But what is the actual value of cryptocurrency? Well, there’s no denying the potential. However, digital currency only has perceived value, at the moment, at least.

So, what are cryptocurrency companies doing to make these cryptos viral?

One simple but powerful answer is NEUROMARKETING.

Everybody’s Doing it, so it Must be Right.

This herd mentality is nothing new. Humans tend to follow the crowd because, in a sense, it allows you to feel safe. Moreover, social pressure demands conformity- you need to be like everybody else. In fact, numerous studies have illustrated this effect by getting people to examine two lines for their comparative lengths.

The idea is for everyone to say they are equal, even though they are not. And when it is the experimental individual’s turn, they also end up giving the same answer, despite it being wrong. Why? Because they don’t want to be the odd one out.

Thus, if everyone is investing in Bitcoin, you can’t be the black sheep oblivious to the whole situation, right? Consequently, you will probably be inclined to invest in crypto because ‘everyone else is doing it,’ even more so if you have no idea what it is.

So, first, you’ll invest because everybody’s investing, and then, as soon as the price drops and people start to panic, news articles will convince you to sell immediately. Because, ultimately, come what may, at least we’re in it together, right?

Cryptocurrency & Cognitive Biases

How we internalize and process information makes all the difference, and thus, our response to situations largely depends on our internal state of mind.

The availability heuristic dictates decisions based on the information most readily available in your memory, like an important or recent event or something that evokes emotion.

Hence, if you’ve recently seen loads of posts about ‘Bitcoin Millionaires,’ you probably won’t think much of people who’ve had bad experiences with crypto. Therefore, most companies often use emotionally salient, visual campaigns to drive decisions in their favor.

In addition to this, the anchoring effect and confirmation bias are also at play. We are more likely to hold onto the information that we saw first. So, if a pair of sneakers initially priced at $200 is on sale at $100, it is somehow better than a $100 pair.

Why? Because we think we have something to gain there.

Additionally, we want to believe what we already believe. This means that our brain will readily accept information that conforms to our notion of the truth while brushing off any contradictory data. We just don’t want to think we’re wrong.

Winning Makes You Feel Good

Do you know the feeling when you end up getting a high score on a test you didn’t prepare for?

You see, our brain releases dopamine, the pleasure hormone, when something positive happens. But it’s really not that simple- expectations and motivation stimulate dopamine. And if an outcome was better than your expectations, your brain will release even more dopamine.

Because cryptocurrency is almost volatile, our brain can’t discern a particular pattern- we don’t know what to expect.

We are uncertain of the outcome, and thus, any price surge will make us feel like we’ve won because something is better than nothing, right?

Other Factors

Of course, not all cryptos are the same. Plus, many psychological factors also influence our brains to think a certain way, and marketers tend to use them to their advantage- they always have and always will.

Also, some biases might exist on an individual level as well.

Neuromarketing is pretty much the secret ingredient that has helped cryptos become what they are today. And that’s not really bad, but we need to work on making better, informed decisions instead of getting tricked into liking something just because it’s trendy.

After all, if you don’t know how cryptocurrency works, how far could you go without losing a lot of money?

What’s the Takeaway?

Cryptocurrency has dominated the world for several psychological, behavioral, and neuroscientific reasons. Neuromarketing is a breakthrough reason for our incessant love of digital currency.

We want to do what everyone else is doing. Also, we’re easily influenced by the notion that we could somehow become millionaires overnight by investing in crypto.

And you can’t convince us otherwise because we don’t want to think we’re wrong. Not to mention, crypto makes us happy. We just like it, okay?

Simply put, the relationship between neuromarketing and cryptocurrency is super strong.

The impact of neuromarketing in helping cryptocurrency companies become the most dominant and popular digital currency will play an even bigger role in enabling the companies who apply neuromarketing to their business growth strategy to gain market share more rapidly faster than other competing tokens.

Need some further help adding Neuromarketing to your own marketing campaigns?

There may be a lot to take in here, especially if the thought of supercharging your marketing with neuroscience has never entered your mind before.

If you do some additional help, I’d be more than happy to have a one-on-one conversation with business owners.

So, if you’d like to connect for 15 minutes and discuss how you can apply neuromarketing to grow your business, you can do so right here.

How Can Businesses Use Neuromarketing to Supercharge Their Growth in The Post-Covid Era?

COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives, possibly FOREVER!

It has changed the norms and traditions of how business is conducted.

It is important for businesses to acknowledge this change and adapt accordingly. What worked for marketing and sales before the pandemic might not be as effective in a post-COVID world. Let’s be honest here, businesses who have a deeper understanding of the behavior of their customers and their motivations have a pretty substantial advantage over the competition.

Neuroscience can help you supercharge your marketing and sales in the post-COVID era if you know what you are doing. In this article, we are going to tell you how you can use neuroscience in your marketing campaigns to grow faster. Keep on reading to learn more.

LOYALTY COMES WITH TRUST

If you are intimidated by what using neuroscience might entail then don’t be. Neuroscience is perhaps the most commonly used science in existence. We use it whenever we interact with other people, we just don’t know it.

Trust is a very basic concept. It is something that plays a very important role in everyone’s life. When we trust someone, it is easier for us to believe them and have a favorable image of them in our minds. The same concept of neuroscience applies to marketing.

In the post-COVID era, trust has become one of the defining factors that affect the buying behavior of customers. It is important for businesses to center their marketing campaigns around building trust with potential customers. People are more likely to buy a product or service from a business that they trust. They are also more likely to refer a company that they trust to other people.

You see our limbic brains make the decision for us if we should buy something from a specific business or company. Limbic brains are also responsible for controlling who we trust or distrust. Your marketing campaigns should target the limbic brains if you want to boost your sales and build loyal customers.

Research has shown that oxytocin is one of the major hormones that can be targeted to gain the trust of customers. You can develop marketing material that can tap into the limbic brains of the customers and stimulate the release of oxytocin. It is a very effective way to increase your sales.

SHOWING VULNERABILITIES CAN BE AUTHENTIC & HELPFUL

When we think of a good marketing strategy, we often think about showing the products and the business as flawless and perfect. It is not always a good strategy because you want to be relatable, and you don’t want to alienate your potential customers.

You see emotions and feelings are also major driving factors behind people buying a product or service.

Neuroscience is all about understanding the behavior of the customer and what goes on in their mind before they buy a product. Sometimes being vulnerable can help you become more relatable and tap into the emotions of your customers. In the post-COVID world, customers are looking at businesses very closely.

There is an expectation that every business should play its part in solving this crisis and be considerate. So, maybe you might want to show your customer your vulnerabilities.

If your marketing campaign helps you show your customers what you are doing for them and the hardships that you have had to face during this time, they will be able to form a deeper connection with you and your products. It will allow your customers to be able to trust your business and your products more easily.

Studies have shown that being vulnerable allows you to form social connections more readily. If your campaign can give your audience more reasons to relate to your business and trust you then it is going to translate very well to sales.

So, there you have it. Most businesses don’t think much about applying basic concepts of neuroscience in their marketing. In the post-COVID era using neuroscience is going to help businesses massively.

If you use neuroscience properly then you will get a lot more loyal customers and a lot more sales. The best part about this is that most of your competitors are not doing this, it will give you an edge. If used properly, neuroscience can take your business to the next level. We hope that you find this article helpful.

Need some further help adding Neuromarketing to your own marketing campaigns?

There may be a lot to take in here, especially if the thought of supercharging your marketing with neuroscience has never entered your mind before.

If you do some additional help, I’d be more than happy to have a one-on-one conversation with business owners.

So, if you’d like to connect for 15 minutes and discuss how you can apply neuromarketing to grow your business, you can do so right here.

How Can Understanding Serotonin Result in Better Social Selling?

Social selling is all the rage in the world of business nowadays.  In case you have not heard of this new approach to selling before, it is a practice that allows you to pinpoint your prospecting and develop a rapport with potential clients by using existing connections.

We all know by now that social media is the future, and more people are choosing to shop online than ever. Social selling is a way of finding business prospects on social media and developing a rapport with a vast network of high-quality leads. If you know what you are doing, it can even replace the tiresome job of cold calling.

There are four pillars that make social selling work. The idea is to use your social network to your advantage, find better quality leads, build strong relationships, and hit your sales target.

Professional brand – In today’s world, professionalism is the key to success. Considering the competition out there, you have to be professional to stand out and seem like a reputable business. This will lead to more inquires and naturally more communication with potential clients.

The right prospects – A significant advantage of social selling over other forms of selling is the ability to connect with clients more efficiently. Reports have shown that more than 75% of potential buyers are willing to have a conversation over social media. This gives you the perfect opportunity to develop a rapport with them.

Insights – You have to position yourself as an authority and an expert in your field of business. The most convenient way of doing this is taking the aid of insights and statistics. You have a better chance of engaging a potential client if you approach them with relevant insights.

Trusted relationships – You can build a productive and trusted relationship with a client simply by being helpful and providing them with information. Having genuine conversations with potential clients will naturally lead to more sales.

So, now that we have an understanding of social selling let’s see how serotonin fits into this equation.

Serotonin is often referred to as the happy chemical. It is present in blood platelets, the brain, and bowels. It is a neurotransmitter that acts as a messenger between our body and our nerve cells. It is responsible for regulating our emotions, mood, digestion, and appetite. In this article, we are going to discuss how understanding serotonin can result in better social selling. Keep on reading to learn more.

How is serotonin the key to better social selling?

Serotonin is known for making us more satisfied and relaxed. It also plays a vital role in some important activities such as socializing, eating, and sleeping. It also plays a role in the cognitive functions of our brain, such as memory and learning. Our body releases serotonin every time we engage in an activity that makes us feel good.

Serotonin can also be referred to as the socializing chemical since it improves our ability to form social bonds with others. Serotonin is released by our body whenever we experience feelings of admiration and respect. This naturally makes us feel good and more confident. These are the natural qualities of serotonin. And they can play a considerable part in better social selling. Here is how:

If social selling strategies are formulated with the concept of serotonin production in mind, then they can help create real social bonds with potential customers.

 

  • Since serotonin is a neurotransmitter, it has the power to influence the behavior of a potential customer. When used correctly with social selling, it can drive sales.

 

  • If your social selling strategy can focus on raising the levels of serotonin in the customers, then it will allow you to create strong social bonds with them. This will lead to customer loyalty.

 

  • Higher serotonin levels are indicative of the formation of trust. This can be used in social selling to connect better with customers.

 

  • Higher levels of serotonin in the customers can help them form a more positive opinion about your products, which can, in turn, lead to repeat business and referrals.

 

  • Products or services that help increase the status of the consumer in the eyes of their friends and families will also create stronger loyalty to a specific brand and impact consumer buying behaviors towards those specific brands that can do this.

So, these are the major ways in which the understanding of serotonin can lead to better social selling. Most human emotions and decisions are a result of chemical reactions in our brain. If we start to understand these chemicals and how we can use them to our advantage, it can help boost the sales of any business. We hope that you find this article helpful.

Building Better Business Relationships Through Stories Using Neuroscience

 

Stories are an integral part of human history. We have been telling stories since ancient times, the mediums through which we tell the stories have changed over time, but the core concept has remained the same. The tradition of telling stories started when humans felt the need to pass down important information to future generations.

They started telling tales of important people at the time and their achievements. Stories were used to entertain, educate, and instill moral values in people. As time progressed storytelling became a proper art. And in the present age, where media has advanced so much everyone has a story to tell.

Businesses and brands use storytelling as a tool to leave a lasting impression on the minds of their consumers and entrepreneurs use the art of storytelling to build lasting relationships that will help them in their professional lives.

In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the neuroscience behind storytelling and why it is such a potent tool for building strong business relationships. Keep on reading to learn more.

How do stories affect our brain?

Stories are not just words or media. Stories have a biological and psychological impact on our minds and body. This is why stories hold so much power. When we are listening to or experiencing a story our mind and body go through a series of changes.

Let’s take a deeper look into how stories affect us.

  • They allow us to relate to people – Stories quite literally help us form a deeper understanding and connection with one another. They excite certain neurons in our brain and invoke the emotions of kindness, compassion, and empathy.

When we are experiencing a story and we start to get invested in the characters in the said story, oxytocin is released by our brain. This is a hormone that is often associated with love or bonding. As a result, we start to feel more attached to the character even if they are not physically present there. The more powerful and impactful the story, the more oxytocin our body will release and the more invested we will become in the character in the story that is being told.

Research has shown that the amount of oxytocin that is released when we are listening to a story can tell if we are going to develop trust with the storyteller or not. Trust is very important when it comes to developing a business relationship.

This is why storytelling is so important in creating meaningful relationships in business, if you are a good storyteller then you will be able to create a bond with the other person and get a worthwhile business relationship with them.

  • Mirror neurons – The mark of a good storyteller is their ability to convey emotions through their words. When we are listening to someone experiencing a strong emotion in a story, mirror neurons are activated in our brains.

These mirror neurons unconsciously make us mirror the feelings and emotions that we are listening to in the story. When you are telling someone a story then you are taking them on a journey because of these mirror neurons. You are making them feel what you are feeling and inducing in them the same emotions that you are having.

This is something that can often create a lasting and important business relationship. If you are able to make the other person feel something authentic and genuine then you are going to leave a strong impression on them and sometimes in a business relationship a strong first impression is all that matters.

  • Increased neural activity – Let’s say that you are in a business meeting and instead of telling them the story of your idea or business, you just give them a presentation that is full of facts and figures, what do you think will happen?

Well, when the human brain is processing factual reporting, our neural activity is limited to just two spots in our brain. Compared to this when facts are mixed with a story several other areas of our brain are also engaged.

This means that the person who is listening is to the story that you are telling is paying more attention to what you are saying and is much more engaged. This is something that you can use to develop better business relationships.

You want to engage the person that you are having a conversation with if you are aiming to develop a relationship with them. If you don’t tell a story and just rely on facts and figures then your chances of developing a good relationship are going to decrease dramatically.

So, there you have it. This is why stories are such an effective form of communication and this is why stories are so potent in developing good relationships in business.

The Neuroscience and Psychology of Colors on Consumer Buying Behavior

Colors and feelings are intertwined for humans. There is a deep inherent connection between colors and the onset of different feelings that are embedded in our DNA. For example, the color red evokes feelings of excitement and rush. It elevates our heart rate and tends to increase the flow of blood in our body.

On the other hand, the color blue has the complete opposite effect, it tends to evoke feelings of calmness and soothes our heart rate. Colors are responsible for stimulating our brain, different colors stimulate our brain differently eliciting an emotional and psychological response.

This phenomenon affects our behavior in everything that we do, and shopping is no different. Visual cues hold great importance in deciding the actions of any customer and there is no stronger visual cue than color. Let’s take a deeper dive into how colors affect the buying behavior of consumers. Keep on reading to learn more.

Marketing

When you are selling a product, you are going to market your product in order to attract new consumers and increase the overall exposure to your brand. When consumers see a piece of marketing for your product, it is above all else a combination of visual cues and color.

Their brain evaluates that piece of marketing and the product in terms of appearance and colors. Here is a breakdown of how our brain processes everything…

If it is a physical thing then the opinion that we are going to form about the product on the first impression is going to depend nearly 6% of touch, about 1% on smell and sound, more than 93% is going to depend on the visual appearance. This is how important color is when it comes to consumer buying behavior.

According to research, more than 85% of consumers identify color as being a major factor when they are buying a product.

The Effects of Different Colors

Different colors create a different stimulation in our brain. Each color has a different emotion linked to it. There are 2 reasons for this response to color by our brain:

One is the inherent ability of our brain and second is the subconscious learning capability of our brain.

Throughout our lives, our brain creates a catalog of events that take place around us. It creates patterns and takes essential information to make connections between different things, color is no different.

 

Here is the most common response of our brain to some common colors:

  • Red – This is a color that is very popular, and it creates a sense of urgency in our brain. It can trigger excitement, a sense of danger mostly feelings that elevate our heart rate. You will see this color often used in clearance sales.
  • Yellow – This color is associated with optimism and youthfulness. It is a color that is often found in display windows to attract the attention of passersby and create a good impression about the brand in their mind.
  • Blue – This color is associated with security and trust in our minds. We tend to feel comfortable when we see the color blue. You will see this color used often by banks and corporate businesses.
  • Green – This a color that our eyes process quicker than any other color. Its association is with wealth for our brain.
  • Orange – This is a rather aggressive color. It is a color that creates a sense of urgency in our minds in the sense that we should do something. Buy something or sell something.
  • Pink – This is a color that our brain associates with femininity. It is used in products that are aimed at young women or teenage girls.
  • Black – This is a color that is associated with mystique in our brain. It is most commonly the go-to color for luxury products along with gold.

 

Now that we know what kind of response different colors produce in our brains, let’s take a look at how different colors can attract different types of consumers.

  • If you are looking to attract impulse shoppers then you would want to use orange, red, royal blue, and black. You can focus on any one of these colors or you can use them as a combination.
  • If you want to attract the people who are responsible shoppers and tend to focus heavily on their budget, then using teal and navy blue would be a great choice.
  • If your products are aimed at more conventional buyers then for men you would want to use blue and for women, you would want to use rose and pink.

 

So, there you have it. We often don’t notice the impact of colors on the buying behavior of customers. It is simply because this is a background process that our subconscious brain carries out without needing our active input. Choose your colors wisely!

Juggling Work, Business & Life at Home – How can we deal with working remotely better in 2021?

How Neuroscience and Psychology Can Be Used to Improve Work Conditions in 2021 as People Work Remotely?

 

By now it is old news, how the pandemic has disrupted the norm of work. No one was prepared for the circumstances that were created as a result of COVID-19. The global economy took a nosedive, and many companies were forced to let go of a major part of their workforce and with there being restrictions on operating workplaces, the remaining employees were forced to work from home.

For the better part of last year, work from home has become the new norm. Both employees and companies have found unexpected benefits in the work remotely model. With that being said the remote work model is still experimental for both employees and employers. It takes time to adjust to change and when that change is so rapid and forced, it can have some serious consequences on our mindset.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very significant impact on the mindset of people who are working remotely. When you are working from home you are essentially isolated and with the social restrictions, the feeling of isolation becomes even stronger.

So, how is it affecting the mindset of people working remotely? It may look like that you are doing more by working from home since you are away from all the distractions that you would normally have to face in a conventional office. And that is true to some extent, but this isolation is also…

  • Reducing the volume of your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of your brain that is involved with socializing and decision-making.
  • Making your hippocampus smaller. This is the part of your brain that deals with memory and learning.
  • Affecting the size of your amygdala. This part of your brain controls your emotions.

As you might have been able to guess that none of these things are good. The collective effect of working remotely in isolation is a severe decrease in cognitive abilities and stress dealing capabilities. So, even though working from home has its perks, it also comes with some serious negatives.

But there is a way to deal with the negative effect that working from home might be having on your mental health. We can use psychology and neuroscience to improve our work conditions when working remotely. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you improve your work from home conditions with the help of psychology and neuroscience:

Dress For Your Job

Studies have shown that how we dress has a major impact on how we feel. This phenomenon is called “enclothed cognition”. Our neural pathways are linked to certain emotions depending on what we wear.

When you go to a conventional office, you have to adhere to a certain dress code but when you are working remotely you are free to work in your PJs. It might not be that good of a thing as you might imagine it to be. When you dress for work, you are putting your brain into work mode. So, if you wear a formal shirt when you go to the office doing the same when working remotely might increase your productivity and help you work more efficiently as opposed to working in your sleeping clothes.

There is a lack of disconnection between personal and professional life as there is no physical separation. This can affect your work conditions and your mindset negatively. So, dress for your job before sitting down to work.

Structure and Routine

Your routine and the structure of your day have a significant impact on your work conditions when working remotely. Research has shown that over/undersleeping and not having a fixed routine can decrease your cognitive functioning.

You see our brain tries to make patterns out of everything. This makes its job easier. When you wake up every day at 8 am your brain will automatically know that it needs to be ready by that time to work. But if you don’t have a fixed time to sleep or wake up, your brain will not be able to always be at its 100% for you.

Windows and Light

We have a deep connection with our immediate surroundings. When we are working remotely, our home is our office. The first thing that you need to take into consideration is where you should set up your desk.

Research has shown that the best way to set up your home office is to have your back against a wall and a view of the outside available to you. So, you want to set up your office near a window where there is plenty of light. Environmental psychology has shown that this can really improve the productivity of employees that are working from home.

One More Thought

It’s been over a year now that life has changed dramatically from how we remembered everything to be prior to the pandemic.  So, we need to do our best to maximize these new circumstances moving forward.

Working remotely comes with its own set of challenges and struggles but with the help of psychology and neuroscience, we can improve our work conditions dramatically. We just need to make slight adjustments and changes, but these types of changes can make a positive impact in all areas of our lives, both work and home since there is much more overlap now.

 

How is Neuroscience Used in Technology on Businesses?

The Impact of Neuroscience Used in Technology on Businesses

A big part of operating a business relies on being able to predict the future. Yes, whenever someone starts a business, and there is promise in the growth of the company, people start to invest in it. In many ways, the growth of a business is dependent on the idea of hope and belief. These human emotions are the driving factor for the success of businesses throughout the world.

You might say that there is a lot of data and statistics involved, and you are right. There is a lot of that involved, but what is the purpose of all the analysis and predictions? It just helps propagate hope in the people who are looking to invest in the company and reinforce their belief in the idea of the business. This has been the standard operating procedure for businesses, around the world, for decades and unknowingly corporations have relied on the basics of neuroscience to succeed.

Now, with the age of information and technology that we live in people have finally realized this hidden mechanic and have started to actively implement technology to help grow their businesses even further. In this article, we are going to take a look at how neuroscience is being applied in technology and how it is helping businesses grow. Let’s begin.

Applications of Neuroscience in business

There are 3 basic avenues where neuroscience is being applied to help businesses.

  1. To improve the bottom line – Profit is the biggest data point for any industry. Neuroscience is being used to help companies improve their bottom line by understanding the crucial moments and science of decision-making. Applied neuroscience can help gather data on certain scenarios and by using ECGs and eye-tracking technology the response of the human brain to each scenario can be recorded.

When you are in possession of such valuable data, you can use it to make the decision that will result in the most growth and the most profit for your organization. A study done by Harvard Business Review has shown that businesses that are using applied neuroscience in technology to make corporate decisions have a better bottom line than companies that are not using neuroscience actively.

 

  1. Understanding Consumers – The second biggest data point for any enterprise is its customers. Neuroscience has opened the door of the consumers’ minds for companies. Methods like fMRI, EEG, GSR, and eye-tracking can help businesses see how the consumer feels about their product and help them predict how those products are going to do.

This allows for some valuable insight into the mind of the consumer and gives businesses a chance to tweak their products just in the right way allowing for maximum engagement once the product is launched.

The activity of our brain is controlled by neuromodulators. These include hormones and neurotransmitters. These basically allow the brain cells to keep an open line of communication with one another. Research has shown that by stimulating certain neuromodulators you can alter the way a consumer interacts with your product.

The application of neuroscience to understand consumers has allowed businesses to come up with better products that appeal to the right neuromodulators in the brain. It has allowed for a better understanding of the brain of a consumer and what can be done to get the best response from it.

The implementation of AI has been a revelation in this regard, as it can read all of these data points that are being generated by neuroscientific methods, and give businesses a better solution for any problem that they are facing with a product.

 

  1. Improving Workplace Culture – The use of neuroscience in technology is not limited to marketing and sales. It also has a very significant application in improving the overall culture of the workplace. A study has shown that workplaces that use AI and neuroscience have a more productive culture.

The use of AI especially with the help of neuroscience methods such as ECG, EEG, and eye-tracking technology has allowed companies to identify the hidden subcultures in their workplace that are having a negative impact on the productivity of the employees. These problematic subcultures would not have come to the forefront had it not been for the use of neuroscience and AI.

The applications of neuroscience in technology for businesses are becoming more and more common. They can help improve employee satisfaction and productivity as AI is less likely to entertain biases and other human imperfections.

Although a lot of progress has been made in the field of neuroscience in technology for businesses there is still a long way to go. Considering the wonders that neuroscience has done up till now it is safe to assume that the future is going to bring in even more mind-blowing applications from the field of neuroscience.

Final Thoughts On The Future of Neuromarketing + Tech

So as neuroscience becomes more deeply integrated into technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, these monumental advancements in allowing businesses to understand their consumers and employees better can lead to major breakthroughs in the growth of companies in all areas that were not possible prior to the rapid progression in the application of neuroscience to technologies that impact the business world.

The future of business looks exciting as the worlds of neuroscience intertwines with technology to deliver new and more intense experiences to people that will be beyond anything they have experienced before…

Want a clue?  Think Virtual Reality.

 

 

The Second Wave of COVID-19 – How Will It Affect The Behaviour of the Business Community?

COVID-19 has already changed the way we live and communicate!

It is essential to understand here that a pandemic such as COVID-19 is unprecedented in the modern history of mankind. The concept of social distancing has disrupted the way we conduct business. For some industries, it has brought activity to a complete standstill. Most businesses are struggling to survive, and many have gone under. Unfortunately, things might be about to take a turn for the worse with the rumours of the second wave of COVID-19 on the horizon.

When you invest a significant amount of time and money in a business, the stakes are really high, and a lot rides on that business to thrive and stay open. So, it is only natural that business owners are bearing the brunt of the stress, anxiety, depression and feeling of helplessness due to COVID-19. With revenues plummeting and uncertainty about the future of their livelihood(business), most business owners are not in a good place mentally. In this article, we are going to take a look at the effects that COVID-19 is having on the mental health of business owners.

Stress, anxiety, helplessness, a feeling of loss, social isolation and despair are common emotions right now that can be directly linked to COVID-19 among business owners. Let’s break down these emotions and see how they might be affecting the mental health of business owners.

  • Stress – A stressor is any form of stimulus that is causing us stress; in this case, it is the poor performance of your business due to COVID-19. When a stressor is received by our brain, it activates the glands which produce cortisol and adrenaline; these are stress hormones. The area of our brain that is responsible for this action is called the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Our adrenal glands secrete stress hormones. This is pretty standard stuff, this is how our body reacts to normal levels of stress, but when we experience chronic stress as someone might when a business, they opened with their life savings, shuts down due to COVID-19, our body starts to produce huge amounts of cortisol, more than it can effectively regulate.

This can lead to a huge number of problems. Abnormally high levels of cortisol produced due to stress can hinder the ability of our brain to function properly. It can cause issues with synapse regulation which then leads to anti-social behaviour where people start to avoid social interactions even on the telephone. It can cause apoptosis meaning that your brain cells start to die. In some cases, continuous chronic stress can even lead to the shrinking of the size of the brain. Memory and learning capabilities are also affected due to excess cortisol.

Anxiety – Our feelings are controlled by neurotransmitters. Dopamine and Serotonin are two of these neurotransmitters that are responsible for our anxiety levels and mood. The constant stress that a business owner is experiencing already can cause an imbalance of the neurotransmitters mentioned above, which can lead to conditions like generalized anxiety disorder. GAD can cause you to have trouble sleeping, feeling fatigued all the time, feeling twitchy, irritable and nervous.

  • Helplessness and depression – Loss of a business is a major life event and a significant trauma while we all experience a feeling of loss in our lives at one point or another, this situation is extraordinary. There is a culmination of all the different factors around us that are making us vulnerable to falling in depression. We are helpless since there is nothing that we can do about the pandemic, we are under a lot of stress due to the downfall in the revenue, and we are suffering from anxiety due to the uncertainty of the future.

All of these factors combined can lead us down the path of depression. At its core depression can be classified as a mood disorder. It affects the way we feel, behave and think. The imbalance of neurotransmitters and hormones in our body due to the constant stress and anxiety can play a major part in triggering depression. It may cause you to feel hopeless and sad all the time. It can affect your sleep cycle, and it can put someone in a less than ideal place mentally, physically and emotionally.

It would be fair to say that now is not an ideal time to be in business for many industries. The global economy is down, and due to safety restrictions, there is no possibility to have your business operate at 100% efficiency.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!

However, the one quality that all entrepreneurs have in common is their ability to be resilient during the most challenging times and showcase their creative energies to finding the best solutions to solving problems that will continue to move business and the economy in the right direction.

That being said, in order to be in a clear and stable state of mind and well-being to progress and grow despite the potential of a second wave around the corner, it is vital at this time to take care of all dimensions of your health and mitigate the impact of the pitfalls mentioned above that can have an adverse affect on personal well-being and business productivity as well.  Aim to stay positive, surround yourself with a strong network of family and friends who can be a foundation of social support.  And if you ever feel like you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Equally, it’s important to engage in physical activities to help clear the mind in addition to prioritizing your time by investing it with the people who are most important in your life.   Stay healthy, stay safe and remember that this will all get better.  Collectively, we stand UNITED and we will make it through this together and come out even stronger and better on the other side!

How Does the Lack of Sleep Affect Your Job Performance and Buying Behaviors?

Sleep Deprivation

In today’s fast-paced world, sleep has taken a back seat in the life of many career-oriented people. They either consider sleeping as a waste of time or neglecting sleep just to punch in those extra work hours seems like another step on the road to success to them. Scientific findings, however, contradict with this view entirely. Research on neuroscience of sleep has revealed adverse effects of sleep deprivation on our job performance as well as consumer behavior.

Here is your short guide to neuroscience of sleep and the effect it can have on our job performance and buying behavior.

Sleep Deprivation and Neuroscience

In simple words, sleep is a break time for your brain — to reset, re-program and recover. Information storage, toxin eradication, cell repair, reorganization of neurons to support optimal function of brain and regulation of hormones are some tasks that your brain works on during your sleep. A 2017 study, published in Journal of neuroscience, indicated towards the contribution of sleep to memory function. According to the study, neural activity during NREM sleep not only converts Short-term memory to long-term memory, but it also contributes to the decluttering of the nervous system by erasing of unimportant information.

Sleep deprivation can lead to impaired cognitive functioning: Attention, perhaps, is the cognitive domain that is most affected due to lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation results in decreased activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and IPS. These neural changes in the brain cause a decrease in attention span; whereas working memory also shows inconsistencies. Vigilance in performing any task as well as listening drops significantly. Reaction time is also affected.

While occasional all-nighters might not affect your work life to a great extent, a  sleep study done at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that consistent sleep deprivation leads to permanent brain damage due to loss of neurons.

Sleep Deprivation and Hormonal Imbalance

Insufficient sleep also has an impact on your hormones. It causes an imbalance in hormones that are related to hunger, stress and inulin. According to experts, sleep deprivation increases adrenal stress as well as thyroid hormone. It increases the THC that result in slowing down your metabolism and affects the activity of the thyroid, making you feel tired the whole time.

A sleep-deprived body is in a constant state of stress due to high levels of cortisol production. High cortisol level is linked to the production of melanin (the sleep hormones) and will affect your sleep in the coming days. This hormonal balance is the reason you can’t sleep after pulling an all-nighter, even though you feel tired.

Sleep Deprivation Affects your Performance at Work

Sleep deprivation has increased in the United States during recent years. Today an average person sleeps almost 1.5 hours less than an average American in the 1960s. Most people are getting less than 8 hours of sleep a day. This is even more common among the youngsters who are doing part-time jobs to support themselves through school. Lack of sleep affects their performance not only at school but also their job.

Attention and vigilance are essential requirements when you are working in Sales. A salesperson must be attentive towards the needs of the customer and vigilant to perform whatever task is at hand.  All these factors are affected gravely due to sleep deprivation and hence lead to a decrease in productivity and an increase in the rate of work-related accidents.

The researchers at the Harvard Medical School found that the lack of sleep negatively affects your mood as well as the ability to focus for days to come. According to one research, sleep deprivation has a similar effect on your brain as alcohol. This means that working in such a condition would be similar to operating while intoxicated! Whereas a study done on a B2B sales employees showed that that Well-slept employees show more grit, job satisfaction and commitment to their work.

The hormonal imbalance that results from a lack of sleep is indirectly linked to our mood and how we feel. It can affect our behaviour at the job. A sleep deprived salesperson may feel, tired, moody and absent-minded, which can affect the sales process with customers.

So, the big takeaway here is for salespeople and workers (in general) to get in a fair amount of sleep (7-8 hours per day) so that they can operate at their peak.  Otherwise, severe cases of consistent sleep deprivation can lead to permanent loss of neurons and debilitating work efficiencies similar to someone under the impression of alcohol.  This type of behavior is certainly not something a person wants to display at their workplace.

Sleep Deprivation and Consumer Behavior

As much as, it affects your performance at work, lack of sleep also affects the decisions of the consumers. Though it is commonly expected that lack of sleep would decrease your urge to look for options, however, a study published in Journal of Marketing Research found that Customers who are sleepy look for more variety in their shopping endeavors. In an attempt to keep themselves awake, they sought variety.

A lot of research still needs to be done on the impact of sleep on consumer behavior. According to the researchers of this study, sleepiness might result in unintentional buying behavior and make the consumer less responsive to things like product size as well as discounts.

We are both workers and shoppers at the same time, so the importance of adequate sleep in contributing to healthy decision making cannot be overstated.   Therefore, sleeping at least 7-9 hours a night is essential if you want to succeed in the long run. It not only keeps your brain activity optimal but also keeps the body’s hormones in the balance!