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The Science Behind Mindful Practices

Published August 6, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Recently, neuroscience students from Brown University published their findings on mindfulness practices (meditation) and the positive effect they have on helping individuals manage and even overcome mental disorders. Below is a post written by Christina Sarich (2014) that was published last week on the Mind Unleased website, that shares their findings:

“Can mindfulness practice (meditation) help vanquish mental disorders? 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 7.7 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – approximately 3.3% of the US population when combined. Of these, approximately 40% of the individuals with schizophrenia and 51% of those with bipolar are untreated in any given year, but with the new studies being presented by Juan Santoyo and his peers, there could be strong scientific proof that meditation could help even the most debilitating psychological disorders.

Juan Santoyo is studying neuro and contemplative sciences, and he isn’t doing it ‘just to tickle his fancy,’ but to solve the real problem of mental disorders in our society. He presented his findings at the 12th Annual International Scientific Conference of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

He noticed when his family emigrated from Columbia that many homeless people suffered from psychological orders that often went untreated. Instead of pumping them full of pharmaceutical meds, he sees another plausible solution based on the preliminary results of a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

The paper describes how meditation affects a subject’s ability to change brain activity in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Given the chance to observe real-time feedback on their PCC activity, some meditators were even able to control the levels of activity there.

“You can observe both of these phenomena together and discover how they are co-determining one another,” Santoyo said. “Within 10 one-minute sessions they [participants in a meditation study] were able to develop certain strategies to evoke a certain experience and use it to drive the signal”  (Sarich, 2014).

Brain-Disorders

To surmise, Brown University’s research indicates that training in mindful meditation facilitates an awareness of present moment experiences, such as body and breath sensations. These practices can also change a person’s brain activity which enables their ability to manage mental disorders more effectively. In addition, mindful practices help prevent depression, reduce stress, and relieve chronic pain! This research is exciting and gives promise to coping strategies that offer alternative methods to not only manage enhanced emotions, it also offers hope for the management of psychological disorders with successful outcomes.

Friday’s post will focus on some of the practices I utilize that have been instrumental in my own healing process;  how these practices work as coping skills which have helped me both professionally and personally, and reveal the long and winding road that led me to their door.

Until then … keep organizing.

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“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings.” —Thomas Merton 

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References:

Sarich, C. (2014, July 26). Neuroscience students shows how meditation can vanquish mental disorders. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from The Mind Unleased: http://themindunleashed.org/2014/07/neuroscience-student-shows-meditation-can-vanquish-mental-disorders.html

Continuous Improvement

Published June 25, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Before I graduated from high school, I had already determined that my career path was going to be in the entertainment industry as a performer. The strategy I implemented was to pursue and acquire a degree in Fine Arts to help me achieve this goal. According to Baack (2012), a successful career entails the crafting and developments of personal skills, building relationships, and embarking on new challenges throughout the process. Some of these skills may include learning a foreign language or comprehending the customs of another culture (Baack, 2012). In my case, an education in the Fine Arts Drama Department, taught me every aspect of theatrical production including directing, acting, stage management, stagecraft, prop construction and management, makeup, costume, and scene design. This educational strategy helped me acquire additional skills other than those required from a performer. It can also help make an individual more valuable in a specific field or at an organization. In other words, this tactic helps create more opportunities which in turn, enables individuals to explore a variety of career choices within a specific industry.

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The continual improvement of an individual’s skills and talents however, is equally important in the longevity of a person’s career because of the rapid rate in which each industry is expanding due to advances in technology and changes in how organizations function in the modern era. For example, with the explosion of social media channels, most companies have developed an active online presence. As a result, they now require employees to learn new skills like coding, programming, blogging, and SEO strategies. People that have learned these skills are more valuable in today’s market place.

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Another form of improvement may include working with a mentor to help navigate the obstacles of a specific industry. Then, as an individual continues to improve, that person can then pay it forward and become a mentor to others assisting them in their career development. In short, people who embrace the concept that careers are lifelong learning experiences will continue to find avenues of self-improvement so that they remain a valuable asset in their industry.

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Friday’s post will examine various strategies that successful people use to achieve balance between work and personal time. Until then … stay organized!

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Most people rust out due to lack of challenge. Few people rust out due to overuse. – Unknown

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References:

Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

 

 

The Mission of Corporate Strategic Behavior

Published February 28, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

The Mission Cover Art

Hello Friends!

It’s finally arrived! My latest article has been published and is now available on amazon.com! In this latest article I reveal the purpose and importance of developing effective strategic plans as a key component in organizational management. I also explain how strategic planning in a corporate arena can help determine a company’s future, help strategists detect possible threats and weaknesses they may face, and explain how certain strategies can be used to help key decision makers identify strengths and opportunities that can help them gain a competitive edge.

In addition, and based on my perceptions and personal experiences as an alumnus of Capitol-EMI Records, I also included a comprehensive case study of the music industry to take a closer look at the strategic management plans strategists implemented that helped them adapt to industry changes. Plus, this article will also help you understand more clearly that by including such tactics as the observation and evaluation of organizational systems and performance outcomes, strategic management can help companies achieve a high position as a leader in the marketplace and remain profitable. To purchase the article, click the link below:

The Mission of Corporate Strategic Behavior

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00INPI8CQ

That’s it for this time! Have a great weekend … and  keep organized!

Financial Statement Ratios

Published January 6, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

 

 

 

 

 

 
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What are Financial ratios?

Although ratios offer valuable information as tools in analyzing financial statements they also have their limitations. Fraser and Ormiston (2010) explained that ratios do not provide all the answers needed to paint a full picture of a company’s financial condition, and although they indicate areas of strength and weakness they are not predictable and should be utilized with common sense (Fraser & Ormiston, 2010).  For example, activity ratios help define how many times a company’s inventory is sold and replaced during an accounting period to determine how many days it took to sell the inventory on hand. A low turnover for instance, usually indicates that products are not being moved but does not clarify the reasons to help determine if this is a temporary condition or typical of that product (Ratio analysis: using financial ratios, 2010). Liquidity ratios, in the meantime, are used to measure a firm’s capabilities of meeting short term debts but they do not determine whether there is sufficient cash on hand to satisfy their debt commitments.

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Because of the complexities involved in liquidation, quick liquidity ratios offer an alternative way to measure liquidity because it excludes the inventory from the current asset totals. Leverage ratios on the other hand reveal a company’s ability to service their debts.

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The advantage of these ratios when used effectively is that shareholder returns are magnified through financial leverage. The disadvantage is that the ratios do not reveal all the risks involved or whether the debt is financed from fixed commitments. In the meantime, profitability ratios reveal the company’s overall efficiency and performance but do not provide the accounting choices and techniques used to calculate the data which can be misleading (Financial Ratios, 2010). In conclusion, when considering financial ratios although they provide valuable information the analyst must always keep in mind that they have their limitations and that using common sense strategies can help them determine a more accurate picture of a company’s financial condition.

References:

Financial Ratios. (2010). Retrieved December 1, 2013, from netmba.com: http://www.netmba.com/finance/financial/ratios/

Ratio analysis: using financial ratios. (2010). Retrieved December 1, 2013, from Investopedia.com: http://www.investopedia.com/university/ratio-analysis/using-ratios.asp

Fraser, L., & Ormiston, A. (2010). Understanding financial statements. Pearson Education.