Below is the third of eight new articles by Olivia Mellan and Sherry Christie that continue the discussion on Your Client’s Brain that began with Investment Advisor’s February 2013 cover story—Double Think: Getting Past the Conflict in Your Clients’ Two Brains—and a feature article—Second Thoughts: Making Better Decisions—in the March 2013 issue of IA.
In those articles, Mellan and Sherry shared the latest findings on the brain and suggested how that knowledge can be used by advisors to better understand their clients, and to help their clients make better decisions.
David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of the marvelous book “Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long,” has researched, lectured and taught ways to improve thinking. He and Dr. Daniel Siegel, a psychotherapist, author and pioneer in this field, have created the Healthy Mind Platter, a takeoff on the USDA’s recommended food pyramid, which I think every holistic financial planner should display front and center to promote healthy work-life balance.
Seven a Day: Essential Mental Activities to Optimize Brain Matter and Create Well-being
Activity 1: Focus Time
When we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain.
Activity 2: Play Time
When we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain.
Activity 3: Connecting Time
When we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry.
Activity 4: Physical Time
When we move our bodies, aerobically if medically possible, we strengthen the brain in many ways.
Activity 5: Time In
When we quietly reflect internally, focusing on sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain.
Activity 6: Down Time
When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander or simply relax, we help the brain recharge.
Activity 7: Sleep Time
When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.
If you do life planning, you may want to discuss this platter with your clients. By helping them partake of all these components to create a better balanced life, you may promote more lasting health and happiness than by merely making sure they have as much money as possible. At the same time, you can help them see their wants and needs from a more holistic perspective.
We invite you to visit the Your Client’s Brain landing page on AdvisorOne for additional archived and ongoing coverage of this important topic.