Waldman talks neuro to Hammond

Mark Waldman is a world renowned author and one of the world’s leading expert on communication, spirituality and the brain. As a member of the faculty at Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business and the Holmes Institute, he has given lectures on many television talk shows and also has been the author of 14 books.

On Tuesday, October 20, students, faculty and fans got to experience a lecture from Waldman himself at the Columbia Theatre.

Waldman started his lecture by telling the audience, “Before you speak, ask yourself ‘Will your words improve the science?’”  He only spoke one sentence and already had the audience thinking.

“Being in the business college at Loyola Marymount University demands that you come up with really quick effective ways to create team work development to maintain optimism to undermine any form of negativity,” said Waldman.

His entire lecture was based on mindfulness. He explained mindfulness as being aware of a moment without judgment. Throughout the night, he made the audience aware of how most people do not pay attention to what they are saying and do not pay attention to 90 percent of what other people are saying.

Despite the event being labeled as a lecture, Waldman interacted with the audience. He had the audience close their eyes and he asked a single question, “What is your innermost value?” He stayed quiet for a few seconds and let the audience think. He went into the crowd, asking for answer to his question. He, then, explained the words the individual thought of could be used to activate stress reducing genes.

To relieve stress, you would breathe in your inner most value and out the negative value.

Waldman has found ways to ease an individual’s stress with multiple techniques.

“It’s extraordinarily easy to learn how to concentrate by focusing on a single sound,” said Waldman. “It’s extraordinarily easy to eliminate any form of mental stress; extraordinarily easy to get rid of physical pain through a super slow gentle stretch. It’s very easy to override a negative thought, an anxious feeling by focusing on three things you did well that day or three things that you feel grateful for. Your brain will respond to a positive thought as if that is your inner reality. Your brain will respond to a negative thought as if that is your inner reality, but your brain is designed to put more emphasis on the negative thought; thus the 3:1, 5:1 positivity ratio.”

The next part of his lecture focused on relaxing the brain. Some brain relaxing techniques include stretching in extremely slow motion or softly touching the palms of your hands or arms. If you stroke your hands or arms, this turns off negative senses in your brain.

He also discussed different ways to use these techniques in the classroom.

“I think everyone should have a mindfulness bell in the classroom, and when the teacher says something important, ring that bell, kick back,” said Waldman. “One technique we didn’t talk about too much tonight is conscious daydreaming. Just by letting yourself drift in and out is one of the healthiest things you can do for your brain.”

The audience was again asked to close their eyes. Waldman spoke softly and asked two questions, “What quality do you look for in a relationship?” and “What quality do you think is needed to have a value driven conversation?”

Again, Waldman went into the audience to see what some of their answers were. The answers to all three of his questions were words that could reduce stress to one’s brain.

Stress is the number one cause of failure, anxiety, depression, divorce and death. The techniques Waldman explained throughout his lecture can help reduce these risks and reduce the stress on one’s brain. Waldman showed an example of what happens to neurons in the brain when it is under stress. The example was of a brain cell, known as a neuron, completely exploding, showing something as simple as worrying can destroy the neurons in your brain.

At the end of his lecture, he gave the audience the seven core elements for effective communication: kind facial expressions, warm tone of voice, body gestures, relaxed disposition, slow speech rate, brevity and the words themselves.

The last part of his lecture was explaining how a small smile can trigger neurological trust.

“I think why the school wanted to bring me out specifically is that most people teach mindlessness the old fashioned way,” said Waldman. “So, our question was ‘Could you change your mood or change your attitude; to create more motivation, desire and happiness in 60 seconds or less. That was the game and so now we have about 50 different strategies.”

For more information about Waldman, including a list of books and numerous videos of his speeches, please visit www.markrobertwaldman.com.