Individuals typically want to feel like they are truly thriving as well as feel inspired and empowered to engage in behaviors that lead to positive results. Most organizations strive to help individuals engage in healthy behaviors, offering a variety of incentives, programs, interventions, and solutions to help employees achieve enhanced wellness. However, the reality is that individuals find themselves struggling to stay motivated to make difficult change and end up reverting back to bad habits, instant gratification, and wellness procrastination. Leaders, human resources personnel, and wellness professionals end up frustrated unsure of why the multiple programs and offerings for wellness were not fully leveraged by employees, especially by the ones that would benefit most.
The solutions for both individuals and organizations may lie in neuroscience, which encompasses behavioral outputs based on signaling within the brain and nervous system. Most wellness solutions are focused on changing outputs, such as what and how much people eat, what and how much exercise they do, how much sleep they get, and what they need to do to better manage stress. Of course, knowing what is ideal, better, or healthier is great, but it is not enough. Wellness behaviors are outputs that reflect what is happening in the internal environment of an individual and if we can change how inputs are processed in the brain, outputs or behaviors will also change.
This session will provide an overview of the neuroscience of behavior and self-regulation, which is required when individuals need to integrate inputs from our nine senses, along with internal signals that influence emotional processing and cognitive reasoning, in order to intentionally choose the appropriate and corresponding response or behavior in any given situation. The concepts of survival-mode versus safety-mode will be discussed and why certain individuals may be more prone to triggering survival-mode compared to others. Factors that influence how individuals take in and process inputs that subsequently impact the body, emotions, mind, and resulting behaviors will be outlined. Many of the factors that negatively contribute to survival-mode and lead to poor health behaviors are pervasive in the workplace, home, and overall environment. Factors that contribute in positive ways are more elusive and require more effort and intention.
Finally, strategies for how individuals and organizations can create an environment to promote safety-based states in individuals will be provided. Attendees will learn how to positively influence inputs, internal signaling, and emotional/cognitive processing to improve wellness behaviors in themselves and others. The information provided can be used with leaders, wellness professionals, and employees to create programs, work environments, systems/processes, and a culture that promotes wellness. The session will be organized into teaching segments interspersed with the application of neuroscience-based strategies for themselves or within their organizations.