Thinking a lot can’t be that hard, can it?

It’s hard to think a lot

Scientists have long known that our prefrontal cortex is affected when we have to concentrate a lot during a long work day, but they have not been able to understand exactly how. Now they have looked at various studies and concluded that it is not only tiring, there is a physical change in the brain that affects us for the worse.

Prefrontal cortex

Let’s start by finding out what the prefrontal cortex is and what it does. It sits in the front part of the brain’s frontal lobe and controls our cognitive processes, i.e. everything from how we move to how we set long-term goals, adapt in social contexts and feel empathy.

This is how we are affected

When we have spent many hours thinking intensively, a metabolic change is created in the prefrontal cortex, glutamate-related substances accumulate. When that happens, our cognitive ability is affected in turn, but also the ability to plan and understand long-term and we become inclined to seek quick solutions. Our empathy is also affected, which affects our concern for people around us.

There could be major consequences

Because when we start chasing quick solutions, can’t think long-term and don’t care about the people around us, we’re in a really bad place and it creates a work environment that basically no one enjoys or feels good about. Communication collapses and, by extension, the result.

Important with breaks and reflection

Our brains need time to recover during the work day and work week. It is important to remember that everyone is affected, employees and leaders, so you need to build a working climate where you lead by example and ensure that everyone gets the opportunity for breaks and reflection.

Source: Current Biology

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