What 60 seconds can do for your brain

The pressure is on. You have only seconds to make the right decision, to step onto the stage, to make the perfect mark, to give the right answer. What do you do?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, absorbed in the moment, and fail to let your mind flow to the right/best/obvious action. Who has time for that anyway?

I think it’s normal to encounter situations where we have to make a decision or come up with an idea on the spot, where the pressure seems too much and we fail to step back (even for a minute) and just breathe.

But oh the power a few seconds hold!

Our brains are making nearly 20,000,000,000,000,000 calculations every second.*

One minute is certainly enough time to change so much about the actions we take at any given moment. To make new mental connections, to see alternatives, and to explore possibilities.

Sixty seconds equates to more than 1.2e+18 connections in the brain, some useless but some absolutely worthwhile.

We need just a minute more to breathe. In deep, out slow. Those 60 seconds of breathing create more time to think, which equals more time for connections to be made in the brain and more time for possible creative outcomes.

Give yourself one minute to just breathe and think. When the pressure is on, when you feel stuck, when you’re not sure about what to do: just sit and breathe for one minute.

Read this next: Making time to think about making time to think

*Number according to University of Alberta