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Learn how to grow your brain

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Well known Auckland sleep expert Tony Fernando will take Mental Health Foundation forum goers on a 'mindfulness trip' during a special one day national event to be held in Christchurch in July.

The Flourish - Well into the future forum on 30 July will feature several expert keynote speakers, each with a fresh take on the emerging 'science' of looking at what it is to flourish.

Dr Fernando, a senior lecturer in psychological medicine at Auckland medical school, will teach mindfulness and attendees will learn how to 'stay in the moment'. Mental Health Foundation mental health promoter Grant Rix says mindfulness has been shown to benefit our brains to such an extent that we can feel calmer, more aware, have an increased ability to focus and concentrate, remember things better and feel happier.

The more we practise it, the more we can stop worrying about past problems and future fears, and focus more fully on the here and now.

"Astoundingly, the brain grows in the areas responsible for learning and memory, while decreasing in the fear centre. There is also growth in the empathy and compassion areas, a decrease in feelings of stress and anxiety, and growth in the areas responsible for attention and sensory processing," Mr Rix says.

Dr Fernando's mindfulness presentation will be of interest to anyone looking to lead a happier, calmer life, and to those at the coal face (employers, counsellors, health professionals etc) working with people who are stressed.

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