Six-minute mind training service boosts performance and creativity

Watching videos of nature while listening to mindful audio for just SIX minutes can deliver positive mood-related benefits and increase productivity at work, research has shown.

According to a study by Aston Business School, part of Aston University, the combination can also help improve mood and energy, and boost creativity and innovation processes.

Key highlights of the research study with Aston University and Your Virtual Mind Trainer reveals:

  • Watching a six-minute nature video has a positive effect on task performance
  • The benefits of the short break activity can last for as long as four to six hours
  • Watching nature on virtual reality headsets has a significant positive effect on creativity and this continues throughout the day
  • The combination of nature videos with mindful audio can deliver an immediate boost to energy and mood

Dr Wladislaw Rivkin, associate professor in organisational behaviour at Trinity Business School (and former lecturer at Aston Business School), said: “Results from a field experiment across 15 days demonstrate that a six-minute immersive VR or video experience benefits employees’ energy levels and increases their mood. These psychological benefits carry over and help employees to maintain a high effectiveness and be creative throughout the day.”

The research coincides with the launch of a new online subscription service called Your Virtual Mind Trainer (YVMT) – developed by Hilary McLellan, a leading organisational behaviourist and executive coach, together with clinical psychologist Dr Ashleigh McLellan.

YVMT offers a unique experience of six-minute 360° immersive nature videos that can be watched on any device – including Virtual Reality (VR) headsets – synchronised with audio recordings covering topics, such as confidence, observe the mind, reconnect to the body, patience and acceptance.

Although many people understand that mind training and mindfulness can focus the mind and help to create a more rational, capable and innovative self, this practice can often be dismissed as too time-consuming or inconvenient – especially in a work setting – where there is often also a somewhat half-hearted reaction to the discussion of mindfulness and meditation.

Hilary McLellan, co-founder and director of YVMT, explains: “Training our minds can lead to increased awareness and the capacity to give our full attention to everything we do. Yet, just like getting fit or stopping smoking, many of our behavioural habits can be hard to change. Setting goals and actions intellectually is one thing but emotions can make deep habitual behaviours difficult and scary to alter.

“Through the YVMT team’s work in coaching and training both individuals and teams for successful behavioural change, the challenge we frequently encounter is that while many people understand what behaviours they need to change and recognise what is getting in the way of those behaviours changing, anxiety, fear or deep-set self-limiting behaviours will often stop them from actually making that change.

“We feel passionate about offering people short, accessible and positive interventions to help them be their best self at work and the introduction of Your Virtual Mind Trainer to support behavioural change with our coaching clients has shown real benefit in how they have developed self-awareness.”