Dr. Amishi Jha, PhD is Director of Contemplative Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. Jha has dedicated her life’s work to understanding the science of attention at every level. With grants from the Department of Defense and several private foundations, she leads research on the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, resilience, and performance in education, corporate, elite sports, first-responder, and military contexts. Her mission has been to scientifically determine how we can harness the full power of our attention to better meet all that life demands. In her new book, Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day (HarperOne) Jha shares her discoveries on how attention can be trained for optimal performance and well-being.
From the constant buzz of your phone, the lure of your media feed, to your unrelenting, all-encompassing, and ever growing mental to do list —the demands on your attention have never been so severe. The result is an escalating crisis where we feel mentally foggy, scattered, and overwhelmed. Remarkably, the solution to our attention crisis has been right here in front of us the entire time. Through fascinating research and stunning new insights on where presence and purpose really come from, Jha debunks the common assumptions and reveals easy-to-adapt flexible 12 minute-a-day exercises to lift the mental fog, declutter the mind, and strengthen focus so that you can experience more of your life.
A highly sought after and trusted voice, Jha deftly guides audiences through the intersection of mental fitness, optimizing their ability to perform. Her TED Talk, How to Tame Your Wandering Mind, has amassed more than 5.1 million views.
In addition to her own published body of research, Jha’s work has been featured in many outlets including TED.com, NPR, Time, Forbes, NY Times, and Mindful Magazine. She has been invited to present her research to NATO, the UK Parliament, the Pentagon, and at the World Economic Forum.
Prior to her current post, she was an Assistant Professor at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.S in Biological Psychology from the University of Michigan, her Ph.D. in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) from the University of California–Davis, and her post-doctoral training at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University in functional neuroimaging. In her laboratory at the University of Miami, she uses functional MRI, electrophysiological recordings, and behavioral analysis techniques to understand why our attention sometimes fails us, and if it can be trained for greater focus and less distractibility. Jha launched the first-ever study to offer mindfulness training tools to active-duty military service members as they prepared for deployment.
Praise for Peak Mind:
“How easy it is to lose your mind just in those critical moments when you need it most. Here is a friendly and compelling way to not only get it back but to optimize it for life—your own and those with whom you share this world. Suffused with Amishi’s rare talent for making rigorous science commonsensical, her exquisite clarity as both a researcher and teacher, her own experiences with life’s sometimes rending challenges, and her personal meditation practice, this book can catapult you into living fully the life that is yours to live while you have the chance.”
--Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founder of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), author of Full Catastrophe Living and Mindfulness for All
“Dr. Jha brilliantly blends cutting-edge science, compelling stories, and strong practical instructions--the perfect antidote for our distracted over-busy times."
--Jack Kornfield, bestselling author of The Wise Heart
“Proven practices to take control of our focus and become our best selves. A must read for our distracted times.”
--Daniel Goleman, author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller Emotional Intelligence
"Thriving starts with our attention and what we do with it. In Peak Mind, Amishi Jha combines the science of attention with compelling stories from those in high stakes professions to show us all how to be more present in our lives so that we can unlock our full potential."
--Arianna Huffington, author of #1 New York Times Bestseller Thrive
“For a while now I’ve thought of experiences we long for, like love and connection, as emergent properties of how we pay attention. Attention is the key factor in moving beyond just living mechanically into a life of clarity and joy. Dr. Jha brilliantly shows us how that can be so, offering a clear and useful path to paying attention differently.”
--Sharon Salzberg, author of New York Times Bestseller,
“Peak Mind is a must-have guide to experiencing every moment of our lives. Equipping us with easy-to-follow exercises based in the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, Dr. Amishi Jha reveals the unfiltered joy of paying attention”
--Goldie Hawn, Actress and Founder of The Hawn Foundation
“Where our attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows’ is powerfully revealed in the original research and mind-opening ideas and heartfelt stories of this powerful book by one of our world’s pioneers in the science of mindfulness. Clear, illuminating, and filled with practices that will strengthen your attention, open your awareness, and cultivate compassionate connections within yourself and in your relationships with others, this is a treasure trove of insights and exercises to enrich our lives!”
--Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., New York Times Bestselling Author, Executive Director, Mindsight Institute
“Peak Mind delivers crucial insights about the human mind along with practical, accessible tools to enhance it. With clarity and skill, Amishi Jha brings you into the lab to learn how attention works, why it's essential for well-being, and how it can be trained to reach your greatest potential. Required reading for our modern world!”
--Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD, Science Director, Mind & Life Institute
“In Peak Mind, Amishi Jha offers a brilliant guide for training our attention with mindful awareness and maximizing our human potential. You will learn the science behind mindfulness, and well-researched strategies that promote resilience against stress, and increased mental focus, creativity, clarity and strength. The true gift is the capacity to be fully here—present and engaged in your relationships and your life.”
--Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance