“The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe”
- Michio Kaku
As the above quote shows, our brains are the most complicated objects in the known universe. No wonder they often trip up even themselves :-)
Below you find instructions of two tricks that help you better manage that complicated object between your ears. One to practice yourself, and one to practice with your teams.
The 'Brain Drain'.
As the famous psychologist William James pointed out, our conscioussnes is like a river or a stream.
At times unfortunately this stream can not flow freely, leading us to overthink and feel bogged down. The 'Brain Drain' exercise gives our minds permission to run wild and think about whatever. You’re not fighting thoughts – you’re accepting them, embracing them, and releasing them.
Neurological studies show individuals who spend 8 minutes off-loading their brain from thoughts and freeing up the mind are more calm, focused and in-the-moment.
Materials: Two pieces of paper and a pen per person.
Time: 10 minutes.
Find a quite spot and set yourself up with your papers and pen. Take a couple of deep breaths and get ready.
Write down your thoughts in real-time as they are unfolding. Don’t wait. Don’t edit. Don’t second guess. Just write down whatever pops into your mind, even if it’s something as simple as “I don’t know what to write about right now.”
Continue until two pages are completely filled, and reflect.
Folding and tearing.
Each of our brains are unique, in the 7.5 billion brains roaming the earth none is the same as another. 'Folding & Tearing' illustrates how these differences influence how individuals perform even the simplest of tasks.
Materials: A piece of A4 paper per person.
Time: 10 minutes.
Ask everyone to close their eyes.
Explain they must keep their eyes closed until asked to open them.
Read out the following instructions exactly as they are stated below:
1. Fold your piece of paper in half.
2. Tear off the upper right corner.
3. Fold your piece of paper in half again.
4. Tear off the bottom right corner.
5. Fold your piece of paper in half again.
6. Tear off the upper left corner.
7. Fold your piece of paper in half again.
8. Tear off the bottom left corner.
9. Unfold your paper and hold it up.
Afterwards compare and discuss.