Are you feeling stressed at work? Would you like to Stop The 9-5 Stress Cycle? When we feel immense levels of stress, a part of our brain called the ‘amygdala’ lights up, triggering our “fight or flight” response. We get a hit of adrenaline, our heart rate and blood pressure increases, and suddenly we find ourselves making quick, impulsive decisions. Now, this is usually a good thing when we are in actual danger. But it does not help us in the slightest when we are at work and have a tense moment with a colleague, boss, or client. We end up saying things we wished we hadn’t or saying things in a manner we wished we hadn’t. You can probably recall a time (or two) when this has happened. And to make ourselves feel better we try to justify our position to colleagues and friends because we feel so bad in knowing we were wrong in the situation. This strategy may make feel good for 5 minutes, but you will find yourself repeating the same story many times, just so you can get your 5 minute feel-good feeling!
The new science of neuroplasticity has now proven that the brain can change, and it does so by the way we think. This means you can change your mind (thinking ways) to change your brain (neurobiology).
Team members are expected to work well together. To be cohesive. To resolve their own ‘communication’ problems. Bringing in a facilitator is almost the last and final straw. Let me make a comment about that right now. Personal development is an ongoing and forever affair. It’s not something we do as a one off event. So why does a corporate culture (not all, of course) provide team development opportunities in response to a crisis, or only occasionally? I am not speaking about team events here – companies engage in lots of those and team events have a valuable place in providing a social opportunity to get to know each other outside of work issues.
You paused on this title. You are reading these words. Something has already aroused your curiosity about your own creative potential. Maybe you have creative aspirations. Maybe your creativity is blocked and you are wondering how to bring back your zing. Or maybe you are skeptical and are thinking “Really! As if the creative process can be flattened out to be stretched across, like a game of hopscotch – start here – throw a pebble – move there – reach home – woops stumbled! Start again.”
Okay. Loosen up a bit here. Creativity is something we all have. As humans we were gifted with this at birth. We were also gifted with imagination (the thing that inspires us to take action) and the drive to create. So what’s stopping us?
It’s true. There is no time like the present. But let’s face it – sometimes we find ourselves in situations where the present has become clouded with fear, detachment and bad habits. It’s now time to shed those negative thoughts and mental-clutter, and time to embrace a strong, empowered you.
Joan Miro, The Dance of Poppies, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 195cm
We can all be successful, powerful, and creative individuals, and it is essential that we are mindful of our potential. If you allow yourself and your individual team members to grow, so will your corporate team. But how do you teach a room full of different personalities to practice meditation and mindfulness, and what are they?
Taking part in workplace gossip is a sure way to lose friends. Being on the receiving end of workplace gossip can also be quite isolating. Regardless of the industry or career path, work place gossip is surprisingly quite common, despite it’s detrimental affects. So how to avoid it and keep things professional?
‘Curious Harmony’ by noula diamantopoulos
When I hear the word balance, I think of work-life balance. Before I can reflect further, my body responds with an internal squirm and quiver, followed by a somatic gesture, which I try to hold in – but it squeezes out and my nose crinkles!
Why does my nose crinkle at the thought of work-life balance? Because it feels like I need to produce an Excel spreadsheet, improve my time management skills and tick more boxes of accomplishments, so I might feel I am living a balanced lifestyle.
‘Are you on NICE?’ by noula diamantopoulos
Nice is one of those words we use a lot, but what does nice mean? All I can come up with is that nice means so many things, and that it’s meaning has become ambiguous and therefore unreliable. When someone uses the word nice, it’s meaning is questionable and leaves the recipient wondering whether the delivery imparted sarcasm or ‘niceness’.
‘Keep Making Mistakes’ by noula diamantopoulos
“In my studio practice comma no fullstop start again. In my studio practice no start again. In my studio I practice, hence the name studio practice.”
– noula diamantopoulos exploring miss takes
Imagine approaching your art making as research. Maybe you already do. And if you don’t, how might that be different to the way you currently approach your art making?
‘Change’ by noula diamantopoulos
Change is something that happens regardless of whether we mean it to, make it to, want it to or not. Change is an outcome, a result and acts in the same manner as milestones do. Changes are like a tracking devise, a witness to our being, that we were here and this is what it looked like when we were. And if there was no change, then did anything happen!