Recently our team had tons of complex deadlines where they were doing work that was new to them. New challenges, new people to collaborate with, new aspects of the project that they couldn’t control.
It was stressful. And even though my team is great at navigating stress, they went into Critter State (fight, flight, freeze).
But the number of new aspects reached overload, several parts of their brain were compromised and cell signaling was out of whack. Mistakes were made, details dropped, and then I got into Critter State too. Uh oh. Epic mess now.
Why can’t we be in a high state of creativity AND navigate tons of growth and change? Must they be mutually exclusive?
Proof That We Can Create Creativity
Human beings have 100 billion neurons available in our brains. Yet only about 15% are activated. How do we gain access to more neurons? Would increased access make us more creative?
We need to be creative to solve problems, to have insights, to adapt and adjust—all the skills we want access to turbulent times.
This is where some Harvard research comes in. From it we learn that even a tiny bit of mindfulness training can boost creative output. To explore this idea further, they conducted a study with a midsize U.S.-based real estate firm to examine whether a mindfulness training program could influence a team’s creativity.
Side note: let’s remember that mindfulness essentially means awareness. It means paying attention first to oneself and being present to oneself (how you’re feeling, what you’re noticing inside yourself and outside yourself.)
In the study I reference above, they created 2 teams of 5 people each: a meditating group and a control group. They then