Improv Games for Mindfulness

Improv Games for MindfulnessMindfulness is often associated with quiet reflection such as meditation.  However, mindfulness at work involves staying present and focused even in the most stressful, hectic and dynamic situations.  Checking in with ourselves, noticing our reactions and responses and the behaviour of those around can inspire the confidence of others and give us a real edge in a crisis.

1. One to Twenty

Method

  • Stand in a circle (about 8 people is a good maximum)
  • You can either look down or keep eye contact.
  • Your task as a group is to count from one to twenty with each number spoken aloud by just one person.
  • There should be no pattern either predetermined or arising from the exercise
  • If two people say the same number at the same time then shake it off and start again.
  • Be honest!  Even if you just started the ‘s’ of ‘seven’ at the same time as someone else, that is a reset.
  • Celebrate your ninja mindfulness if you achieve it.

Advanced Tips

  • Notice your own patterns and try to break them
  • Don’t let it get too slow.
  • Don’t be afraid to commit and get it wrong.
  • Keep your awareness as open as you can.  There will be cues even if they are not immediately obvious.

Benefits

  • Group mind
  • Listening

2. Mindmeld

Method

  • Work with a partner (or, alternatively, with a group in a circle)
  • Two people step forward and each think of a word.
  • They count down together “3, 2, 1” then announce their words at the same time.
  • A: Bench – B: Tree
  • Both people take a few seconds to think of a word that will make sense of both these words, or join them together in some way.
  • When both people are ready, count down together “3, 2, 1” and announce your new word at the same time.
  • A: Wood – B: Park
  • Continue until you manage to say the same word at the same time!
  • A: Woodchips – B: Playground
  • A: Slide B: Slide
  • Then celebrate!

Advanced Tips

  • Don’t panic if you can’t land on the same word or if it takes a long time.
  • Really it’s about listening carefully and starting to adapt to someone else’s way of thinking.
  • The process itself is the achievement.

Benefits

  • Heightened Listening
  • Achievement
  • Interpersonal relations

3. Patterns

Method

  • Participants stand in a circle and a pattern is set up around the circle.
  • The easiest pattern is to say ‘you’ and point to someone else.
  • Leave your arm out to show you have contributed to the pattern.
  • The person you pointed to then points to someone else and says ‘you’.
  • This continues until a pattern involving all the players is established.
  • Then the pattern is repeated and learned by the participants.
  • Then another pattern can be established. It can be anything such as a catagory, people’s names or anything else you may choose.
  • It is helpful if the pattern is different to the first one.
  • Then both patterns can be started simultaneously and the group must try to keep both going.

Advanced Tips

  • Try adding patterns until it becomes impossible!
  • Make sure to get eye contact with the next person in the pattern and try to make sure they have ‘received’ your pass.
  • Try song lyrics or each other’s names, but not the name of who you are pointing at!

Benefits

  • Awareness
  • Being in the moment
  • Listening
  • Agility

Not sure you can land this one? Call The Maydays, and we can deliver these games either as part of a CPD accredited Business Improv Workshop, or as a free-standing energiser sequence at a conference or industry event.
We also create and deliver custom improvisation workshops for your business. Here are some of the most popular improv training formats in London, across the UK and internationally.
The Maydays are one of the longest established and renowned improvisation companies in the UK. We deliver comedy improv shows around the world, run regular improv classes in London and Brighton, and regularly deliver custom business improv solutions for organisations. Read how improv at work works here!

We would love to hear about your experiences trying these improv games.  To tell us about it, or to find out how we can bring Improv Training to your life and work, get in touch

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