6 Ways to ‘Get into The Zone’
Sometimes you need to be in the zone. You have a large networking event, you’re about to attend a friends birthday part, you have an important interview rapidly approaching. How do you get yourself out of the slump and into the right state of mind? It all comes down to how your brain works, and yes, you can trick it into work better.
Our brains can either be in creative mode or survival mode, not both. Survival mode is active when you are tired, stressed, worried or anxious. To get out of survival mode, you need to be able to engage your creative mode. The best way to do this is to run through some warm-up drills.
The goal of these drills is to reduce your stress hormones and increase your endorphins (feel good hormones). There are a bunch of different drills that you can do, but here are my top 6:
1. Humour – before going out (or while on the commute if you’re taking public transport) watch some stand-up comedy. Or, if you’re with people, swap jokes. They don’t have to be very good, they just need to get you into a creative mindset. Laughing makes you release both Dopamine and Oxytocin which make you feel good, relaxed and confident and prevents stress hormones accumulating.
2. Nostalgia – think about the last time you felt like ‘the man’ (or woman). Try to remember how it felt to be fun, funny and confident. This floods your brain with the same chemicals it first experienced, tricking it back into that mindset.
3. Music – have a few ‘party anthems’ lined up to get you pumped. I have a playlist specifically designed to get me into the zone. Think of bouncey, uplifting, fun songs to add to your list.
4. Power Postures – researcher Amy Cuddy has a great TED Talk about how adopting Power Postures alters your chemical balance to make you feel more confident, powerful and positive. Essentially, you can trick your brain into staying in creative mode by standing like a winner. All you need is a quiet place (like a cubicle in the restroom) and in 2 mins you’ll be ready to go.
5. Touch – high fives and hugs are two of the most effective ways to flood your body with Oxytocin, the most powerful connection hormone. This makes you feel connected, confident and relaxed. Every chance you get to high-five, fist bump or hug someone is another opportunity to get you into the social zone, so take it.
6. Dance – ‘busting a move’ will help you to burn off nervous energy (as well display your confidence to others). Always remember that dancing is for fun. In my experience the best dancers are the ones who are smiling. You don’t have to be a great dancer to dance great. All you have to do is smile so hard it hurts and people will want to dance with you.
These drills may sound simple, and they are, but they are also incredibly effective at getting you into a creative brain state. These drills form one of the 3 Simple Skills of Charisma. To spread the HSL love, for a limited time you can grab a FREE copy of this eBook below. All you have to do is tell us where to send it.