What is the Mind-Body Dissonance card?
Get everyone energised and ready to embrace uncommon ideas by playing with facial expressions.
This activity gets everyone focussed, present, and productively befuddled. As a bonus, it’s also a good opportunity to learn more about each other.
How to use the Mind-Body Dissonance card?
1. Give everyone a choice: they can either share a happy memory whilst looking sad, angry, or disgusted, or share a negative memory whilst wearing their most blissful smile.
2. Give each person no more than 30 seconds to share.
3. If anyone begins smiling mid-way through their own happy anecdotes, or looking angry whilst talking about what annoys them, politely cut them off – they didn’t manage to stick to the rules.
4. Once everyone has finished, ask what people think the point of that activity was. You may like to let them know it was based on serious psychological research conducted in 2010, which found that Mind-Body Dissonance helps us think more expansively.
When people’s expressions contradict their mental states, that incoherence snaps us out of habitual thought patterns.
5. Encourage everyone to be open to any surprising ideas that emerge during the rest of the session.
Twist: for a simple twist on this activity, you can set a “no smiling” rule during a regular round of introductions – this will go against (most) people’s instincts and achieve a similar effect.