Relaxing Makes You Think Better


relaxOur lives are nowadays so busy that we do not give ourselves time to do nothing and relax. When was the last time that you spend 5 minutes of doing nothing? No emails, FB, checking the weather app, planning the weekend…just simply spending 5 minutes to relax yourself. If I look back at my own activities this week those 5 minutes relaxing time are hard to find.

We are sort of captured in this state of mind when we are continously doing things.
Our human brains explains beautifully how this works. When we are so focussed and not relaxed, our Amygdala is triggered and directly sends signals to prepare ourselves to either FIGHT, FREEZE OR FLIGHT. And at the same time the Thinking-part of the brain (Neo-cortex) doesn’t get enough blood to be able to think anymore. This used to be very handy, at the time when we were picking berries in the forest (or for the guys hunting for meat)  and suddenly a big bear appeared….But not as effective in the office when you have a deadline.

When we relax ourself by for example taking time to breath in & out for 5 minutes,
or thinking about a very pleasant moment in time, our Hippocampus is triggered. And starts to send ‘happy hormones’ which activates the Thinking-part (Neo-Cortex) of the brain. That is what makes us so much more effective if you had a nice night of good sleep, or a lovely long weekend.

What to do in the moment of stess when you are at the office and you are already behind on schedule for the deadline? Here is a list of thinks you can do:

  • follow your breathing for a couple of minutes
  • think about your best friend sitting next to you
  • get some fresh air outside while focussing on what you smell
  • walk to the coffee machine and focus on your feet touching the ground
  • think about your last success
  • put music on that makes you happy and/or relaxed
  • smile
  • enjoy the cat spinning on your laptop 🙂

(Source: Pacelle van Goethem – IJs verkopen aan Eskimo’s)

Better performance? The relationship between manager & employee is key.

In these days it is crucial to measure the performance of your employees. Many organisations invest a big deal in these performance management systems. Despite the investment, there seems to be a great variation in success in employee performance. Gallup investigated the effectiveness of performance management systems. And saw a strong relation between how the manager scored on these elements and the performance of employees. They asked employees to rate their manager on how much their manager:

  • helped employees feel empowered
  • recognized or praised employees’ achievements
  • cared about their employees
  • had regular discussions with employees

Organisations who had high Managers scores, also had a high performance score.

Want to read more?:


5 Questions that Increase Engagement, Happiness & Productivity

Asking your team members these 5 questions will automatically help to build trust.

  1. Which part of the job gives you most energy? Why?
  2. How can we help you to further increase your energy at work?
  3. Which of your strengths (skills, values, passions) are we – as an organization – not yet bringing to their full potential?
  4. What would you need in order to do that?
  5. What is it that you want to learn that will maximise happiness in your job?