Do you remember the show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
It was a show based around improv comics where there is no script and everything was made up on the fly using a series of prompts. Now - the people on these shows were professional comedians or actors, so they had some seasoned skills.
Not everyone is a stand up comic. Not everyone is an improv comic. But there is a fundamentally basic theme to ALL improv comedy that anyone can embrace - even if you aren't planning on doing a night club tour. You can use it in everyday life and conversations to improve your communication skills, sharpen your creativity, and embrace differences with others.
One of the first skills you would learn if you took an improv class is the concept of "Yes And". "Yes and" advances a conversation and allows the person you are improvising with to keep the scene going. It's the opposite of "No, Actually" - which would shut down a conversation and perhaps even cause an argument. When you say "yes, and" you acknowledge what someone else has said with the Yes, then you add something new with the "and".
When we hear the word "no" - whatever comes after the no often doesn't matter because we feel rejected and our "fight or flight" response triggers. Creative juices stop flowing.
This happens all the time in life when we are handed situations out of the blue that we are not expecting. We can use the "yes and" technique to embrace the present moment and capitulate ourselves into new and exciting situations and experiences. Saying yes feels so much better than saying no anyways, doesn't it?
Now this doesn't mean you need to be a human doormat and just say "yes" to everything. Sometimes boundaries are necessary and you need to be mindful when it's time to say NO and draw that line. Especially if you are feeling uncomfortable or uneasy, or in a moral situation where you KNOW the answer should be "no". Boundaries are important and you need to be able to determine when it's time for a hard "no".
Embracing the "Yes and" mindset in some situations of life can be amazing and lead you to new destinations you never would have imagined if you had just shut them down and said no.
Next time something inconvenient happens to you, and you're on the fence - maybe try using the "yes and" approach and see where it takes you. Some of the coolest things in life can come from a simple yes...and see what happens next.
It allows you to be mindful and present in the moment. If you're interested in learning more about this, embracing your strengths, and using positive psychology to open your potential with YOUR mental health, reach out to us for a free consultation.