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close this bookCreative Training - A User's Guide (IIRR, 1998, 226 pages)
close this folderMood setting exercises
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMy posture, my thinking
View the documentPut your worries aside
View the documentCreating a positive state of mind


Mood setting exercises are activities that refocus participants' attention to the subject. They are used to cultivate a positive, self-confident attitude and prepare the participants for the work at hand. These are done before the start of a training course, before starting a day's activity or before resuming an activity after a break.


My posture, my thinking


The exercise here would only be effective if the facilitator has established rapport with the participants and is able to gain their cooperation.


To help participants realize that their thinking is also influenced by their posture. Thus, they make a conscious effort to notice their posture and change from a self-defeating slump to a confidence-boosting "sitting tall" position. This is often used before starting new topics or sessions.

Suggested approach

Explain that our action is a product of how we think. But often, how we act also affects how we feel. To illustrate, do the following exercise.


1. Slump your body in a chair.
2. Tilt your head down, cross your arms and pull into yourself.
3. Stick out your lips in a pout, let your cheeks drop, and tense the muscles around your eyes.
4. Try to feel happy and optimistic.

Ask the participants, "Is this possible?" After getting the expected "NOs" proceed to the second exercise;



If anyone says YES, check the posture. It might be starting to slump again.

1. Sit up straight in your chair.
2. Throw back your head and shoulders.
3. Let a smile play on your mouth and widen your eyes.
4. Try to feel sad and depressed.

Ask: "Can you do it?" The expected response is NO.

Ask volunteers to share how the exercise felt to them. Build on their common responses to come to an agreement about their right attitude towards the activities ahead.

Put your worries aside


· Focus participants' attention to the topic at hand.


Suggested approach

1. Ask the participants to write all their worries on a piece of paper, seal with tape or paste and put in a box. Assure the participants that these will be kept confidential.

2. Take the box away and remind the participants that their present task is attention and energy to the training. Remind is a right time for dealing with their problems or worries. Explain the significance of their part in attaining the full objectives of the training.


For 1 & 2 methods

· Participants write their worries but keep the paper in their own pocket or bag.
· Participants can mentally place their worries in a box until the training session ends.
· The box containing the worries may also be ceremoniously burned if all participants agree.

3. Display a quotation, saying or poster related to the training course (or topic to be discussed) and ask the participants to reflect on it.


In a campaign to promote learning, quotations were used as openers in team learning sessions. These became the spring board for discussion.

4. Ask volunteers to share their reflections. (The facilitator of the succeeding topic builds on the reflection to start the discussion.)

5. Later, display the quotations, poster on the wall as a source of inspiration, reminder or a thought provoker.



Very positive and flexible. Allows participants to check on themselves and perform better during the training.

Creating a positive state of mind

Creating a positive state of mind is an exercise to recapture the feelings that go with peak moments Variation - moments of triumph, success or jubilation! This is a powerful way of affirming and inspiring people to perform better.


The centering meditation under "Relaxers" can be facilitated first to prepare the participants.


To set the mood for active learning.

Suggested approach


Ask the participants to do the following:

1. Relax, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

2. Recall a moment of success in your life. Remember the precise moment when you did exceptionally well.

3. Intensify your memory. Remember what it was like after the peak experience. "What did you see?" What did you hear?" "What did you feel?"

4. Take time to savor the triumph of that experience. Recreate the scene, take time to see it with your own eyes. Recall the feeling of pride and confidence in what you had achieved!

5. Think of one word that would sum up your experience. A word that when said or read would bring the memory back to you anytime, anywhere. This word will be the key in recapturing the feelings of that peak experience.

6. Take a deep breath and once again feel your jubilation in that experience. Clench your fist as it is the natural thing to do when you feel powerful!

7. Intensify the memory of that moment. Keep your eyes shut to eliminate other things that might distract you. Remember only that moment of success, triumph and jubilation!

8. Unclench your fist and slowly open your eyes. Ask volunteers to share how the exercise felt to them.


Some participants may feel uncomfortable. You, as the facilitator, must be confident and convinced in what you are doing. It is better to try this yourself first experience.


On your own, repeat the exercise as often as possible within two days. The more you do this, the easier it will be for you to return to a productive state of mind.