The July 17, 2017 FIU Center for Leadership News asks; “Just how contagious is your good mood?” Basically it relates the results of an experiment by Facebook wherein temporary changes to the newsfeeds of 689,000 users omitted negative emotional words and replaced with more positive ones.
The results were that the user’s posts mirrored the more positive words with their own.
Though this article centers around people in leadership positions, I believe it can also be useful for others in relationships; parents, spouses, friends.
As the article states, being around negative coworkers zaps us of our energy because we “…have to mentally fight being dragged down with them.” The same is true of being around anyone who is negative…or being the negative person in the lives of others. True, there are times to be assertive and judiciously convey negative emotions; choosing the best time and the best way to do so. That being said, however, negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts creating a barrier in your brain to better options and healthier choices.
Most often we need to hear positivity and encouragement. The world is filled with critical, judgmental, finger-pointing words. Those are not hard to find. The challenge is to be and be around those who tout positivity and words of affirmation. Our brain is wired to see possibilities in life when we are experiencing positive emotions such as joy, contentment and love. The even bigger benefit is that positive emotions provide an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life.
So, how do you get yourself into the habit of being positive? Anything that creates those feelings of joy, love, contentment will do the trick. A few ideas to consider are, meditation, writing, music, play or fun.
Find ways to build happiness and positive emotions into your life and it has what is called the ‘broaden and build” effect. You experience a positive emotion now and it supports positive behaviors that can last for a lifetime. (Better mood levels, fewer visits to health clinics and fewer illnesses)