Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
What Are Mirror Neurons
They say emotions spread like a disease. In reality, it spreads a lot faster than any disease that I know of. As soon as somebody feels a certain way it’s almost immediate that you start to get this feeling that something is wrong. You can’t quite put your finger on it. Or have you ever walked into a room and you felt your mood just drop? Has somebody smiled or laughed and you instinctively just started smiling and laughing for no apparent reason? This is a really crazy and interesting phenomenon, to say the least. Let’s learn more about this interesting phenomenon shall we?
This phenomenon I talked about has to do with mirror neurons. What are mirror neurons you ask? Great question! Mirror neurons are neurons in your brain that fires when you observe an action performed by another. These mirror neurons cause you to mimic the same emotion as the other person. This allows us, humans, to interpret the underlying meaning and emotions of each action we take. We can then form closer bonds and socialize a lot better.
This is why I often talk about surrounding yourself with positive people. If you ever heard the saying “You are who you surround yourself with” nothing can be closer to the truth. You are, quite literally, who you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with extremely negative and depressed people your mirror neurons will fire and start to mimic that same emotional state. Keep hanging out with these people and you can possibly start to become more negative and depressed yourself.
How to Use Mirror Neurons to Your Advantage
Other people’s mood clearly influences you through mirror neurons. Much like this can be disadvantages to you it can also be advantages to you if you use this concept correctly. The first thing you need to do is become more aware of other people emotions. When you start feeling a little down all of a sudden ask yourself what is causing this to happen? Did you just finish hanging out with a friend who was a little depressed? Is there anyone in the room who may be subconsciously causing you to feel this way?
Knowing the cause of our emotions allows us to take action to better control it. Just the knowledge that our lack of motivation may be because of something else will make it easier to lift your own mood up and not kick yourself for feeling a certain way. If someone else is affecting our mood we can leave that environment or attempt to cheer that person up. Either way, understanding emotions and the psychology of how our brains work allows us to take better control of our emotions and therefore our lives.
For now on I want you to start to recognize how you are currently feeling. When you go into an interaction with somebody realize that the way you are currently feeling will affect their mood as well. So it is beneficial for both parties to try to shift your mood to a more positive one before entering any interaction. In contrast, if you are upbeat and you know you will be interacting with a more negative person try not to let your mood drop. If you allow your own mood to drop to his level the overall mood will be more negative. However, if you can maintain your positive upbeat mood and not allow a negative emotion to affect you, you can actually cheer that person up.
Knowing ahead of time before going into an interaction how your mood and emotions can change will be a huge advantage to you in any social interaction. It will allow you to connect with people on a much deeper level which will gain you more friends and close acquaintances.
Have a great day!