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What…Me Worry?

Emotions are contagious. Just like the common cold, you can “catch” a mood, according to Marco Iacoboni, MD, the author of, Mirroring People. In the workplace, when rumors start, they can quickly descend into widespread panic. Have you ever attended an event where the energy varies from group to group? Aren’t you more likely to be attracted to people who are animated, smiling and interacting with each other? By contrast, you’d be far more inclined to approach them and join in the merriment rather than move toward another, less open set of people. When we observe others doing something, it activates the mirror neurons in the brain, even if you are not doing anything yourself. “Spend time with happy people and you’ll eventually feel happier yourself,” says Dr. Iacoboni.

So, while serenity may be an ultimate goal, it’s not always a state that we can achieve instantly. However, with practice and by tapping into some simple actions, we can call up mindful bliss to affect our frame of mind.

• Smile- it can lift your mood and increase the positive feedback you receive from others around you • Sing- there’s some research that suggests a connection with how the inner ear reacts to music and that it may trigger a response in the hypothalamus and create a positive buzz. Also, singing about worries can turn into an absurd moment and neutralize the negative. • Sweat- exercise redirects energy and promotes the growth of new neurons in the brain that are less reactive to stress • Soothe- think of a memory that brings to mind a pleasurable, safe, comforting experience and place your hand over your heart. The act of connecting the body to the brain in a physical manner again stimulates neural networks.

Emotions are like the weather, they come and go. How you handle information and process your reaction to it can have long term affects on your health, relationships and overall well-being. Remember that most of what we worry about never happens and for the day to day happenings, take control and practice using some of the techniques outlined above.


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