How Your Mood Creates Your Reality.
What is the most contagious thing in the world?
Most people immediately think of some horrible disease or epidemic that has recently made world news. But have you ever considered how your attitude and mood shapes the reality around you?
If you are around someone who is in a bad mood, their negatively spreads throughout the group, dragging everyone down. This phenomenon is so prevalent that psychologists have named it emotional contagion — the process in which a person or a group influences the emotions and affective behavior of another person or group both consciously or unconsciously.
And science has shown that the opposite holds true as well. Recent Positive Psychology research has shown that if a person is happy, the likelihood that a close friend will also be happy is increased by 15%. Then, at two degrees of separation, this likelihood is increased by 10%, and still stays as high as 6% at three degrees of separation.
If you asked your ten closest friends this same question, how many would say, “YOU of course”?
Being someone who uplifts and motivates others is an amazing leadership quality that our world needs more of. Just imagine how your day — and life — might be different if you left every interaction you had feeling just a little bit better and more confident. Too often, our interchanges leave us more depleted and even reactive, rather than uplifted. But thankfully we can change that!
By focusing on ways to spread more positivity and encouragement in our relationships, workplaces, and communities, we become sources of uplift and mindset shift. Here are three of our favorite practical strategies you can try to boost your own life and then spread the love to others as you pass it on!
Step One: Get Out of Your Own Way
The foundation of finding more inspiration in your life is to begin noticing the blocks and places you struggle. You know, the spaces that are uncomfortable and make you turn inward and want to run away and hide. Yeah, those places! Take time to consider what is causing you to shrink and then determine what would be possible if you got out of your own way and stopped making excuses. Whose life would you be able to impact and change? How would you feel then?
Step Two: Start With What’s Easy
Too often, we allow those big, scary moments of “I could never do that!” completely diminish any possible positive influence we could make. We kill the idea in our head before we ever give it a chance to live and breathe. Instead, start with what’s easy and small: The friendly smiles and waves to people you know, the encouraging text messages and notes you can send, and the positive posts on your social media channels to combat all the negativity out in cyberspace! Pick one easy area and begin today.
Step Three: Create a Challenge
Sometimes the best way to motivate more positive action is with a challenge! Think of what environments you engage in every day and begin experimenting with more ways to uplift and encourage others. From simply saying “thank you” more to the barista at your local coffee shop to offering genuine acknowledgements to those who have gone above and beyond your expectations and helped you, make it a point to get out of your comfort zone and spread the love! Then take it to the next level by enlisting a friend or partner in your challenge and share your success stories with each other.
How many times have you heard a story that made you feel so encouraged and inspired?
Similarly, one of the most uplifting things you can do is to share how others have enhanced your life and make it better! The very process of remembering and retelling these moments brings those memories back in a powerful way that continues to pay dividends and inspire others.
I recently posted the following question on my social media channels and was overwhelmed by the variety of creative responses: “What is the most uplifting thing that someone has done for you recently? …or that you have done for someone else?” People shared the following:
- Receiving an unexpected gift in the mail from a friend
- My mom came over and cleaned my bathrooms and paired our families huge pile of clean socks
- Someone made for me and where they told me that they appreciated me and all I do
- A past client called just to tell me how special I am and how they admire my hard work
- Getting a group hug from my client and their family after I helped them successfully win their case
I’d love to hear your most uplifting memories and moments and invite you to post them in the comments below to share the love!
Be the Revolution,
Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC
Executive Coach + Lifestyle Strategist for Millennial Leaders + Managers
Originally published at leadwithintention.com on February 1, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com