I read an article on Psychology Today that talked about being “emotionally contagious.” What does that mean, you might be asking? In essence, what you express through nonverbal communication can influence others around you. You might be able to conduct a little “experiment” yourself around your office at work or even at home with your family and notice this very quickly. If you are happy and your body language shows others that you are happy (smiling, upbeat, open posture) you might notice that the mood of others around you improves. The inverse of this is likely also true. If you are having a bad day and you shut yourself down (poor eye contact, folded arms, low energy) you may notice that people will start to reflect some of that behavior. You may be thinking, “wow, how full of yourself do you have to be to think that the way you act influences people that much?” But it’s true! Much of who we are as humans relies on our interactions with other humans and sometimes if we are down or are having a bad day, having that one or two people around you that can brighten your spirits can dramatically change that. This is also a good lesson for us to take a look at our own behavior and what we put out in the world. Many times we choose to let bad days ruin our mood. Making a positive choice to have a good day or positive attitude can not only improve your mood but the mood of those around you. I try to make every effort when I can to examine myself during the day to see what I’m putting out in the universe and how that affects my clients, coworkers, friends, and family. I hope that you will take some time each day to reflect and say to yourself “how am I really doing today?” If the answer to that question is more consistently, “not well” consider talking to one of our dedicated professionals who are here to help.
submitted by: Steven Plummer, LCPC