How Do Other People Affect Your Brain and Productivity?
Stressed to the max, depressed or feeling overwhelmed? It’s a way of life for many these days. Unfortunately, it’s also a way of shortening life and hindering business productivity. Too often, the power and effects of stress are underestimated. But what about the effects of being around negative people or events?
We all know someone who is so negative we can’t wait to get away from them. Science is now revealing that is exactly what you should do. Get away and stay away! Being around negative people and stressful events is actually harmful to your health.
Although we all have a bad day every now and then, some people have bad days and drama on such a regular basis it consumes them. If you allow it, being in close contact with them on a regular basis will consume you also.
In addition to negative people bringing you down and affecting your mood, research in the field of neuroscience has discovered other people and external stimuli can actually have an effect on the physical structure of your brain! Think about that. The words someone else speaks or the actions they take in your presence can change your brain!
You may have heard about the girl whose mother video taped her right after she had her wisdom teeth out. Her sister put the video on youtube and it landed the girls a spot on the Ellen DeGeneres show. The really interesting thing about that was the girl mentioned she listened to a particular rap song over and over, and that’s what came out of her mouth when she was in a semi-conscious state. Her brain soaked up the information so well she automatically repeated the information verbatim while sedated.
The analogy of the human brain being compared to a computer hard drive makes so much sense because once information in any form is received, it is embedded into the neurons of the brain. Once information is embedded, it can be difficult to remove, just like trying to remove information from a computer.
Experiencing negative situations or negative people not only changes the structure of the brain, but memories of those interactions get stored in the cells of the body and remain long after the event took place. This occurs at the cellular level when the memory of the event is encoded into the cells at certain regions of the brain and body.
The negative or stressful event creates “neural traffic” to and from the central nervous system and triggers a “fight or flight” response. During this traffic within the cerebral and peripheral nervous system, sensory receptors are either picking up information or carrying it away. Each sensory receptor then encodes the nature, location, intensity and duration of the stimuli, which can be triggered at a future time.
You’ve most likely heard the arguments for not watching violent movies or listening to music with lyrics of violence. Neuroscience makes the best argument for avoiding them I’ve ever come across. The effects are all around us in how our children and society have changed in ways we never imagined.
Change begins with decision and action. The best approach for effectively dealing with negative input and managing stress is to be pro-active. Prevention is the key. You can do this through awareness and choice. It’s essential to become aware of what is going on around you and within your body and mind.
Why not surround yourself with people and events that will contribute to your well-being and productivity?
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