Emotions Are Contagious

Emotions Are Contagious

Some people are highly charismatic. When they enter a room, all eyes turn to them. They attract people’s attention magnetically. But how do they radiate confidence, even before they begin talking? 

Think of a time when you were in the presence of a highly passionate and energetic person. Did you feel this person’s excitement? Did you start feeling excited as well? Chances are you answered “yes” to both questions because authentic emotions are contagious.

Is it possible that emotions, while we only experience them internally, also have an external quality that escapes our awareness? 

When you sit in front of a TV and switch channels, you can’t see a beam coming out of your remote control. You can’t hear it, feel it, smell it, or taste it either. Yet it is there because the channels are changing. 

Emotions seem a bit like that beam. They escape our senses or the signals we receive are not processed consciously. Yet they still transfer from one person to another.

Mirror Neurons – A possible explanation why emotions are contagious

A recent discovery in neuroscience provides a possible explanation as to why emotions are contagious. While not fully understood yet, mirror neurons are thought of as helping us imitate others, including their feelings, on a subconscious level. 

Mirror neurons were discovered in 1990 by a team of Italian researchers. Giacomo Rizzolatti and his team at the University of Parma found individual neurons in the brains of monkeys that fired equally when the monkeys grabbed an object themselves and when the monkeys watched another primate grab that object.

This is a profound discovery: the same neurons fired no matter if the action was performed or observed!

When you feel the urge to yawn after seeing someone else yawning, mirror neurons are at play. This is not just a psychological phenomenon. Several researchers have found that seeing someone else yawn leads to an actual change in blood oxygen in the observer.

Channels to transfer emotions

While the signals we send out when we are excited are perceived subconsciously by the observer, we do send them. This could help explain why we are able to “read” others and feel empathy for them. It would also explain why highly passionate presenters can lead an audience to become as excited about something as they are about it themselves.

When you are truly excited about your message, it will show. When you convey a happy story and feel the happiness in your own heart, it will show. It will reflect in your body language, in your words, and in the tone of your voice. And this is also the case when you feel nervous or anxious.

Your words, your body language, and your voice are channels to transfer your emotions. How can you deliberately feel and transfer a specific emotion then? Follow this link to learn a method that’s as easy as child’s play.

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