Why smiles are contagious

Mon, 28. August 2017

Smile and the world smiles back at you. Neurologists have already scientifically proven this proverb. "Smiling is healthy". But what causes it? And why do we have to laugh when other people laugh out loud? 


Everybody knows this situation: The boss tells a respectable joke and everyone laughs about it. There are many social reasons for it, which are researched by various neurologists.


By hearing other people laughing, the brain reacts and prepares the face muscles automatically for the upcoming laugh. This also happens, if there is no reason to be happy. The reason why people laugh is usually not because the told story is super funny.


Laughing has more to do with a social moment than humor. According to experts, less than 20% of laughs are a response to something that deals with humor. Laughing rather triggers positive emotions and leads to a more relaxed atmosphere within a group. This is also the reason why we tend to laugh in awkward and uncomfortable moments. Disgrace decreases and laughing indicates that a situation was not meant to be too serious.


We have some tips for you regarding mirror neurons and your own productivity:      


1. Look for people who are productive


People tend to copy the behavior of others. Therefore this is the rule of thumb for all people who want to be more productive: Search for people who are productive. According to various theories, your own productivity increases than. Obviously it's easier said than done. At work you can't just take your staff and move to a different workplace. An alternative: Make lunch plans with a colleague who always has his/her work done a few days before the due date of the project. You can also have a look at the behavior of people who always get their work done without any issues.


2. Look for the bests and do it their way


Widely spread is learning by imitating. This is one of the oldest ways to learn. Mirror neurons are the basis of motorized learning through imitation. It is for example easier for us to learn an instrument by watching somebody else play a chordal first. People learn fast when they obtain others. There are plenty opportunities nowadays in the internet. At Youtube you can watch learning videos for example. You can look for someone who is an expert in the field you would like to be good in and imitate it.


3. Reflect just filtered behavior


Not every conversation works out well and is always positive. In some jobs you have to listen to a lot of complaints or do feedback talks that are not just positive. You have to be aware of the fact that neurons absorb the mood of a mad client who is complaining and usually reflect it. But we are not forced to do what our neurons absorb. The way we behave is our decision. Answering our clients furiously and mad is not a solution.


4. Pay attention to your social network


The impact social networks have on our luck is very surprising. US researchers found out that luck is transferable. People who have happy friends are more likely to be happier. At least the probability increases around 9%, whereas the prospect of gaining more money increase our happiness by only 2%.



Author: Laura Tüttelmann

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