Someone else yawns; you yawn.
Someone smiles at you, you smile back.
You watch an action filled movie and your heart rate increases as the main character finds himself in a life or death situation…
You observe others and you experience a physical response in your own body.
Kinda strange if you think about it…
But have you ever asked yourself why?
And why it can feel so intense as if you’re actually in that movie, fighting off that villain? When in fact you’re sitting in your living room binging on popcorn…
Well… it’s down to something called mirror neurons.
And these little brain cells respond the SAME whether it’s us performing an action OR witnessing an action…
They were first discovered in monkeys…
When scientists found that the SAME NEURONS FIRED whether the monkey grabbed an object or just watched his monkey friend grab it.
Yep, it didn’t matter WHO grabbed the object – the same neurons fired!
And, we too have the same general mirror system.
Which is what makes us great at understanding other people…so very important for social interaction…and in times past, survival.
It’s also how we learn…by mimicry.
Okay, I don’t want to get too scientific here and lose you…
There is a point to me telling you this…promise!
We’ve all heard, we are the people who we spend the most time with.
Thing is I heard this a lot BUT kinda ignored it, probably because I felt guilty about ditching certain people AND besides believed I was strong enough to not be influenced by them…
But our mirror neurons say otherwise.
We are mirroring people all day long on a subconscious level so we don’t even have any control over it. We are wired that way…
To automatically internalise the movements and mental states of others!
Kinda scary actually.
It makes sense why it took me YEARS to give up drinking alcohol. Because I was being influenced by my friends. I just thought I was being weak. (Maybe I was too). But as soon as I realised the power of your environment I stopped drinking pretty much overnight. And I haven’t drunk for over 3 years now.
…so if we’re surrounding ourselves with people who are negative, live in blame, see themselves as victims, are broke, unhappy…or anything that YOU DON’T WANT TO BE then you are setting yourself up for acute failure!
Whenever you observe others actions the SAME parts in your own brain light up.
So, if you are around someone with a bad habit or negative outlook on life, then the SAME part in your brain lights up!
And neurons that fire together, wire together, getting stronger and stronger until these traits become second nature to you
…and before you know it, you’re that negative person, assuming the worst and having thoughts that simply don’t serve your highest good.
This is why successful people surround themselves with other successful people, not because they are snobs (well some might be) BUT because they realise the HUGE importance of protecting their mind.
Your mind is what makes or breaks you.
So common sense would say that we need to eliminate the time we spend with people who create and reinforce destructive thoughts and behaviours….
And if you can’t do that just yet….(maybe you’re tied to a job at the moment or some other responsibility) then to at least minimize the time you spend with such people, sure you might have to work with them for example BUT you don’t have to go for office drinks, and there are times when you can choose not to be involved conversations with them…
How refreshing it is to surround yourself with people who are positive and upbeat about life. Suddenly, the rain clouds lift and you can see the light.
You should honour yourself and take the time to surround yourself with people who are already where you want to be. Those who are living in alignment with a life similar that you, yourself would like.
But that’s not all.
You need to think about EVERYTHING you expose yourself to.
That includes TV, music, films, newspapers, books, the internet….EVERYTHING!
It might sound like a drag…but do you know how life changing this is going to be for you? TRUST ME. The kind of life you will create will be well worth giving up that soap opera!
Imagine you make the effort to eliminate all toxic people from your life. But go watch a violent movie and suddenly you’re observing stress, fear, drama, and oops…the same parts of your brain are lighting up.
This is why I stopped watching the reality TV show I used to binge on. It was full of drama, bitching, judging….it was my guilty pleasure.
And then relapsed and I watched it again….I saw huge inflated egos, people blaming each other for their lives, people who clearly weren’t happy and living from a place of alignment.
Is this really the example we’re going to set for people?
To encourage them to judge and blame EVERYONE else for their mistakes?
Now I can’t stand the show…I feel like they are in need of help…
So, let’s not sabotage our own success and make our brains subconsciously ingrain these negative behaviours which in no way no shape or form serve us – other than to teach us a lesson of how not to live (seriously).
So, remember… neurons that fire together wire together
…..making the connections grow stronger and stronger
….and because this is all happening subconsciously, you need to PROTECT your mind and CHOOSE who and what you surround yourself with.