Positive Leadership Changes Your Brain
According to a recent psychological article, “new scientific research on neuroplasticity (experience-dependent change in the neural circuitry of emotions) suggests that positive emotional states may trigger lasting, durable changes in the structure and function of the brain.”
Here’s what this study means: if you are a negative person – in your thoughts, words or actions – it has a tremendous impact on how you think, how your brain functions, even your health. Conversely, if you can learn to be a positive person – in your thoughts, words, or actions – it can work wonders for your brain, how people treat you, your ability to accomplish your dreams and goals, and your health – just to name a few benefits.
This may seem easy to do, but it is not. We are surrounded by a constant barrage of negativity that is teaching us to be hyper-critical and judgmental. This affects us personally, while we’re at work, home, and at social functions.
Go watch a 12-year-old’s soccer game, which I'll be doing this weekend, and listen to what happens. I have 4 kids that play and I’ve written down what I hear 70% of the time. “That’s a ridiculous call ref!” “Johnny, what are you doing? Stop being so lazy and go after the ball!” “That kid is a cheap shot artist. Give him a card!” "You're an IDIOT!" You would think you were at a WWF wrestling event, not a 12 year old’s soccer game. We are prone to negativity. We just can’t help it.
But we can turn the tide. Positivity doesn’t just happen, because the odds are against us. But it can be learned. And the fruit of positivity is worth it: an increased life span, creating more joy, hope, peace and meaningful, lasting relationships in your life.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to cultivate positivity in your life:
(1) Hire a great coach. That’s why at Fine Points, we focus on individual and group coaching with our clients. You just can't do it on your own. A great coach helps you to focus on what really matters to you and helps you accomplish those goals. Coaching also helps leaders stand out from the crowd and differentiate themselves. Finally, coaching helps to create accountability in your life so you can stay on task to the things that are most important to you.
(2) Start your mornings differently. We are bombarded by an influx of social media, bad morning news programs and problems as soon as our days start. Make a shift and start the day in a place of focus. Read an inspirational book, pray or meditate. Then, spend a few minutes getting clear about what you want to accomplish for the day. What are the 1-2 things you want to accomplish that really matter? Focus on those and at the end of the day you will feel the confidence of finishing strong.
(3) Cultivate a sense of gratitude. This is more than simply a feeling of thankfulness. A powerful practice is to focus on the things in life you are really thankful for. I repeat these to myself, especially when negativity is attempting to rule my life. I think about how grateful I am for my family, for being able to watch my kids play soccer, for the genuine friendships I have in my life. Take the time that’s necessary to let these realities sink into your mind and heart and it will completely change your outlook on the day and put you into a place of positivity.