Be Socially Contagious!

Real social networks (not just the online variety) have a viral and “contagious” nature; that is, we take on the habits of the people around us. In short: Your friend walks, so you walk; your friend eats doughnuts, so you eat doughnuts. This may happen, in part, because of something you have in your brain called mirror neurons. When you observe the actions of another, these neurons fire in exactly the same way that they would if you were completing the action yourself, causing you to subconsciously rehearse the actions of the people around you. Here’s how this can help your do-over:

Get “infected” by the people whose health practices inspire you by regularly sharing activities with them. Then share the do-over “contagion” by practicing your new health habits within your own personal community. If you and your friends usually meet once a week for nachos and beer, instead invite them to meet up for a walk, or host them for a healthy dinner. You could also schedule a potluck, with each person cooking a healthy dish. This creates a two-way street that reinforces the idea that you can transition your habits while sharing the benefits with the people you care about most.

 "Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher." Oprah Winfrey


Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under wellness.