Emotions are contagious: Let's make them good!

spread some relaxation around your library!

You have probably heard, and noticed for yourself, that emotions are contagious. If one person in the library is having an excellent day, everyone else feels a little more smiley. And if someone comes in with the clouds of gloom over their head – you know things are going to be a little more challenging for everyone.

We are stress-busting this month, so let’s concentrate on ways we can help spread positive emotions around our libraries!

The article The More You Energize Your Coworkers, the Better Everyone Performs gives a few suggestions for strategies to energize yourself and those around you.

  • Build High-Quality Connections
  • Create Energizing Events
  • Use Tools that Promote a “Giver” Culture
  • Try Mapping Relational Energy

Want to read a few more articles about this? They may give you some strategies for spreading contagious positive emotions around your library, and helping everyone to bust some workplace stress!

  • Emotions Are Contagious “…People who were surrounded by happy people were more likely to become happy in the future. The statistical analysis showed that this was not just because happy people tended to interact with other happy people, but because people were more likely to become happy when they were around happy people. Even physical distance was important: those who had a happy friend within a mile were 25 percent more likely to become happy themselves. Those with a happy next-door neighbor had a 34 percent greater probability of becoming happier.”
  • How Contagious Are Your Emotions? “They discovered that, from infancy, all of us imitate facial expressions, postures, and voices of the people around us. Those expressions trigger certain emotions—the same ones experienced by the person we mimic. But the process happens so fast, we’re completely unaware of it.”

  • Are You Catching Other People’s Emotions? “Research has found that upbeat emotions such as enthusiasm and joy, as well as negative ones, including sadness, fear and anger, are easily passed from person to person, often without either party’s realizing it. Emotional contagion occurs in a matter of milliseconds, and it depends on an incredibly basic, even primitive, instinct: During conversation, human beings naturally tend to mimic their companion’s facial expressions, posture, body language and speech rhythms, without being consciously aware of it,…”

And in a final piece of stress-busting good news: Positive emotions are more contagious than negative ones. So far, this only looked at Twitter, but let’s spread around a lot of positive emotions and see how widely we can get them to spread!