The Importance of Good Vibes
At the Association for Talent Development International Conference and Exposition one of the speakers, Andre Vermeulen, really and truly blew my mind when he introduced the concept of electro-chemical functioning. His argument was that brain waves can affect the brain functioning of the people around you. Evidently, people’s subconscious minds can register your energy from as far as 16m away. And this is scientific research we’re talking about.
Isn’t that crazy? Think about how many people sit within 16m of your desk. These people all feed off your energy, whether it’s positive or negative. This would certainly explain why stress seems to be contagious, and if someone’s having a bad day it starts to go around. Our brain’s gamma waves, firing at 29-40 cps, are sending out stress vibes to everyone in range. Likewise, lethargy can plague entire companies with a strong enough electro-chemical source.
If you don’t believe me – and why should you, it’s not like I have a degree in neuroscience – perhaps you should try it yourself. In his session, Andre shared with us a number of breathing exercises that can be used to normalize our brain waves and arrive at a more focused and healthy 8-12cps, known as alpha waves. The next time someone on your team is having a stressful day, do some breathing exercises in their vicinity and send some good vibes their way. If nothing else, your demonstrable calm and focus will inspire them to mirror your actions.
I routinely use breathing exercises, acquired through my yoga practice, when I feel frazzled and unfocussed. In my mind, the jury is still out on whether the benefits of my breathing are purely cognitive or physiological, but recent research supports Andre’s assertion.
Another technique Andre recommended is regular stretching to increase cerebrospinal circulation and enhance our ability to focus. This is something many physiotherapists recommend for people who sit at a desk all day, and I have found it to be incredibly beneficial. At my previous job, a couple girls started taking stretch breaks at 11am every day. This trend quickly caught on, and most people in the office would take 5 minutes out of their day for a stretch and a chat. The vibes when leaving those little sessions were always positive: relaxed, energized, and friendly. Little activities like these make your team happier, healthier and more productive, so they are worth integrating within your organization.
By Kate Salmon (@CSCKate)
I’m a communications specialist and general word nerd from Ottawa, Ontario. Upon learning that in the 21st century I could still get a degree in rhetoric, I went to the University of Waterloo to do precisely that. Now I get to continue my learning journey at Learnography, a non-profit education consulting organization that really practices its principles of continuous development. With a great team of former educators who are dedicated to creating transformative learning experiences, we are changing the face of corporate training.
I live in Toronto with my cat and my curmudgeonly but endearing roommate.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.