Ever been in the same room as someone who yawned? Chances are you’ve caught on and yawned as well. It’s a phenomenon called “contagious yawning” and has been observed in wild species, such as chimpanzees, wolves, and baboons, as well as in dogs and humans. There are many theories out there as to why one person’s yawn typically causes a chain reaction, such as empathy, genetics, or a need to cool the brain. But all reasoning aside, if witnessing someone yawning causes you to do the same, can we then make the argument that this is one more example of how humans are innately linked?

Let’s stretch this contagious yawning phenomenon a bit. Think about the last time a person with a happy, bubbly personality walked into the room. Did the energy in the room shift? Did the air feel lighter? How did that energy vibration rub off on you? Now think about a time when a disgruntled person who was noticeably upset walked into the room. How did the energy shift then?

You see, if all humans are connected, we feed off of each other’s energy. We feel empathy when those we love are hurt or suffering. And we “catch the bug” when someone we love is happy. This shared experience extends beyond those in our circle as well. It may begin to explain why some people cry at sad movies or are moved by tragic or heartwarming news.

Human beings have the exceptional power to feel. Our emotions run the gamut from sad to elated and everything in between. These emotions are simply waves of energy, but they don’t just affect us; they impact others in our circles and still others that those initial people encounter.

In short, emotions are like sound waves that travel through the air. Think about the sound that is made when someone pounds on a drum. The air vibrates, causing the “boom” to travel in all directions. Your emotions are like this drum beat. What you feel and give off emanates all around you. It reaches those closest to you, and then makes its way to those beyond that initial circle. In other words, we have the capacity to not only feel, but to impact others with our display of emotions.

What energy do you carry? What waves do you give off?

Spend the next few days becoming aware of how your emotions impact others. Notice the energy drains or boosts when certain people walk into the room. Notice your own reaction. Then delve inward a bit. Picture the power that your emotions have to shift the energy within yourself. Focus on changing your negative emotions so that they are constructive, not destructive. And then take note of how your newfound positivity creates a chain reaction — not only within you — but around you as well.

Mind, Body, Spirit, TCM

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