Friday, 26 April 2013

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Have you noticed that the mood of your spouse is often contagious, i.e. if they are in a good mood it tends to spill over on to you?  There are probably a number of reasons that this happens but one that is quite fascinating is the concept of the Mirror Neuron.  Such neurons “mirror” the behavior of the person being observed.  Mirror neurons may be important for understanding the actions of other people, and for learning new skills by imitation.

I found this of particular interest since it helped to explain a phenomena that my wife and I have been experiencing for some time.  We tend to live a rather calm existence, where routine is more the norm than not.  We discovered that when placed in a situation that was more chaotic in nature we would both get somewhat edgy, not necessarily with each other but just out of sorts.  This phenomenon suggests that my wife and I are first playing off of our environment and secondly off of each other.

The Marriage Counseling Blog adds the following insight, “Our brains are hard wired to notice what other people are feeling. We have something called mirror neurons in our brains which makes us mimic what we see. For example, many people cry when they see someone else cry. Or perhaps you smile when someone else smiles at you. Spend time with happy people and you’re more likely to feel happy. Surround yourself with curmudgeons and you might find yourself complaining more often… Along with a positive attitude about life, surround yourself with people who also have positive attitudes about their marriage. A friend who talks positively about her marriage and her husband can help you to feel more positive about your own marriage.”

Studies have indicated that couples who hang around with couples who are unhappy are more prone to divorce if others in their circle of friends divorce.  That seems to be taking the concept of mirror neurons to a new level.

Back to my wife and me, after all it’s all about us.  We have learned to anticipate potentially chaotic situations and start praying several days prior to the event that our hearts would remain calm, that we would sense the Lord’s presence and His peace.  If it is to be for a period lasting longer than a day we pray during our time away.

The point is seek the Lord and don’t let someone else’s negative demeanor or a stressful situation determine how you will react or behave.  On the other hand don’t hesitate to get caught up in laughter, tears of joy and expressions of love.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a comment