We have all encountered our share of inspirational quotes. There are old favorites such as:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” —Thomas Edison
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King
Science Says This Is Not Just Fancy Word Play
Science says that these quotes may be more than just fancy word-play. A variety of recent studies show that a positive frame of mind, and use of inspirational quotes, can change the chemistry of the brain and actually make the people who use them more successful.
How Does This Happen In The Brain?
There are various mechanisms at play here.
The first, according to psychology expert Richard Boyatzis, is that the act of engaging in positive activities, such as coffee breaks, yoga, or reading inspirational quote engage the ‘parasympathetic nervous system’.
This system is responsible for relaxation and the slowing of the heart rate, and engaging it changes the hormonal flow of the body. This releases dopamine and serotonin, adding to feelings of happiness and contentment and this all results in renewed optimism, improved productivity and better working relationships with colleagues.
And all that from the simple act of thinking positive.
The Mayo Clinic Studies Also Confirms This
According to The Mayo Clinic, positive thinking also reduces stress. According to their studies, when you have a positive outlook it helps you cope better with stressful situations.
This doesn’t mean you ignore the stress and bury your head in the sand. Instead, it means you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.
Changing Your Mind Set Is Also Important
Akin to the NLP concept of ‘changing the script’, Psychology Today says studies show that when you change the way you view certain experiences, it changes the mindset of the brain.
As an example, when you are sick, in order to frame what is happening in a different, positive mindset, when someone asks how you are feeling, instead of responding: “I’m still sick!” you should respond along the lines of “I’m getting better.” It’s the same set of circumstances (your body is still recovering from an illness) but the one mindset is negative and the other is positive.
The positive mindset again engages this parasympathetic part of the brain; makes us feel more positive, changes the hormonal flow, and actually helps the body heal quicker.
When applied to a work situation, this change in mindset and framing enhances performance, productivity and success.