At the Table: Spread Sunshine to Help You, Business

May 18, 2009
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Sharon Roberts

Good news! Renowned neuropsychologist Dr. Candace Pert has scientifically documented that smiling, literally using our facial muscles to put on a happy face, triggers specific brain neurotransmitters to shift the balance of the brain’s feel-good chemicals to overcome unhappiness. Who knew the message in that snappy little tune, “Put on a Happy Face” would be scientifically documented decades after it was penned? Thank you, Dr. Pert, for your life-changing research. Lord knows we need your help as we see lots of frowny faces these days.

The gloomy faces are evidence of the fear that’s gripping people of all ages, even our young salespeople. And, those frowny faces trigger their own set of specific brain neurotransmitters. More on those happy-sapping, fear-mongering critters later. So put on a happy face and dive into Dr. Pert’s scientific report and see for yourself why it matters to you and growing your business. It’s very good for your whole life, personal and business!



CHEMISTRY OF HAPPINESS

Dr. Pert says when you’re happy, you are alive and buzzing with “happiness juices,” the very real chemicals in your body and brain that are the foundation of your positive experiences. That’s what energizes and compels you to dig deeper and continue learning. It’s quite literally addictive. There are no drugs more powerful than the natural happiness-enhancing ones that are available in your brain right now. You have:

• Endorphins: the brain’s painkiller that is three times stronger than morphine. We need that to wipe out all the naysayers’ nightmarish predictions.

• Serotonin: naturally calms anxiety and is very beneficial for you and your clients.

• Oxytocin: a bonding chemical, is often called the “happy hormone.” It’s elevated when people are ready to close. And

• Dopamine: promotes alertness and a feeling of enjoyment, propels us to continually learn. This is always present with delighted customers.

Go ahead trigger these wonderful feel-good chemicals early and often, any time of the night or day. They’re powerfully addictive and highly contagious. And, you cannot overdose! Side effects include creating an engaged, professional, approachable salesperson that customers respect, value, and passionately refer.

Now about those frowny faces - we trigger specific brain neurotransmitters when we use our facial muscles to frown and it’s a very big deal! Research by French physiologist Dr. Israel Waynbaum shows that frowning triggers the secretion of stress hormones cortisol, adrenalin, and noradrenalin, all of which increase blood pressure, weaken the immune system, and make us more susceptible to depression and anxiety (very bad for business). Smiling decreases these substances and increases happiness chemicals such as endorphins and immune-boosting killer T-cells. It also relaxes muscles, reduces pain, and accelerates healing (very good for business).



WIPE YOUR DIRTY FEET

Have you noticed that you or some of the salespeople in your company have become “trash magnets?” Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus, relates a Gandhi quote that is sound advice for us today, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” What a wake-up call! Who and what are you listening to? Are you glomming onto every scrap of economic doom and gloom that’s spewing constantly? Are you welcoming scads of people with filthy feet to tromp through your mind? Don’t allow yourself to become a trash magnet and don’t keep trash magnets in your organization.

But, how can you inoculate yourself and your team from the constant barrage of bad news and prevent this plague from infecting the lifeblood of your company, its culture? It’s a simple process that will cost you nothing, and it works. It’s not touchy-feely, no sitting in a circle with your fingers on one another’s pulse points. Oh, and one more thing, most men want to know if this is a woman thing or if it also works in men’s groups. Absolutely, it works in men’s groups! In fact, most of the groups I work with are composed of all or predominately men.

Schedule a meeting for as little as 30-45 minutes with your team. Prior to the meeting ask the members of your team to be thinking about the positive, pivotal people in their life that have been particularly influential. Ask them to choose one. Then during the meeting, take two to three minutes to honor that pivotal person. In all the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never had anyone decline to honor a pivotal person in their life. They want to do it. Even the quietest people are compelled to honor the special people in their life. There are usually many inspiring grandparent and teacher stories. It’s totally inspiring, and it is the gift that just keeps on giving as one story triggers another.

Before you leave the meeting, ask each person to contact their pivotal person if they are still living. They can call, write, or visit their pivotal person and tell them about the impact they have had in the person’s life. Why? Because most people had no idea they made a difference at all. They mattered much, and it’s vitally important for them to know it. And, it’s reassuring for all of us to know that we don’t have to be famous or ever appear on Oprah to make a powerful difference. Your pivotal people are ordinary people who made an extraordinary difference in your life. Tell them now. As Gertrude Stein said, “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.”

Do as the song says, put on a happy face and start spreading sunshine all over the place. We may even turn the economy around!

Publication date: 05/18/2009

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