#TeamESC ambassador Kemo Marriott explores how we're influenced by our social environment and shares his top tips on how to adapt.
Our social environments are a powerful determinant of our behaviours and habits. Jim Rohn, author of a plethora of Self-Help books stated the following: “you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with”. This is an important concept. Especially if we’re trying to live a more athletic lifestyle.
It turns out that those we spend the most time with has a powerful effect on our behaviour. So powerful, that it affects our subconscious behaviour. This has been named as the “Chameleon Effect”. A study showed that even when strangers work together on a task, they begin to mimic each other's postures and movements. This began to happen after just 15 minutes of being in each other’s company.
Another interesting study showed that “a person’s chances of becoming obese increased by 57% if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given interval” and the same study found that “Persons of the same sex had relatively greater influence on each other than those of the opposite sex.”
These points show that our immediate ‘real-world’ interactions with those in our environment, does have an impact on our own behaviour.
Let’s not forget that it’s now 2017. Our online social networks have a huge impact in what we expose ourselves to. That in turn has an impact upon our mood and behaviour.
To evidence this, a recent study which looked to assess the impact of posts upon mood and subsequent online behaviour found “When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred”
Given that we clearly are influenced by our social environment, both real world and online, here are a few tips for you to make some adaptations to your environment.
1) Have a goal. Let People Know!
Our friends are usually supportive of our goals. Let them know what your goals are, why they’re important. They will begin to understand why you’re giving up certain indulgences and investing more time in whatever movement practise you’ve decided to pursue.
2) Interact with those who have the same goals
This is important. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will foster a greater sense of sympathy and encouragement when needed. It’s a common thread amongst the ESC ambassadors, who regularly train and interact with each other. Both in person and on social media. It will ensure that you stay on track whilst giving you the sense that you should lead by example.
3) Follow inspirational people.
You’re thinking about not working out today, but you see on Facebook or Instagram that someone you follow has just had a breakthrough with their training, or has caused you to think about taking an alternative action. There’s your motivation to get up off your derriere and do the same.
4) Be active on social networks yourself
So you’ve decided you want to boost your health, define your physique and boost your energy levels. Commit to cooking healthy meals and posting photos of them and post updates of your workouts. These don’t need to be public. Create a Whatsapp group, where your content will appreciated by a receptive and supportive network. Not only will you be documenting your success, you will begin to attract like-minded people who will motivate you further to keep doing what you are doing.