In loving memory of Judith E. Glaser, who died in November 2018 after a three-year battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
“The key to better health is to better understand our brain. By understanding how the brain functions, communicates, and responds to our environment, we can reach our full potentials. The brain does not speak French or English, it speaks neuroscience”
- Judith E. Glaser
Conversations are not just a way of sharing information; they actually trigger physical and emotional changes in the brain that either open you up to having healthy, trusting conversations or close you down so that you speak from fear, caution, and anxiety. Conversations have the power to change the brain by boosting the production of hormones and neurotransmitters that stimulate body systems and nerve pathways, changing our body’s chemistry, not just for a moment, but perhaps for a lifetime.
As we communicate, our brains trigger a neurochemical cocktail that makes us feel either good or bad, and we translate that inner experience into words, sentences, and stories. “Feel good” conversations trigger higher levels of dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and other biochemicals that give us a sense of well-being.
The millions of minute-by-minute neurochemical reactions within our brains drive our states of mind. These states of mind shape our relationships every day, affecting the way we communicate to build trust with others. Conversational intelligence (C-IQ) gives us the power to influence our neurochemistry and the neurochemistry of those we converse with, even in the moment.
C-IQ lets us express our inner thoughts and feelings to one another in ways that can strengthen relationships and success. As we come to understand the power of conversations in regulating how we feel every day, and the role language plays in the brain’s capacity to expand perspectives and create a “feel-good” experience, we can learn to shape our world in profound and healthier ways.
Balboa, N. and Glaser, R.D. Ph.D. (2019) Conversational Intelligence. Retrieved from https://creatingwe.com/news-blogs/articles-blogs/psychology-today/1061-the-neuroscience-of-conversations