ROCHESTER, Minn. — You enjoy a good speaker and detest a boring one, because a good speaker, one who is in flow, helps your brain experience the same flow state.

In an interesting study, researchers monitored the brain waves of people as they were listening to a speaker. Slowly, the listener’s brain waves started tracking that of the speaker. The more they trusted the speaker and the more effective the speaker, the greater the match.

This is because speech production and comprehension engage similar brain areas. Further, even the physical and eye movements of the speaker start matching with the listeners.

The above science guides me to be careful about who I listen to on most days. The negative people carve out negative space in the brain, particularly if they are very effective at what they do.

When you are listening to people, you aren’t just listening to them. You are using their brain’s template to redesign your brain.

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Just as a magnet has an energetic field around it, people influence the energy around them. Choose a healthy dose of words from positive, uplifting people every day, and be the source of such inspiration to others. And if you are stuck with someone negative, avoid emotionally connecting with that person, and dilute his or her presence with someone whose values you admire.

Dr. Amit Sood answers your questions about stress, resilience, happiness, relationships and related topics in his column. Email