Did you know that there is a great body of evidence that discusses the connection between our body and our mind? Your body language not only reflects to others an image of who you are but actually can affect your own feelings, moods, and perceptions of who you are!
This is great news!
Why is this great news? Well, what this means is that by changing even simple things like your posture, the way you sit, move, or hold your head can make you actually feel more happy and optimistic!
Does that sound crazy? Well, have you ever walked past a store window and seen your reflection walking along a bit hunched over? Did you immediately straighten up? In that moment when you changed from walking hunched over to walking upright, did you feel better? Like you were walking with purpose? Maybe even a bit lighter and happier? Of course, these feelings may not have lasted all day, but for those few moments, your posture change also affected a change in your mood.
Try this… This is an exercise I learned from Bob Dunham, founder of the
Institute for Generative Leadership (IGL).
Stand up. Now drop your arms to your sides, hunch your back, look down at your feet.
Now say, “I feel so depressed.”
How do you feel? You probably actually feel a bit sad or discontent and can notice the feeling of downward energy within your body.
Now stand up again. But this time spread your feet shoulder width apart, raise your head to look at the sky (or ceiling), and raise your arms up above your head and spread your fingers reaching toward the sky.
Now say, “I feel so depressed.”
How do you feel? The first time I did this I actually giggled! It seems so silly to make that statement when my body is “saying” something different.
So know that you have experienced this connection, how can we employ this new learning to your advantage?
When you start to feel a limiting emotion, acknowledge it, Say to yourself, “I am feeling_______ (angry, sad, discouraged, etc.)“ Then stand up in your power pose, with your arms in the air, look up and as loudly as you can out loud, make positive statements about yourself, “I am strong, and I can get through this,” I am proud of my accomplishments,” “I am learning and growing every day,” “I love the new me.”
By doing this, you will reset your mind to feel a more positive uplifting energy in that moment.
It is also a fun exercise to do this when you are feeling good. Get in this power pose and state your good feelings to the sky also – this will deepen the joy you will feel throughout your body!
Ok, so we are not always in an environment when we can stand up and proclaim our feelings to the sky (although public bathrooms have been quick and easy places for me to duck into at times) so here are a few other ways to use our body-mind connections to create positivity.
For a quick mind-body shift:
• Stand up/sit-up straighter
• Put your shoulders back
• Look up
• Take longer steps / Quicken your pace
• Laugh out loud (if appropriate)
• Take three deep breaths (and smile)
• Just smile (look in the mirror if you can) now hold your smile for as long as you can – the longer you
smile, the better you will feel and you may even begin to laugh. ☺
As always, I would love to hear which of these strategies work best for you.
Let me know your feedback – simply contact me on the Contacts page or leave your comments below. Thank you.
Live in possibility,
Founder & CEO