Stand tall to feel happier

Category: Article or Blog Published: Wednesday, 24 January 2018 Written by Sarah PJ White

We know that our posture often reflects our mood. Feeling down? Your shoulders will go down, you’ll slump down on yourself a bit and hold your head low. Feel positive? Your head will be up, you’ll be more likely to make eye contact and your stance will be a firm but relaxed one.

But how many of you have heard of the philosophy of embodied cognition?

Embodied cognition

Embodied cognition means the relationship between our mind and body is a two-way thing. This means our posture and stance affect how we think – but also, that the way we think impacts our posture and stance.

So you could say you’re slouching down because you’re depressed, however it’s also true that you’re feeling depressed BECAUSE you’re slouching down.

What this means for your mood

This is a truly powerful concept, as it means you can work on both your mind-set AND your posture, if you want to change your moods.

So think about it for a minute. We all make assumptions about how mood is reflected in a person’s posture. For example, swinging your arms whilst walking can help you feel more positive and happier, so if we see someone doing this, we assume they’re happy. If we see someone walking tall, with their back straightened, shoulders back and head held high, we immediately think they’re confident and assured.

Change your stance to change your mood

It’s been said that it only takes two minutes to change the chemistry and hormones in our body. We could therefore work on changing our posture IN ORDER TO feel a different mood.

Try it and see. For example, right now straighten your back, pull your shoulders back and hold your head higher and switch your focus to something slightly higher than eye level. Hold this stance, whilst you breathe steadily in and out. Feel calmer or more content?

Another good example is hugging. It’s amazing how hugging makes us feel safe, protected and warm – but did you know that hugging yourself has a very similar effect on your feelings?

Make the choice

The important thing to remember is to acknowledge whatever mood you’re feeling, but state it as a choice, not a definite. ‘I am sad’ has a different feel to that of the statement ‘I choose to feel sad’. ‘I choose to feel happy’ feels even more special than ‘I feel happy’.

So make a choice to feel the mood you want to feel. If you want to feel happy, choose that mood – and then stand tall and act happy. Smile, grin, skip, dance or jump on the spot if it helps, but make the decision AND take on the stance of happy person – and you WILL start feeling happier.

Discover your happiness at: http://thejoyscientist.co.uk/index.php/ways-to-feel-great/the-joy-journey

Image courtesy of ZydaProductions/Dollar Photo Club

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