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If nothing from the outside is positively impacting my present mood I tend to use my mind. I usually think myself into feeling happy and satisfied. However, sometimes my brain just won’t work with me despite the efforts and I fail to be in a good mood. So lately I explored the ways to use my physique instead to instantly boost my mood.
It is no coincidence that when we are not in a good mood, we state that we are feeling down. Similarly, when we are positively influenced, and feel happier, we notice that our spirit is lifted up. Even though we use this terminology to describe our emotions, we also identify our body postures.
As Tony Robbins describes: Physiology comes first!
I am sure you can immediately notice if a person is depressed by just seeing their body and facial expressions. You may realize that a body of a depressed person is just hanging there; with a back hunched over and their look is often facing the ground.
Now, picture the positive, joyful and self-confident person. What does their body posture look like? They would definitely have a smile on their face, standing or sitting with their straight backs and with their heads lifted up.
Noticeably our emotions affect not just our mood, but also our physique. However, this link between the feelings and a body points to the fact that we can use our bodies to influence our emotional state! After all, we are not just our minds and spirits; we have our body and senses for a reason.
Here are successful ways to use your body senses to boost your mood instantly:
- Use your body
If you are feeling down, look up instead. I have learned the importance of lifting our heads up at on one of the NLP training when my coach shared the interesting findings. The patients who suffered depression were told to count the antennas on the rooftops, before coming to the therapy session. The ones who followed assignment and reported on the numbers of antennas noticed the positive change in their mood. They stated that they were feeling more positive and less depressed.
The point of this task was not to calculate the correct amount of antennas in the city but to force the depressed patients to lift their heads up and look into the sky while walking on the street. By changing the way they walked their head position changed and positively influenced their feelings.
As proven by this experiment, when you are looking-up; there is no way you can feel depressed!
If you feel down right now, lift your head up and look up! Literally, point your head and your eyes towards the sky or ceiling; it will put you in a good mood!
– Sit-up or stand straight
In school, we were often told to sit with our straight back, to positively stimulate our spine development and have a nice body posture. However, today the correct sitting or standing position dramatically affects our mood, too.
This effect was exposed by the Harvard Psychologist Amy Cuddy, who scientifically showed that our body posture significantly determines our attitude and self- confidence. She suggests standing in the power woman position for at least 2 minutes to feel the positive effect on your hormone level, in order to start to feel good. This posture also helps in reducing stress and lifts up the mood as well as performance level.
– Start walking
It is proven that exercise increases the level of serotonin, known as the happiness hormone. That is why so many successful people spend their time working out.
However, if you can’t work out right now, short brisk walk during lunch break is a great mood booster, too. University Illinois Researchers (https://www.active.com/walking/articles/forget-the-gym-why-a-brisk-walk-is-a-really-great-workout-4064) showed by that taking 20 minutes’ walk over lunch-break for six weeks can replace a psychotherapy course. So, the effect of the light walk can positively affect our mental and physical health.
While exercising has been found to have a dramatic impact on one’s mental and physical health, it’s also important to prioritize other aspects of self-care as well. This can be anything; whether you want to learn more about some new glasses for work, or just need a pamper session to feel confident again. Putting yourself first will instill a sense of responsibility towards your overall well being. And, before you know it, you’ll feel happier as well because you’ve started to actually pay attention to your body and its needs.
- Use your face
– Relax your jaw
We are usually not aware that when we feel stressed or worried, we tend to close our mouth and clench our teeth. To lose that the tension, when you feel stressed or negative, make sure to open your mouth and relax your jaw to feel more comfortable.
– Take a deep breath
Breathing helps us feel calmer and more focused.
Usually, throughout the day we take shallow breaths, using only the upper part of the body. However, the most tension is concentrated in our belly, within our solar plexus. In order to release pressure in that area, it is essential to take deeper breaths. The breathing technique ( https://www.hgi.org.uk/resources/delve-our-extensive-library/resources-and-techniques/7-11-breathing-how-does-deep) 7-11 suggests that in order to relax, it is important to breathe in counting to 7 and exhale counting till 11 to trigger relaxation. When you are relaxed, you are in a better mood, too.
When you feel happy, or you are in a good mood, you are definitely smiling!
Even if you don’t feel like it at this point, make sure you smile! With a smile, you send signals to your brain that everything is OK! Then, your mind sends that signal back to your emotions, so that you start to feel happy and start to think happy thoughts, too; as a result of the embodied cognition ( https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-02/msu-sfa022211.php)
So, make a smiley face 🙂 regardless of what you are feeling right now. Just stretch your lips and make a beautiful grin, it will lift up your mood!
– Play some music
If you feel sad, play louder music! The research done by McGill University researchers (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-12135590) shows that playing music with a higher volume elevates the level of dopamine, known as the important neurotransmitter and a chemical that makes you happy. It also produces the adrenaline, which raises the level of motivation.
On the other hand, if you are feeling stressed play some relaxing music. The sound of waves or birds used in the SPA centers creates positive and relaxing atmosphere.
– Use your scent
Aromatherapy is known to be a successful method in positively affecting our mood by improving our productivity and releasing tension. For example, the citrus scents reduce stress and improve our awareness, while lavender calms us down, as it is often used as a remedy for falling asleep more easily.
How do you use your body senses to feel great?