How Your Posture Affects Your Mood

No matter how with every human encounter we leave an impression. Sometimes very consciously, often very unconsciously, the people around us ...

No matter how with every human encounter we leave an impression. Sometimes very consciously, often very unconsciously, the people around us perceive us as we present ourselves at the moment. If we want to make an impression, we pay particular attention to our choice of clothes and our way of expressing ourselves. However, our posture is no less important for the overall impression, because it also conveys something about us to the other person. What's more, one's own attitude can have a significant influence on the course and mood of an encounter.

How your body expression affects your psyche

An explanation for the phenomenon of the embodiment can be found in brain research. It has been proven that we associate emotions with certain body language. Equally interesting is the aspect of influencing our own emotional world.

A clear example from sleep medicine: Patients complain again and again about sleep disorders. Some are burdened with nagging nightmares that make restorative sleep impossible to find. The pharmaceutical industry can offer short-term solutions, but in the long term drugs are not an everyday solution, and the expected side effects can be too serious for that.

In search of another remedy, psychologists have come across the body's own language as an auxiliary tool. On the one hand, they were able to observe how the faces of those affected in the sleep laboratory looked sad, depressed, or anxious when they fell asleep, in each case with the corners of their mouths clearly pulled down. The test subjects, plagued by nightmares, seemed to fall asleep already in an inner state of tension, which was clearly visible on the outside of their faces.

The experts established a connection between the facial expression and the subsequent sleep disorders, which they then attempted to resolve in the next step. The subjects were trained to fall asleep with a smile, i.e. to consciously pay attention to the corners of their mouths being pulled up when falling asleep. This created a discrepancy in the brain between possible negative thoughts and a happy facial expression, which subsequently led to a significant decrease in nightmares and thus to a positive improvement in sleep.

body awareness in everyday life

A simple piece of information from our body can therefore enormously influence our thoughts and feelings. In principle, we do not need any scientific investigations for this knowledge, everyday observations or our own experience should be sufficient.

If we have had a bad day, if we are particularly stressed, or if we have had a stroke of fate such as a breakup, we will hardly feel like pulling out trees. On the contrary, our whole posture will express depression, for example by having a stooped and slouched gait.

On the other hand, when we've just met the love of our life or landed a lucrative job, it's easy for us to "take off," our chests are filled with pride and contentment. The back is then straight, the posture upright, we feel absolutely confident, and we radiate that.

Body feedback: Mutual exchange of information between body and brain

We are all familiar with such situations and observations from our everyday lives, we only reflect on them far too rarely. Nevertheless, we understand quite quickly that there is a connection between inner well-being and outer charisma. Overall, we are less aware of the exchange of information on the so-called body-brain axis, which does not just run unidirectionally in one direction.

It's entirely possible that we're mentally healthy and stable, so "rationally" there's no reason to be depressed, and yet still feel drained or depressed. Because we then send signals to our brain with our body language, which it interprets as dissatisfaction. In such moments, despite being in a legitimate good mood, we physically convey completely different messages to the brain. As a result, these misinterpretations also affect our mental state. It is then crucial that the cause of the condition lies in one's own body language.

Psychologists call this connection body feedback and use this term to describe the reciprocal relationship between body language and emotional mood (body-brain axis).

Your posture can influence your settings

At the latest since American scientists were able to determine another relevant connection, the thesis of body feedback has received special attention in behavioral research. In their research with student subjects, they were able to prove that by nodding or shaking their heads, their own attitudes that had previously been rationally taken differently were revised.

The subjects listened to a report about the increase in tuition fees via headphones, with some students nodding their heads while listening, others shaking their heads, and the rest of the subjects keeping their heads still. The result impressed even the investigators, as it showed very clearly that the head nods subsequently had a positive attitude towards the increase in tuition fees, while the head shakers were all negative.

The majority of the students, who were asked to keep their heads still during the audition, were neutral about the tuition increase. It was very clearly demonstrated to what extent body postures and reactions have an unconscious influence on one's own attitudes.

"Let go" - Creativity needs movement

Creativity is no different; here, too, scientists were able to establish relationships. For a study, social psychologists divided their subjects into two groups. The first group should draw wavy lines over a certain period of time, i.e. always remain in a fluid movement. While the second group was asked to draw angular lines and thus proceeded choppy and rigid in their movements.

Both groups were then given the task of creatively designing their own newspaper. In the first test group, which had previously performed fluid movements, far greater creativity was measured when designing the newspaper. The second group, on the other hand, found it very difficult to implement the task set.

With simple tricks, you can do something for your mood

Does this mean that simply paying attention to my body language is sufficient for my emotional and psychological well-being from now on? Not quite, as many different components contribute to mental health and stability. Should a severe blow of fate overtake you, you will hardly be able to just "smile away".

Nevertheless, it is worth including the aspect of body feedback much more in your own reflection in order to reconsider your own body language for positive improvements.

As the example from the sleep laboratory mentioned at the beginning made clear to us: We can consciously use our body to “trick” our brain. Through our body posture and language, we are able to influence our emotions, thoughts, attitudes, and creativity.



Guest Post Mag: How Your Posture Affects Your Mood
How Your Posture Affects Your Mood
Guest Post Mag
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