The Importance of Body Language
The Importance of Strong Body Language
The connection between the body and the mind is fascinating. Sometimes, it's the mind telling the body what to do, but other times, the body is telling the mind what types of emotions our mind should produce. This is where the power of body language comes into play.
For example, if you're displaying negative body language like:
- Head down
- Shoulders slouching
- Bent over your knees with your head down
- Rounded back while sitting in a chair
You're telling your brain that you're tired, sad, unmotivated, worn out, etc.
But when you display positive body language like:
- Standing straight-up
- Keeping your head up and high
- Your shoulders back
- Hands above your head (Rocky/champion pose)
- Sitting up straight in a chair or on the couch
You're telling your mind that you're energized, focused, engaged, etc.
Keep Your Head Up and Shoulders Back
In his book, 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Jordan Peterson's first rule is to "stand up straight with your shoulders back."
During this chapter, he uses lobsters as an example, because like humans, lobsters produce serotonin. In their battle for territory and mates, the lobster that wins ends up producing more serotonin and creating a completely different life moving forward. He thrives and his dominance continues. On the other hand, the losing lobster's serotonin drops, and they continue to struggle.
"Low serotonin means decreased confidence. Low serotonin means more response to stress and costlier physical preparedness for an emergency- low serotonin means less happiness, more pain and anxiety, more illness, and a shorter lifespan among humans, just as among crustaceans."
When you're working, walking around, or sitting on the couch, pay attention to your postures and positions. The way you stand and hold yourself is the key to producing higher or lower amounts of serotonin. Because body language is emotion, and emotion produces serotonin in the body. Take inventory, and be extra aware of how you use your body language. During workouts, sit up straight, keep your head high, and show your brain that you aren't that tired. You'll recover better and be able to do more.
"So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them— at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence."
Challenge for this Week:
When you're working out, walking around, or sitting, be aware and focus on your body language and the positions/postures you're doing. Happiness is a muscle, and we have to work it!
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