How your body can actually change your mind
Is life for you or against you? The choice is yours.
As we increase our ability to think about thinking (meta-cognition), we are given the opportunity to jump in and shift the serpents fear, self-doubt and worry into a place of positivity. Your body can actually change your mind. Science shows that certain "power poses" can increase testosterone and decrease the stress hormone. Amy Cuddy, a researcher at Harvard University, studies how certain poses of the body can trigger hormone shifts in the mind.
Similar to the positive biological effects of laughter and smiling, holding certain power poses with our body for two minutes can also flip our biology into a positive space. As we create and maintain a positive stance in our body, our mind will follow. "Fake it till you make it" is a phrase which aligns with another commonly heard phrase in energy psychology: "Act as if".
Smiling, laughing and even acting as if you are in a better mental space by dancing or spinning around actually shifts below the line energy. The key lies in our ability to stay awake at the gate of our thoughts and make a conscious effort to choose what we think about.
Behavior that is repeated evokes a positive or negative biological response and creates new neuro-pathways, which create new positive or negative perceptions, which elicit new emotions, which create new outcomes. Think about this for a moment; life happens and it will remain objective until you label it as positive or negative.
As soon as you slap a mental label onto your circumstance, the body responds and follows your mental lead. Is life for you or against you? The choice is yours and directly affects the outcomes you will experience. I often think about the scene from Dumb and Dumber when the woman told Jim Carrey that there was a one in a million chance that she would ever date him, to which he replied, "So you're saying I have a chance?"
Wayne Dyer sums it up with a simple statement: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." In the field of epigenetics, Dr. Bruce Lipton has also simplified this unseen process: "Be very careful what you think, because your body is listening." An important element in all of this lies in your choice of response to circumstances around you. Your attitude towards life fuels your body's expression and is either your closest friend or your worst enemy. You choose.
When I went through the experience of cancer, I remember forcing myself to laugh for at least three minutes several times a day. Science shows that laughing even for one minute (fake or real) will boost your immune system for 24 hours. Power poses not only shift your biology for more confidence, you also will put yourself in a positive light in the eyes of those around you.
Do you ever notice how young children fully occupy the space they are in? Whether they are spinning, skipping, hopping or exploring a new movement with their body, they lean into the space they are in during that particular moment in time. Get your Superman/Superwoman pose on today for two minutes and observe how this shifts your mindset.
There are many hidden tips contained on the human body, which directly affect the mind. For example, the next time you find yourself in a low self-confident moment, simply look up to the right and hum your favorite song. As you look up to the right you activate the visual creative part of your brain. When your eyes look down to the left you are accessing the part of the brain responsible for inner dialogue, which for many is a dark place.
As you move into your day, notice how often you look down when you are downcast and make a conscious choice to look up to the right or left (the left side activates your visual memory) and think about a positive thought.
In the below Ted Talk, Amy Cuddy explains how your choice of body language has a direct impact on your level of confidence and hormones, shifting your mindset and the mindset of those around you.
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