How Body Language Changes Your Internal Chemistry…
Movement is key to having a healthy, functional body. Most of us have experienced the addictive kick of endorphins after a good workout, and by now we all know the long list of health benefits you accrue when you get moving. What you might not yet know is that the way you use your body can change your hormonal chemistry affecting how you think and feel too!
A couple of weeks ago after a really rough week, I was feeling moody and irritable and definitely not in the mood to move. Despite my apathy, I decided to take a healthy dose of my own medicine (so to speak) and practice what I preach! I took to the gym class timetable to find something new and interesting to peak my interest. After a healthy dose of procrastination, I eventually decided to try a step class.
In a nutshell, step class is comprised of sequences of intricate dance-like moves over and around a little step with no time to rest to the best music in the gym. It was a shaky start with plenty of missed-steps, but by the time the class was over I noticed a few interesting things:
I have always professed that there is a cure for everything, and it is dancing! This step class had totally changed my mood and lifted my spirits; which led me to wonder if there was maybe something more than just endorphins changing our chemistry when we move in certain ways.
So I did some research. As it turns out, social psychologists have discovered that the body-mind link is more powerful than you may have imagined! Amy Cuddy does a TED talk during which she explains the amazing effect of “Power Poses” on stress and confidence hormones. One of her experiments showed that after only two minutes of striking poses in powerful, open body positions; certain hormone levels in the body changed! Specifically, those which affect confidence, and power rose, and those that govern stress and low status fell.
This experiment beautifully and simply shows the power of the connection between your body and mind. Your body language sends messages to your brain which have the potential to change the chemistry in your body and alter the way you feel and think! It also gives us yet another reason pay good posture it’s dues! Small postural changes like opening up your chest, dropping your shoulders and lengthening your spine throughout the day may subtly change your body’s chemistry making you less prone to stress and feeling blue and give you a greater sense of empowerment and confidence.
Maybe it’s time we stop making ourselves small by hunching our shoulders, folding our arms and crowding around our smartphones. Maybe it’s time we start physically enacting the way we want to feel. Want to feel Empowered? Pose Empowered! Want to feel Brave? Pose Brave! Want to feel Happy? Grab a step, blast some music and Shake It ‘Till You Make It!
Maybe it’s time we stop making ourselves small by hunching our shoulders, folding our arms and crowding around our smartphones. Maybe it’s time we start physically enacting the way we want to feel. Want to feel Empowered? Pose Empowered! Want to feel Brave? Pose Brave! Want to feel Happy? Grab a step, blast some music and Shake It till you Make It!
Move Well. Live Well.