Even noticed how much your posture changes when you are sad or excited? Your posture is an insight to how you are feeling. When we are sad, depressed, upset we tend to curl forwards into a fetal position. When we are excited, happy, confident we stand up tall, chest broad, shoulders rolled backwards and we smile. Therefore your emotional wellbeing is reflected on the outside. Emotion and physical expression play a crucial role in social interaction.
Simple expressions of our emotions can be easily seen in our facial expression. For example; smiling, clenching our teeth, raising our eyebrows, frowning and so on. Our facial expression is a quick way others to gauge how we are feeling, without verbally communicating our emotions.
Bodily expression/posture is a reflection our of internal feelings. When we are sick we curl up into a fetal position, curled up in a ball to relieve pain and create a protective posture. When we are sad, depressed, threatened, tired we also resume this posture. On the other hand when we are happy, excited, full of energy, confident we are upright, shoulders back, smiling, looking straight ahead, relaxed.
Can we influence our mood?
Research suggests adjusting your posture can influence your mood, energy and thoughts. It is demonstrated that posture and emotional state is a 2 way street, with you being able to influence both. This is just the same concept as using the power of the mind, thinking happy thoughts, taking a situation and turning into a positive and/or learning experience verse focusing on the negative.
An exercise you can try is to correct your posture to a confident, upright position and see if this helps lighten your mood. Pull your shoulders back to a neutral position, raise your chest slightly forwards, stand up tall, smile and take a few slow, deep breathes.
Try adjusting your everyday life to keep your head held up high and sitting up right. Raise your computer screen so you are not looking down, put your rear vision mirror slightly higher so you have to sit upright, sitting in a chair without a back support so you have to hold yourself upright.