We all know that the mind has a certain power over the body.
You think about picking up that glass, and your arm moves to get it. But did you realize that it can also work the other way around?
That’s right, the body has a lot more influence over the mind than most people think. I’m not talking about abstract things, like how exercise can ultimately create a better mood long-term.
I’m talking about specific things that you can do with your body that can have an impact on your mental state almost immediately.
Curious? Then let’s investigate:
Right, I get how cheesy that sounds, but before you throw a tomato at my head, hear me out.
There have been numerous studies that show that smiling — even if you aren’t feeling anything close to happiness — can ultimately lead to an improved mood.
Think about that next time you’re not feeling that great. Pasting a smile across your face like a damn fool tricks your brain into thinking it’s happy. In certain instances, it has been used as a supplemental treatment for depression.
Folks smile and look at themselves in a mirror for 10 minutes at a time and feel better. Your brain senses the physical position of your face and think to itself, “Oh shit, bro, he’s smiling. Must mean that he’s happy.”
It then releases mood-elevating chemicals.
2. Powerful posture
You know how Batman stands there like a damn boss like he owns the entire city of Gotham?
Turns out there’s something to that pose. Studies have shown that holding power poses can actually improve your mood.
Holding a powerful posture for roughly two minutes can increase testosterone levels and reduce cortisol levels.
Essentially, you become less afraid and more confident with every passing second.Again, I’m not going to act like these conclusions don’t sound insane.
It’s crazy that you can have that kind of influence over your brain with something as simple and striking a hero pose. Crazy-sounding or not, though, it freakin’ works.
So, next time you’re entering into an unknown situation, just pretend like you have a cape on your back. You’ll quickly become the hero that situation deserves.
3. Tap your chest
You have this thing behind your sternum called your thymus gland. It helps regulate the energy in your body.
By tapping on and around your sternum, you can help stimulate your thymus.
You’ll feel a faint tingling sensation, and your thymus will give you a temporary boost of energy that can help improve your mood.
4. Make small talk with a stranger
Turns out that all those people you try to ignore all day actually hold the key to a boost in happiness.
Research has shown that making a little bit of small talk with a stranger actually improves your sense of belonging and improves your mood.
So, next time you’re in line to get your coffee, just ask your barista how her day is going.
Just having minor social interactions like that with strangers can communicate to your brain that you are where you belong and that life is pretty damn great.
So, as it turns out your body has a hell of a lot more of an effect on your mind than you may have thought. There are cheat codes all over your body that you can use to get a leg-up on your mental state and improve your mood.