If you're not happy with the way you're feeling, just change the expression on your face. Or move your body into a new position. That’s the recommendation from psychiatry pioneer Dr. Martin Grotjahn, who said the simplest body language changes can affect our mood. It’s a form of embodied cognition – in which your body movement informs your brain. For example:
If you're sleepy, open your eyes wide – and you'll feel more awake.
If you're disorganized and your body movements are erratic, you won't be able to think clearly. So, slow down and make deliberate movements. You'll be able to think better.
And, the next time you’re worried and stressed out – swing your arms. When we’re worried or anxious, we tend to close up – and tighten up – physically. We’ll cross our arms, slouch or curl up in a ball. It’s a natural reaction that a lot of animals have – because it’s protective; we’re literally protecting our vital organs. But to break out of that mindset, open up your body and swing your arms. By forcing yourself to adopt carefree body language, your brain gets the message that there’s nothing to fear. As a result, you’ll start pumping out calming alpha brain waves – and it’ll take less than 30 seconds to feel better.