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Be Mindful of Your Body Posture

You may have noticed how your emotions affect your body posture. If you’re feeling blue, you’re more likely to look down and walk slowly with hunched shoulders. But if you’re feeling confident, you probably stand more upright with your shoulders back, and you walk a little more quickly and purposefully.

Interestingly, new research is showing that by adjusting your body posture, you can impact how you feel. In other words, not only do your emotions affect your body posture and movement, but changing your body posture and movement can have an effect on how you’re feeling:

  1. Sit with a slumped posture on a chair.

    Become aware of your breathing or the sensations of your feet on the floor for a minute.

  2. Notice how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking.

    Label the emotion internally in your mind. Notice where you feel your emotion in your body, if anywhere.

  3. Sit in a more upright way.

    Really open your chest with your shoulders back. Relax your facial muscles and jaw if you can. Sit in a confident, dignified way for a minute or so.

  4. Notice how you feel and what you’re thinking now.

    Become aware of how you’re feeling. Be curious. Do you feel exactly the same or have your feelings changed in some subtle way?

After completing the exercise, answer the following questions:

  • What was your posture like before the exercise?

  • How did you feel initially? How intense was the feeling? Did you notice any associated thoughts?

  • What effect did the new posture have on your emotions? Did the emotion get stronger, weaker or stay the same? Where did you notice the emotion in your body? How did your thoughts change, if at all?

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