If you ever see me sitting while sipping a latte, walking my pup Bella, or speaking at an event…
You might notice I always make it a point to sit or stand up straight. Not just because it makes me look better and more confident, but simply because I know it’s good for my mental and physical health.
But I wasn’t always like this.
Years ago, I used to slouch and spend many hours like this sitting in front of the computer.
But back then I wasn’t aware of the mind body connection. I didn’t know that my thoughts, feelings and attitude could positively or negatively affect my physical body, and vice versa.
The way we feel is often reflected by our physiology. When we're happy, we tend to smile.
When we're feeling sad, we tend to sit or walk with a bit of a lowered head.
When we're angry, we often furrow our brow or clench our fists.
And it's all automatic!
We physically manifest our emotions without even consciously thinking about it.
Our body follows the lead of our emotions. But the reverse is also true.
So here are 5 simple 'body hacks' you can use to instantly shift yourself into a happier, more positive emotional state and improve your life right now:
1) Hold Your Head High
Have you ever noticed yourself using your cell phone or computer, and suddenly realizing that your head is angled down to the ground instead of right in front of you?
When you think about it, this posture is reminiscent of what a child does when they know they've done something wrong, and if you adopt it, you may soon find yourself feeling contracted instead of confident and expanded.
TIP: Before you even sit down at your computer or take a phone call, take a moment to lift your head high and let your confidence soar.
2) Stand Up and Sit Up Straight
Many of us spend the majority of our day in a sitting position, either at the office or when relaxing at home.
This kind of sitting often involves slouching, and when we slouch, our body is telling our mind to go into a defensive, protective state, which can also begin to affect our emotional state.
TIP: Try to remember to sit or stand with a tall, straight back and neck. Not only will it help you breathe easier, it will also put your mind at ease.
3) Relax Your Hands
Incessant use of your cell phone or keyboard can cause your hands to become tense, which for many of us, is also something that occurs when we experience emotional anger.
TIP: Take a couple minutes to massage two key areas on your hands - the muscle between your thumb and index finger, and the area between your pinky and ring finger. Massage these areas for even just few minutes, and you'll quickly begin to feel calmer and more grounded.
4) Open Your Eyes
When you spend too much time squinting at the bright screen of your computer, your eyes can begin to narrow, which is often a physiological sign of discomfort or stress.
TIP: If you can, take a short break from your computer screen every 20 minutes. Take even just 60 seconds to focus your eyes on a picture on the wall or a tree outside your window, and you'll quickly begin to release any strain or tension.
5) Put a Smile on Your Face
Many of us work on our computer in what I call a "neutral face" state. I've noticed this state varies from person to person and can range from a blank look to a furrowed brow. This expression could impact the way you think and feel by shifting you into a neutral or negative state, rather than a positive one.
TIP: As you're working on your computer, every once in a while, take a quick moment to tune into your facial expression. If you find that you're not smiling, smile! This will immediately help you feel lighter and happier, and it'll probably put a smile on your co-workers' faces too!
Technology may be a culprit for a lot of our subconscious emotions and expressions, but I don't think that computers and cell phones will be going anywhere anytime soon.
And I don't really want them to, because they help make life so much easier and more convenient!
But to make sure that the technology you use doesn't shift you into a negative or tense state, I invite you to start paying attention to your body language while you're using your computer or mobile - and remember to use the tips I just shared with you.
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What's your favorite 'body hack' for feeling better? Share your thoughts below, our community would love to hear from you!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.