As most of us know, exercise can make you feel better and often helps reduce depression and stress. But here is something that many people don’t know. There is an actual feedback loop from your physical body to your mind and your emotions and in reverse. Any one of these areas can change the chemistry throughout your body, including your brain. What researchers have found is that it is not only symbolic that when you lift and square back your shoulders and raise your head you feel more confident, more assured, less a victim. And when you move your legs and walk it helps the mind move forward as well. When you smile you can’t feel angry very long. As our muscles change so does our chemistry.
Here is an example: A young man in his twenties decided to stop smoking when his girlfriend threatened to leave him if he didn’t quit. Smoking had been a “giant” addiction for him. He had used it for years to reduce anxiety and deal with severe post trauma stress from his childhood. When he stopped, all his emotions surged to the top and he felt immobilized, literally unable to move, and spent hours shaking. He began to miss days at work (a computer job) and eventually left his job. He broke up with his girlfriend and went to live with family.
When he came to see me we worked on his issues and dealt with his anxiety and depression as well as his past. But he was still unable to go back to work. Then one day he discovered that lifting his feet and moving his legs forward helped him to concentrate. It was winter, but he began to walk for miles every day at the mall. During the time he walked the emotions were less overwhelming and he could think logically. And slowly he was able to move forward in his life as well. After a few months he returned to his job.
Here is the tip:
When you are down or you’re feeling anxious or like you can’t do anything right, try changing your posture and your expressions. Even though you don’t feel like smiling or feel confident and energetic——-FAKE IT.