Being MindBodyWise means becoming compassionately aware, mindful and conscious about all parts of you, gaining tools and making choices to break the feedback loop of pain so you can live with more ease, freedom and joy.
Here’s another opportunity to get MindBodyWiser…and ultimately feel better fast…
You already know that your mind has a lot of power over how your body responds, reacts and rebounds.
But…did you know that your body HUGELY influences your mind and how your mind responds, reacts and rebounds?
Sounds a little like the age-old chicken and egg debate, right? It’s actually not so different.
How you hold your body and how you move (or don’t move) is actually proven to influence your mood, your thoughts, and your attitude.
You have so much control over yourself and your life, if you make it a priority to be aware and take action. Minor physical shifts can profoundly change your mood, your mind and your life so you can feel good fast.
Seem too good to be true? This time, it’s not. I promise. Here’s what you’ll want to know:
- Your body is always working to match your emotional experience. There is a 2-way feedback loop that links your body and your mind. Signals are sent back and forth between your body and your mind, so that they can work together as a team to keep you in equilibrium.
- When you feel good emotionally, you tend to hold your body in an open position. This physical openness sends a signal to your brain that all is well and safe, which keeps the feel-good hormones flowing from your brain to your body and back again.
- When you feel bad emotionally, you tend to hold your body in a closed position. When you feel crappy (sad, ashamed, embarrassed, etc.), you unknowingly make your body small by hunching or slumping or crossing your arms and legs to take up less space – in essence, you hide. You may not even realize that your body posture has changed, yet however subtle — a “hiding” posture tells your brain to send out signals to release more hormones that you make you feel worse, which then makes you move into a shape that’s physically smaller.
- When you aren’t conscious of your body, you may be holding it in a way that makes you feel bad. Maybe you started your day feeling fine, then got to work and sat hunched over your computer all day. Your body being small all day signals your brain respond in kind and suddenly your mood and your ‘tude have shifted. Without your knowing, you created a negative feedback loop.
And so the vicious loop continues. Unless…you choose to take your power back!
You can make powerful changes in your mood, your outlook and your stress levels, even when you feel not-so-great and when things aren’t going your way.
Here are 6 simple, “feel good fast” ways to change your body in order to change your life (and most of them only take 2 minutes or less!):
- Power Pose: You can consciously choose to stand powerfully by outstretching your arms and your legs and holding your head high. It has been proven that “power posing” for only 2 minutes can significantly lower your stress hormone levels (cortisol) and increase your confidence (testosterone). Check out my favorite Ted Talk of all time to learn more.
- Fake Smile: Smiling is proven to set off the biofeedback loop, so even if you aren’t happy, feel-good hormones get released when you fake a smile. You may in fact be authentically smiling sooner than you’d think. If you can’t muster a fake smile, try placing a pen horizontally between your teeth to encourage the corners of your mouth to lift up (yes, really – this works!).
- Fake Laugh: Just like smiling, you can trick yourself into getting a release of feel-good hormones by fake laughing.
- Forward Fold: Sitting in a chair or standing, fold at your hips and hang with your head below your heart for 60 seconds. This body posture is proven to release hormones that make you feel good.
- Relax your Face & Jaw: Clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, and furrowing your brow sends signals of distress to your brain and thus your stress increases. Sit tall, take a deep inhale all the way into your belly and on your exhale open your mouth as wide as you can, stick your tongue out as far as you can and open your eyes as big as you can. This is called Lion’s Breath. Do as many of these breaths as needed to relax your face and your jaw.
- Yoga: In almost all yoga classes, you’ll notice there are big body poses, forward folds and an increase in your heart-rate that releases endorphins. The yoga recipe is chock-full of feel-good-fast-goodness (physical flexibility not required).
Which of these “feel good fast” tools will you try next? Hit reply and let me know…I love to hear from you.
Do you know someone who might benefit from this post? Share the love and forward it along.
P.S. Don’t forget that there are lots of tools on the MindBodyWise website including the free MindBody IQ Quiz, this free heart-opening guided meditation as well as tons of blogs that are easily searchable and chock-full of mind-body hacks and exercises to help you feel good.