Have you ever found yourself with your head in your hands at the end of a long day’s work, or slumped over in defeat following a particularly difficult argument with a friend or partner? You may think that your body language is a natural response to your experiences, but what if the connection ran both ways? Research shows that our posture is directly linked to our moods and ability to recall positive memories, and that in changing how we hold our bodies we can influence our own moods.
The work of San Francisco State University professor Erik Peper has demonstrated that there is a close link between your body language, feelings, and thoughts. Specifically, Peper has shown that when individuals make a conscious effort to stand or sit up straight, they are better able to recall happy memories, and to feel more positive about life in general.
Continued research in this study has backed up this notion that the mind follows where the body leads. For example, people who are forced to smile are more likely to find a joke amusing than those who are allowed complete control over their facial expressions.
This line of thinking is not new. The philosopher and psychologist William James (1842-1910) was among the first academics to speculate whether our body language merely reflected our emotional state, or played a more active role in dictating our mood. James’s belief that our feelings are shaped not only by external events, but the way we respond to them is enjoying increasing support from contemporary science.
So the next time you need a quick boost, why not change your mind by changing the way in which you hold your body? It could make all the difference and leave you feeling significantly happier.
Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.
Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.
Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.
Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.