Professor Mehrabian posed that the majority of communication was nonverbal in nature in 1971. These messages are sent sometimes without the sender or the recipient being conscious of the communication. Have you ever seen someone and just known that person was kind, before even talking to that person? This is because body language is a powerful method of communication. Body language can impact the individual, not just the observing people (or persons).
Raise your mood by raising your heart
In yoga- practitioners are encouraged to lift their chest (heart) to the sky while drawing their shoulders back and down. This encourages an open chest and lifted posture. By doing this- an individual is better able to take deep breaths and thus, focus with intent on being positive.
When individuals are feeling intimidated often the instinct is to shrink themselves. Often they look downward, hunching over; this not only sends a message to others, but also communicates to themselves that they are intimidated or feeling uncomfortable.
Be Open to Ideas
By assuming an open posture, individuals are more likely to be perceived as listening, caring, and receptive. There is research to suggest that the listener, when assuming an open posture (arms not crossed etc), will listen better and be willing to collaborate. If this is a result of a change of posture or a placebo effect is not entirely certain, so more research should be conducted. In the interim- what could it hurt to try having an open posture?
When You Smile Your Whole World Smiles
Smiling actually can change an individual’s mood. In February of 2009 researchers in Wales established that people who were unable to frown because of Botox injections are happier than those who are able to frown. It could be as simple as a feedback loop, the brain thinking “I am smiling so I must be happy” or it could be more complex involving endorphins and neuropeptides. My guess is it is a combination of factors. What we do know is that smiling is ‘contagious’. Also when people smile, they are perceived as more attractive, sincere, and reliable.
Mood is a complex thing, there is no panacea to be happy. Many circumstances are out of our control but we can at least improve things. Improving our mood does more than just make life more pleasant. Improved mood can help physical health and improve longevity.
For more information about this body lanuage watch Amy Cuddy's video listed below.