is sure there are a whole lot of depressed people in this world. You can easily
spot them when you observe people while sitting at the beach, waiting for the
next bus, or sipping a wonderfully brewed Moccacino.
you spot them? They usually are walking hesitantly rather than striding
confidently, avoiding looking at people, slouching with their upper body, having
an earnest face or frown, and staring at the ground. The body expresses the
person’s inner state and, equally, perpetuating it. You can try this out right
now. Sit with your head down, letting your shoulders slouch forward, breathe
shallow, maybe let a sigh. You can NOT NOT feel low of energy and depressed.
how it works the other way around as well. By adopting a certain body language
you can evoke the corresponding feeling. Staying with the example of depression
take part in the following exercise:
straight, push out your chest and pull your shoulders back. Lift your head up
and breathe in deeply all the way down to the pit of your stomach. Put a wide
smile on your face and keep it there. You’ll notice almost instantly how your
mood is lifting. Remind yourself several times during the day of this posture
and you will be able to maintain the positive frame of mind.
another note, how good are you at expressing or even feeling your anger? You
can do some ‘anger work’ by letting your body guide you into feeling anger. Sit
down on a chair with your feet on the ground. Focus your eyes on a particular
point in front of you. (Avoid going into peripheral vision. It’s hard to be
angry while you are in peripheral vision.)Make tight fists with both your hands,
clench your teeth, and frown your forehead. Take a quick, forceful breath and
exhale by quickly pushing the air out of your lungs. Make the inhale shorter
than the exhale. Keep this breathing pattern for a few minutes while slowly
increasing the breathing speed.
need to do to feel relaxed and at peace? Sit comfortably in a seat that
supports your body and your head so that you don’t have to carry it. Make a
mental scan of your body from tip to toe to make sure your muscles are relaxed.
Breathe deeply and slowly, make a mental image of you floating on an air bed on
a calm lagoon, gently moving with the waves, drenched in warm sunlight,
caressed by a warm, light breeze. If thoughts come into your awareness, let
them come and go, like waves hitting the beach and retreating again. Don’t get
engaged in your thoughts. Don’t follow them, just observe them come and go.
hopefully demonstrated how closely connected your emotions and moods are with
your body. There are many more ways of how you can use your body to change you
mood. How about you experiment with your posture and notice the different emotions
it evokes. I would be interested to hear how this was for you.