I’m sure we’ve all seen clips on the TV, which highlight the body language of politicians, movie stars, TV personalities etc., where judgments are being made about relationships.
I’ve seen lots of clips on the news recently, highlighting the body language between President Trump and his wife and of the interaction between Theresa May and her meetings with European leaders as part of the Brexit negotiations, where the News Channels are highlighting what the body language of the individuals is showing us and often, to highlight poor relationships or which politician is coming out as the most authoritative or powerful.
Even though politicians are trained on how to hold themselves and about what their body language says, as soon as they’re not consciously thinking about it, their natural, automatic and instinctual body language reveals a lot!
However, whilst we all are very experienced (because we’ve been practicing unconsciously all our lives), at recognising ‘THE SIGNS’, we don’t always get it right and we make judgments based on a misinterpretation of someone’s body language.
More importantly, we forget to consider our own body language and the impact that’s having not only on other people but how it’s impacting on ourselves.
Our body language and our physical body pose, impact on our internal neurology. When we’re feeling nervous about something, it’s likely that we hold ourselves with our shoulders drawn in, head lowered and arms folded across our body or we bring our hands up around our mouth.
- Because we’re feeling fear and we’re trying to make ourselves as small as possible and placing our arm across our body as a form of self-protection.
Compare this to someone who’s feeling really confident – they will usually stand tall, head held high, shoulders back and arms stretched out.
Anthony Robbins – He just exudes confidence doesn’t he? You’d think it comes naturally to him, but actually, he builds himself up to this confident state by changing his physiology and energising himself before he goes out on stage.
DID YOU KNOW that how you feel can be changed by changing your body language.
- Our emotions and our body postures are so closely connected, that consciously changing how we hold ourselves and holding that posture for around 2 minutes, will actually change how we feel.
There are a couple of really simple ‘moves’ we can change, that will change not only how we’re perceived by other people, but how we are perceiving ourselves and therefore how we feel about ourselves. It’s possible to trick ourselves into feeling something different, by breathing differently, standing differently and consciously changing our facial expressions.
Try noticing your posture when you’re feeling nervous – the chances are, you’re shrinking down. When you notice yourself doing this, stand tall, put your shoulders back and smile. Holding a confident pose for 2 minutes will make you actually FEEL more confident.
Now try BEING confident, when your head is held low, your arms are folded across your body – it’s not easy, is it?
It’s the same if we’re feeling sad or fed up – our posture will reflect how we feel… or maybe it’s the other way round. Our feelings and our posture are so closely connected, it’s difficult to say which influences which. Suffice it to say that when we feel sad, we look sad and simply changing our posture, can have a dramatic impact on how we feel.
I tested this on my 5-year-old granddaughter earlier today… she was crying because her older sister had upset her. Instead of sympathising with her, I explained that if she pretended to smile, she would magically feel better. Within less than a minute, she was giggling and her whole demeanor changed.
So there you have it, my number 1 tip, that can have a dramatic impact on your world, because it will change how other’s see you and also how you feel about yourself.
BECOME CONSCIOUS of your feelings and how this is reflected in your physiology and then consciously change your physiology and you’ll definitely notice a change in your feelings.
This is explained brilliantly by Amy Cuddy in her TED Talk:
I wonder if I could get an outfit in my size ? 😁
Oh I’m sure you can Brigid!!! I can’t wait… haha xx
A very interesting post Wendy and I loved the Ted talk too. I shall be practicing that Wonder Woman pose 😉
Thanks Brigid.. It’s a topic I’m increasingly fascinated by and even more so as I visualise you standing in your Wonder Woman pose… can’t wait to see that photo Brigid!! xx
I loved this post! Absolutely need to review this a few times. Just excellent!~Kim
Thanks Kim and lovely to hear from you.. I’ve been very negligent on my blogging recently – life sometimes gets in the way doesn’t it.. I’m determined to do some catch up reading though so I really appreciate you popping in to my blog in the meantime! I’ve been really captured by the power of changing physiology and am using it really successfully for myself and for people I coach too which is brilliant. I hope you find some little ‘nuggets’ in there Kim that help you too.. Much love and a big hug my friend xxx
Wonderful tips as always! Intentionally changing our body language to influence mood goes against our instincts and feels unnatural at first, but we should all try it because it can work. Though emotions should be acknowledged and are indicators of how we are handling things that are going on in our lives, sometimes they are untimely and counterproductive to things we need to do at the moment. I can see how intentionally using body language to change our emotional states in those moments can be very useful and enable us to get things done.
Thanks again for the great post!
Thanks Jonathon – you’re great feedback is very much appreciated. Yes, it really does feel unnatural at first because we’re consciously changing something that has become second nature and automatic, but I’ve really started to feel the difference and certainly when I’m doing things I would previously have been nervous about, changing my body language and visualising myself as ‘strong and powerful’ seems to really stop me becoming overly nervous.. As you say, it’s about taking control of our physiology to support the emotional state that will benefit us rather than reacting on learned behaviour and instinct that may not be appropriate any more.. xx
Wonderful! It’s important for people to know that if it feels strange at first that’s ok and to not give up on it. It can take some getting used to at first but that doesn’t mean it won’t work. Thanks again and we’ll chat soon! 🙂
Absolutely true Jonathan! Great to hear from you!! x
What a brilliant tip Wendy and perfectly tested on your darling grand daughter. It’s so true too. The way we hold ourselves speaks volumes and we often don’t even realise it. Okay then, shoulders back, head up … 😏 wonderful post. xo
Thanks Miri! Yep definitely shoulders back and head up – and don’t forget – spread the arms outward.. haha! I know – bless her, it literally took 30 or 40 seconds and she was smiling her gorgeous smile and then giggling – it was so cute to see! xx
Thanks for great tips here. How true that demeanor speaks volumes just through our body language: good and bad vibes! I have received some helpful insights here. Thanks again!
Thank you and I’m delighted that you found some useful insights. Becoming conscious of my body language is definitely helping me to recognise opportunities to make some small shifts that are making a big difference. Very much appreciated x