Positive thinking starts with a smile:
Most people believe that mind and body are separate entities, when in reality they are about as closely linked as night and day. They seem different, but you can’t have one without the other. When I say that positive thinking begins with a smile, I’m not trying to be cute; I’m being literal.
Your body uses very specific physiology to match whatever it is that you’re feeling at any particular moment. When you feel happy and excited, you breathe faster, you talk faster, your body language is more animated, and in most cases you talk at a higher pitch. In contrast, when you feel sad, you tend to move slower, to breathe slower, to slouch, talk slower and at a lower pitch. Your body language matches what you’re feeling without fail.
The thing most people don’t realize, though, is that this also works in reverse. When your body is saying something, your mind tends to follow and match what your body is doing.
How can this be useful for me? Well, whenever you feel down, adopting the physiology of happiness or excitement, like moving the way you would when you’re happy, breathing faster, speaking at a higher pitch, employing bigger physical gestures, you will actually start to feel positive emotions.
So in fact, a smile can affect a positive mindset. Your brain hates a contradiction, so if you put on a huge grin from ear to ear and yell out in a silly voice “I’m so sad!,” you’ll feel like a fool, and in reality you would have a really hard time feeling sad at all. But if you say “I’m so sad” with a low voice, head facing down and your shoulders down, you will actually start feeling sad even if you have no reason at all to feel that way.
However, remember that while using your body to direct your emotions is a powerful tool, it’s not a long-lasting solution. It works best if you immediately follow it up with positive and upbeat thoughts. That way, the effects will last longer, and you can begin to develop a truly positive mindset, as well as an attitude of gratitude.
Feel free to go to the next posts on this series of gratitude and positive thinking.
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