How You Stand Can Change Your Life: Posture, Movement and Mood Part 3 of 3

When I ran classes in assertiveness and communication skills I used an exercise in body language.  One person stood before the class and silently repeated a negative statement about herself to herself.  At a point of her own choosing, she switched to a positive statement, again silently.  The group’s task was to point out when the switch occurred.  It rarely took more than a few seconds for the change in self-talk to show up in her stance and for the group to spot the transition.

Now, research shows that the reverse is also true–changing the way you stand can affect, not only your self-talk, but your levels of confidence and of stress.    Read more

Radical Awareness goes to print this week.

I’m very excited that my book which took its own sweet time getting written, finally goes to print this week.  It will be in bookshops in December in time for the Christmas gift market.  You can pre-order at a reduced price HERE.

How You Move Can Change Your Mood: Posture, Movement and Mood Part 2 of 3

Lack of energy is another feature of low mood.  In the midst of depression, it can feel like you’re walking through glue.  But even on the odd down day when our mood could not be classified as depression, energy levels can be debilitatingly low.  The treatment is often medication.  But studies suggest that getting up and moving our body in specific ways, could significantly boost our energy levels. Read more

How You Sit Can Change Your Mood: Posture, Movement and Mood Part 1 of 3

Most people know depression is intimately connected with negative self-talk.  When that stream of thoughts coursing through our mind turns negative, our moods follow.  We can work hard at managing those thoughts—stopping, changing and reframing them.  But studies show that how we sit, stand and walk significantly affects whether that relentless stream of self-talk takes a negative or positive tone.  Read more

Breath of Life

How breathing affects the way we feel – Breath of Life in Network Magazine.

Change How You Feel: Change How You Breathe

Emotions add flavor to life, but those same emotions can control our lives.  This PsychCentral article, Change How You Feel:  Change How You Breathe,  shows how we can manage emotions through changing our breathing patterns.

 

 

7 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic

Self-Criticism can be lethal for our health and happiness.  Here are 7 ways to silence your inner critic quickly.

  1. Write it Down:  Keep a daily list of all the critical things you tell yourself.
  2. Tell and Imaginary Child:  Imagine a child standing before you.  Criticize them from the list you’ve made for yourself.
  3. Visualize:  See your critical thoughts floating away in bubbles, on clouds, whatever resonates with you visually.
  4. Create a Stop Sign:  settle on a signal to yourself that will act as a stop sign for self criticism when you catch yourself in the act.  Example:  press your thumb and middle finger together while taking a deep breath.
  5. Comfort Yourself with a Physical Gesture:  It could be anything – rub the back of your hand gently, touch your face with soft fabric, skip, jump – whatever sooths you.
  6. Replace the Criticism with something affirming.  Create the affirmation that resonates with you and have it handy when self-criticism strikes.
  7. Practice Awareness (Mindfulness):  Become aware of your critical thoughts  but detach from them.  Let them float by as if they were boats on a river passing before you.

Feel Better Fast – 5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Raise Your Mood

  1. Breathe Deeply – deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system – the relaxation response.
  2. Smile – even when you don’t think you’ve anything to smile about.  It releases serotonin and endorphins in your body.
  3. Change Your Posture – if you slouch, straighten your spine and neck.  It changes the way you feel.
  4. Silence Self-Criticism – even for 10 minutes.  Self-criticism leads to stress and stress releases cortisol which affects the immune system, and not in a good way.
  5. Move Your Body – dance, run, skip…move in whatever way you are able to move.  Exercise releases endorphins – feel good hormones.

The Breath of Feeling: How Our Breathing Affects Our Emotions

What we feel is directly related to how we breathe.  Read about how breathing can be used to both manage and to generate emotions in Inside Out:  The Journal for the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy. The article is based on the findings of a joint study by the Universities of Quebec and Louvain into how breathing affects our emotional states.