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
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
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
- Breathe Deeply – deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system – the relaxation response.
- Smile – even when you don’t think you’ve anything to smile about. It releases serotonin and endorphins in your body.
- Change Your Posture – if you slouch, straighten your spine and neck. It changes the way you feel.
- 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.
- Move Your Body – dance, run, skip…move in whatever way you are able to move. Exercise releases endorphins – feel good hormones.
Throughout her school years, Catherine, an avid reader, wrote many books –all of them in her imagination. Read More.