Basically our muscles are connected to our brain, so when we feel happy we automatically smile. It’s not that when we feel happy we have to remember that we’re supposed to smile, it just happens. Our face muscles do it automatically because they are connected to our brain’s emotional areas.
Similar things happen when we are stressed. We don’t remember to frown or tense our shoulders, these things happen because our muscles are connected to emotional areas of our brain.
Just as a feeling makes our body respond in a certain way, the same thing happens when you hold your body in a certain way, it affects how you feel. This is how laughter yoga works so well as it produces positive emotion at the neurological level.
Around certain people or in certain stressful situations we can find ourselves lacking in self-love, it’s as if we wear the feeling on our body. But if we practice holding and moving our bodies as if to say ‘I am important,’ ‘I matter’ ,‘I’m worth it’, this quite quickly affects how you feel and act in a particular environment that had previously made you feel anxious.
The brain is “neuroplastic” which means it is always changing. It changes in response to what we learn, what we do, what we experience but also with how we think and, importantly, how we hold and move our body. You have heard “Fake it to Make it!”? Well this is how it works. By learning ‘I am important’ body language helps to alter the emotional architecture of our brain particularly in the areas that control how we feel about ourselves.
By doing regular self love exercises like power posing makes the self love areas of our brain grow.
Have a go – unleash your inner Superhero, and see if it changes how you feel.