“A living body is not a fixed thing but a flowing event, like a flame or a whirlpool.”
Right now, whether you are aware of it or not, your body is adjusting to meet the demands of the moment. That might mean shifting positions in your seat to get more comfortable, turning the page of this book when you are ready, or reaching for your water bottle because you are thirsty. Your body is intelligent enough to react and adjust, refine and habituate, and find some semblance of balance in any scenario. Your body is always doing its thing whether you choose to listen to it, or not.
What’s miraculous about us as human beings is that we have the ability to make a choice in every moment, to adapt and move with our body, ignore, resist, or even move against it.
Amy Cuddy shows us how we can create more happiness and less stress through being aware of our body movements. In Cuddy’s TED talk, she claims, “Our body language reveals that we can change our own body chemistry—simply by changing body positions.” Along with Assistant Professor Dana Carney of UC Berkeley, Cuddy conducted a study called Physical Motion and Performance. They worked with sixty-six Columbia University students and found that expansive, open movements affect hormone levels. She noted, “Power posing such as raising the arms above the head as when a player scores a touchdown, increases testosterone and decreases cortisol, the stress hormone. Contracted movements, on the other hand, diminish your personal power and, in turn, your effectiveness.”
Remember this when you feel at your wits’ end, down in the dumps, or ready to give up. Get out of your head and into your body as quickly as possible. Start observing your body, breathe, move, lift your arms up and wave your hands, open up your chest real wide, shake that tail feather, and watch your mood shift almost instantly. Don’t worry. Make an expansive move and be happy.
Enjoy this one minute video on movement awareness