The human being is a simple creature. We normally act the way we feel. When we are happy we smile and laugh. When we are sad, we normally cry and sulk. However, is it possible to reverse this process and end up feeling the way we act rather than let our emotions decide our actions? According to an area of research known as proprioceptive psychology, once you are able to get someone to act in a certain way, you will be able to stir in them certain thoughts and emotions.
Emotion Case Study
There was a classic case study which involved 2 groups of individuals. They were given a maths test with one group who would furrow their brows and the other group to have a slight grin. The results were quite interesting. The group with the furrow brows all found that they had to put in more effort to complete the test. However, the group with the grin on their faces found the test easy to do.
There have been various sources that clearly points to the fact that facial movements are in a major sense responsible for the feeling factor. In the 1980s, Fritz Strack got two groups of people to watch Gary Larson’s Far side cartoons with a pencil in their mouth and to later on rate how happy they felt under “interesting” conditions. One group was made to hold the pencil with their front teeth but to ensure it did not touch their lips. This pulls the persons mouth into a mechanical smile-like posture without their noticing it. The other group was made to hold the pencil just with their lips without using their teeth, which pushes the mouth in to a pout as though they are unhappy. The result, those who were in the first group using their teeth to hold the pencil actually enjoyed the show more than those in the second group that were using their lips. This study on how facial expression can affect ones mood just goes to show that if you want to be happy then you have to act happy.
As the saying goes, “it is much easier to smile than to frown”. Research has shown that one should try and maintain a proper smile between 15 and 30 seconds. To make the smile more convincing, think of happy thoughts, moments in your life that made you smile or a special occasion or someone in your life. You may want to consider setting an alarm or signal to remind yourself to smile more. Your watch alarm or maybe an alarm in your phone could remind you that it is time to put on a smile and bring some positive vibes into your life.
Your posture is also an important factor of how you will feel. A person who stands upright always feels more confident and secure as compared to one who slouches and bends over while he walks. With confidence, a person’s moral and self-esteem can be pushed to higher levels. A correct and proper posture is always associated with leaders and people of status. Take politicians and military leaders who always stand up straight with their chests out. Those who slouch and bend over are always regarded as being lazy and do not radiate confidence around them.
Practice Positive emotions
Try thinking happy thoughts or behaving in happy and lively manners. Walk with a little spring in your step while swinging your arms out. Attempt to use more hand gestures when you speak to others or wear clothing with bright colours to suit your mood. The tone of your voice will also have an effect on your emotional well-being. When we speak with a higher tone and use words which are positive, we tend to send a good signal to not just ourselves but to the people we are talking to. Having a firm handshake when you meet people and speaking with confidence will allow you to have a more positive outlook in your life.
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