Smile, please!

The other day I wrote about the power of thoughts or mental training and how we can achieve better performance – for example in sports.

Our posture has effects on the psyche.

But one thing is clear: It also works the other way round!

Example: Yesterday at noon, tired and already halfway caught in a midday low (or better said overeating coma), I discovered myself listlessly trotting back towards the office, with hanging shoulders.
So I said to myself: NO! Now straighten up – shoulders down, chest out, chin up! You can’t lop around like that!

And guess what happened? As soon as I had straightened up, I actually felt better! Isn’t that fantastic?

I know this connection between body and psyche since a long time, even if I sometimes forget it in my daily routine and then have to consciously visualize it again – like for example yesterday at noon. This is actually annoying, because you can use this connection quite wonderfully – not only to “pull yourself up”, but also to master and defuse difficult or unpleasant situations.

When you are sad, you should smile – the smile is not real at first, but the effect of this movement on our emotional state is nevertheless positive: By activating the muscles responsible for the smile, positive signals are sent to the brain via our nervous system.
The same applies if you are annoyed, irritated or struggling with a challenge.
With a smile on your face even a difficult task becomes easier – take as an example the marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, who smiles while running, thereby sending positive signals to his brain and thus getting into a long-lasting flow (also called “runners high”) very quickly. (By the way, Eliud Kipchoge holds the world record for the marathon distance since 2018 with a running time of 2:01:39 hours.)

According to a study by the American scientist Amy Cuddy (March 2018)*, the so-called “power posing” or “postural feedback” makes you feel stronger: For example, if you stand in an upright, open pose for two minutes before an important appointment or challenge, you will feel more powerful and confident afterwards. (Conversely, a closed and introverted posture makes you feel small and unimportant.)

It is not without reason that this is also our ” Attack-position” – the basic posture that we take at the beginning of every Bodyattack class and that we should keep until the end if possible: The abs are braced, the chest proud, the shoulders low (i.e. away from the ears), the chin tucked – we are proud and standing upright. Like real warriors. 🙂

And so yesterday I decided again to pay more attention to what my face and posture say in everyday life – outside of Attack. Wouldn’t it be FIBEEEER if I could make my life a little easier through these mechanisms?

* “Power Posing Is Back: Amy Cuddy Successfully Refutes Criticism”, article as of 03.04.2018

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