The Body Tells the Truth

I have been reading a fascinating book “What Every Body is Saying” by Joe Navarro

While people vary somewhat due to temperament and cultural differences, the limbic brain expresses some very basic emotions in universal ways.

Everyone instinctively reacts to stressors in remarkably similar ways. When a surprise or threat pops up, we all freeze.  When we are in an unpleasant situation, we attempt to either distance ourselves  by changing our posture  and/or soothe ourselves with gestures such as touching the neck or face, rubbing the forehead, or smoothing our legs with our palms.

We can also use posture intentionally to try to change our mood. Play act different moods by assuming the posture associated with it, and you will be amazed at how your feeling changes.  I’m not suggesting this as a cure for depression, but as a mood lifter and attitude changer.

On a related thought, we can also pay attention to what we say to ourselves about our body.  I encourage clients to identify with the progress they are making rather than the tension.  A human being is always growing and changing, and while we may not always appreciate those changes, a kindly attitude towards our body goes a long way towards having a more contented life.

Taking the time to pay attention to your body mechanics and posture while working is a way of telling yourself that you matter and are worth taking care of.  It is powerful to think of the implications of our actions and take charge of the situation accordingly – and don’t beat yourself up when you forget!