Power Up Your Brain #4 of 6
Change your outlook with only a few minutes:
This Power Up Your Brain tip is going to show you how to change your outlook in only a few minutes.
In the first tip we discussed how movement is important for building your brain. It is because your brain and body are closely related. Well your body not only impacts how smart your brain is, it also impacts what kind of mood your brain feels. Are you happy? Are you sad? Are you anxious or nervous? Your body plays a role in all of your feelings too!
Picture walking up to someone who is sad and depressed. How do they look? Likely slumped over with their head down. How about coming up to someone who just got straights A’s for the first time, or a huge pay raise? They’re likely standing up tall and proud, and you can see the joy beaming from their face.
While you know that your feelings will change your body posture, did you know that if you change your body posture, you can also change how you feel?
One study showed that our body posture even changes our body chemistry. People put in a position of high “power” for only two minutes showed a 20% increase in testosterone and a 25% decrease in cortisol. People in a low “power” position for two minutes showed a 10% decrease in testosterone and a 15% increase in cortisol.
(You can learn more here:
What does this mean?
Increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol (created in a “power” pose) means you will feel better about yourself and will be more likely to have the energy and motivation to be active and healthy. It also means your body is showing less stress (cortisol is released during stress…and can lead to weight gain).
This response is even activated if you are “faking” it. Meaning you don’t have to feel happy to go into an upright, open, and happy position. If you are feeling sad or stressed, you can go into a happy position anyway and your body’s chemistry will start to shift to a happier state (in only two minutes!).
One reason is that when your body curls in (goes into flexion) it activates the fight-flight response in your body. Fight-flight is associated with stress.
When your body opens up and expands (goes into extension) it activates the calming side of your nervous system.
Think about what happens when you’re hunched over your phone or your tablet? Try lying on your stomach on the floor instead!
In summary, to Power Up Your Brain to feel Confident, Comfortable and Calm – open up your body!
Make sure you check out all of our Power Up Your Brain Topics: