by Dec 7, 20153Plus, Career, Communication

What happens when you change your body language

Research shows that if you change your body language it not only affects others, but also yourself.

Body language and mind set are connected

Change your body language and change yourself!

Research on smiling has shown if you change your body language  and smile more this can help to reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response. This happens when people are smiling naturally, but also when they are just holding a chopstick or pencil in their mouths, which engages the same muscles as smiling. Smiling also boosts your immune system, releases pleasure hormones called endorphins, natural painkillers and antidepressant hormones such as serotonin.

Another research topic has been ‘power poses.’ Certain poses are linked with people assuming a dominant position. These poses held for a few minutes, are said to influence certain hormones and  have been connected with the willingness to take  financial risks for the subjects participating in certain studies. Scientists of the University of Zurich (2) now refute these findings: power poses affect neither the masculine hormone testosterone nor the stress hormone cortisol.

However in my experience I have noticed – personally and in other people, that just taking a posture that looks powerful, that ‘embodies’ power, will affect your emotional and mental state. If you do this regularly, make a habit of it, you will feel stronger, more stress resilient and happier.

What is body language?

Body language is what you see on the outside of what’s going on the inside. Very simply put, it shows whether you feel at ease or not in a given situation, and whether you feel pleasure or displeasure. Part of our body language happens unconsciously, some you can control.

You can learn to more consciously see and understand your own and other people’s body language.  You can see if you change your body language, you can change your life for the better:

  • You will have greater confidence in reading emotions on the faces of people you’re working with so that you can monitor whether you’re effective in your persuasion.  This will help you gain more confidence during negotiations.power pose
  • You will gain access to a whole new world of subconscious information about what people unconsciously experience and what they want.
  • During meetings, you can see when people are in agreement with you and when you need to change tactics.
  • [Tweet “•You will have greater awareness of the people around you.”]
  • You will develop a better connection with people and greater authenticity in your relationships.
  • The trust of those around you will increase. People will tell you the truth because they feel at ease with you.

Impact on mind-set

What you do with your body will influence your mind-set and vice versa. Over the years you develop certain assumptions about yourself. Your body adapts to those assumptions. If for instance you often don’t feel confident about yourself, it will show in how you hold yourself.

And it works the other way round too: if for instance you often sit in a slumped position, it become very difficult to remain optimistic. You will easily feel down, because your body is collapsing downwards.

We know that what we think and feel have a great impact on our lives. And when we want to change things, we look at those aspects. You can also learn to change your body awareness and posture, and in that way influence your mind-set. If you keep your posture straight, it will also help you to feel more optimistic and think positively.

If you want to know more about the basics of body language, contact 3Plus


Sofie-Ann Bracke Contributor
Sofie-Ann Bracke is a body coach with a mission to help people develop a better awareness of body language and posture, and to improve their physical, emotional and mental well-being.
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