I recently read Paul McKenna’s book, I Can Make You Happy. A few insights from the book may help you too.
Did you know the mind and body are linked? Duh! Right? Well, tense your body and your thoughts become tense. Relax your thought and your body relaxes. This is like the central concept behind meditation and deep relaxation. All techniques in meditation and yoga, Pilates and the Alexander Technique have used movement and postures to create a state of calm, balance and well-being. They somehow employ the knowledge that the mind and the body can change the psychological state. One of the most powerful and yet simple techniques to improve our mood is at the heart of all of these disciplines and yet it requires no training at all.
You should know by now that when we are not particularly happy we tend to slouch a bit, our shoulders hang forward and our hands drop down a little.This posture is universally associated with low spirits. In fact, if you are an actor and you want to induce sadness in a scene, it’s so easy to assume the slouchy poses and you’re well on your way to being unhappy. If you were happy and slouched for a few minutes, you would sooner find yourself less enthusiastic about life. When you get into the upright, relaxed, balanced posture, your body will make you feel better.
So here’s the hack:
- Whether you’re sitting or standing, imagine there is a silver thread coming down from the sky that is gently pulling you up from the very top of your head. Imagine that thread holds your head upright.
- Let your shoulders drop down and back, feel your back being lifted up by yourneck and feel the gentle, upright, long S-shaped curve of your back supporting you.
- Finally, let your shoulders drop a bit more. Don’t forget to imagine that this ‘strong’ silver thread is holding your head up. With each breath, let yourself relax a bit more, keeping that upright stance, and stay like that for at least 1 minute.
Like me, if you’ve ever used the HeadSpace app, you’d quickly realize how much relief you get when you drop your shoulders with every exhalation. It’s really calming. Try this, let me know how it works for you.