“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.” – Satchel Paige
Daily Nugget of Gold 1307
A long while ago we talked about how our body’s posture is important in that our brain reads our posture and it underscores the mood we’re in. If we sit slumped over, for example, look down and feel droopy, it’s easy to feel depressed. If we sit up straight, shoulders back, lifting our gaze up, it creates an entirely different feeling in our body. In this issue we’re going to go a step beyond mere posture and talk about physical movement- and here’s the kicker- real and imagined.
We were reminded about a principle by Dr. Tal Shafir in a TEDx presentation she did about How Your Body Affects Your Happiness in 2013. She talked about how her life’s journey took her from being a dancer and a dance teacher who had a session with a dance therapist, moved into academia, began raising a family, and ultimately giving up dance. Ten years later, at a “dancing in the street” event, she noticed how profound the impact that dance had in raising her mood yet again, and began looking how certain movements affect mood.
She makes a good point that if we sit with our arms down that we feel helpless and stressed- that’s the signal our body sends to the mind. If we work at a computer while we work, we actually sit in a very similar position. If we take frequent breaks from this and stretch horizontally and vertically, as well as make rapid movements, our brain reads a very different signal from our movements. Likewise, if we walk slow and heavy we are more likely to feel down and depressed, but if we walk briskly and lightly the signal our brain gets is that we are happy and feel free, the emotions follow suit and we become that way!
So what about this “real or imagined” part? In The Secret, Dr. Denis Waitley informed us that Visual Motor Rehearsal was used by NASA to train astronauts because the brain doesn’t distinguish between something we are actually doing or something we vividly imagine in our mind. Dr. Shafir correctly pointed out that people who either observed dancers or, better still, imagined themselves dancing derived a great deal of benefit as well. Maybe not exactly the same, because the feedback from the body isn’t there, but certainly mood can be enhanced just thinking about dancing or doing happy movements feeling light and free. Even if our physical bodies aren’t able to move much, we can still enjoy the benefits of feeling better as we use our imagination to bridge that gap. That’s amazing, isn’t it?
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do today to bring more light, fast paced movement into my daily routine?”
Copyright 2015 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.