“Our nonverbal govern how other people think and feel about us.” – Amy Cuddy
This quote best describes the power of body language. Body language is natural to all living beings. Before the verbal languages came into existence, our Stone Age ancestors used to communicate through body language and facial expressions.
Now, body language isn’t something you can learn. Body language is preprocessed in our brains. That is why most of us have the same body expressions and gestures for similar situations. Even a blind person uses same body language expressions as you and I.
The determining factor of how someone makes us feel lies in the power of body language. And when it comes to happiness, that someone becomes you, yourself. Your body language can determine your happiness as well as your stress. So if you want to pursue a happy lifestyle, you should surely incorporate these expressions in your body language.
Smile, even if you don’t feel like it
A genuine smile not only makes you smile, but it also brings a smile to someone else’s face. A smile stimulates your well being, makes you more approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. When you smile a genuine smile, the sides of your lips lift up slowly, crinkling the eyes, lighting up the face.
Most importantly, smiling directly at someone can influence the behavior and response of other people around you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.
When the going gets tough, don’t frown upon it
Negative facial expressions like frowning, glowering, grimacing etc send a signal to your brain that you are sad, at unease and what you are doing is difficult.
This will make your brain trigger the production of cortisol into your blood stream. Cortisol is the “stress” hormone, which makes us feel stressed, overwhelmed and powerless and ends up making you a hot mess.
As we said above, if you smile, others will also smile. Most of us mirror the actions of others so if you nod, others will nod and if you frown; soon others will be frowning, too.
Power up your body
Dr. Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, released a study which showed how a change in our body posture can actually change our body from inside too. She discovered that the levels of coritisol (the stress hormone) and testosterone (the dominance hormone) changed dramatically when the subjects held either a high or low power pose, only for 2 minutes.
The subjects that maintained high power positions had their testosterone levels increased by 20 percent and cortisol levels decreased by 25%, reducing their level of stress. Whereas subjects who practiced low power positions had testosterone levels decreased by 10 percent and cortisol levels increased by 15%, making them more stressed.
This implied that people who hold high power poses actually are happier, more confident and are less stressed! You are awesome when your body language reflects that it will make you feel awesome too.