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Happiness: Fake It 'til You Make It!

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Happiness: Fake It 'til You Make It!

Change Your Body Language, Change Your Life
Vex King
Jan 08, 2019 at 07:00 AM

It’s hard to crack a smile when things are going wrong. But a 2003 study by Simone Schnall and David Laird showed that if you fake a smile, you can actually trick your brain into thinking you’re happy by releasing feel-good hormones called endorphins.

This might seem a little wacky at first. If smiling for no reason feels too strange, then find a reason to smile. You could smile at the prospect of your smile itself making someone else feel happier. They might smile back at you, giving you a genuine reason to keep your smile alive.

In fact, our entire body and physiology can affect our thoughts and feelings. By changing our outer state, we can change our inner state. It may also surprise you to learn that the vast majority of messages that we give other people are non-verbal, such as facial expressions, gestures or even the way we hold ourselves while we’re talking.

For this reason, it’s important that we try to think about the messages we’re conveying with our body language.

If I told you to show me how someone would appear if they were depressed, you’d probably know exactly how to portray them: you’d slump with your head down, looking grim. If I asked you to show me how someone would appear if they were angry, you could do that with ease, too.

Now think about how a person who is happy and feels high on life would appear. What would their facial expression be like? How would they be standing? Is there a particular way they’d be moving? Where might their hands be? Are they likely to be making any gestures? What tone would their voice take? How fast or slow would they be talking?

If you can act like someone who feels good, your internal state will change and your vibration will rise.

You might be concerned that this is an unhealthy way to raise your vibration. But the idea that you can ‘fake it ’til you make it’ has been proven many times.

For example, Muhammad Ali famously said, ‘To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.’ Take Ali’s fight with Sonny Liston: before the fight Ali was an underdog, but he chose to act like he was going to whop Liston – boasting and bragging about it to fans – and, in the fight, he did.

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy is renowned for her work on how body language not only affects how others see us, but also how we see ourselves.

A report co-authored by Cuddy claims that simply by doing one of three poses related to power for only two minutes a day, you can create a 20 per cent increase in the confidence hormone testosterone and a 25 per cent decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol.

The so-called ‘power poses’ are a quick and easy way to feel more powerful, says the report.

Some people get the wrong end of the stick and pretend to have some particular asset or talent to seek attention from others so that they can feel better about themselves. But if you simply act a particular way to enhance your confidence and feel better about where you’re going, it becomes a useful technique.

This imagined confidence will then gradually start to become genuine confidence, and the closer you get to it through matching vibrations, the more genuine it becomes.

BONUS VIDEO: Listen to Vex King explaining what's missing from the Law of Attraction in this exact of the audiobook edition of Good Vibes, Good Life.

About Author
Vex King
Vex King is an optimist, visionary and philanthropist. His father died when he was 6 months old and his single mother raised him and his siblings alone in a traditional Indian household, although they were often homeless. He suffered racist abuse Continue reading