Category Archives: happiness

Do the Power Pose, It’s all the Rage

We know that our minds affect our bodies, for example, anxiety causes us to shiver, embarrassment to blush, and anger to feel warm. But is the inverse true? Can our bodies affect our minds?

According to Dana R. Carney , Amy J.C. Cuddy , and Andy J. Yap of Harvard and Columbia Universities, “Humans and other animals express power through open, expansive postures, and they express powerlessness through closed, contractive postures.” Chimpanzees hold their breath to puff out their chests to show power. While hiking in Montana, a park ranger suggested, if we met up with a brown bear, to stand tall, straight, shoulders back, and chests wide to show our strength.

The researchers found that  “… posing in high-power nonverbal displays (as opposed to low-power nonverbal displays) … cause neuroendocrine and behavioral changes for both male and female participants”. People who were high-power posers experienced elevations in testosterone, the dominance hormone, and decreases in cortisol, the stress hormone. The high-power posers described increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk while the low-power posers described feelings associated with powerlessness. And this occurred after only 2 minutes of posing.

Just 2 minutes of changing our posture can change our hormones, our mood and boost our confidence.

Power pose equals expansive body, low-power pose equals hunched body with crossed arms and/or legs.

What is a standing power pose?

Reference:

Carney D.R., Cuddy A.J.C. & Yap A.J. (2010). Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance, Psychological Science, 21 (10) 1363-1368. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797610383437

10 Tips for Calming Pre-Wedding Jitters

pexels-photo-371312Spring is here which means wedding season has begun. Are you getting married, planning a wedding and filled with dread and anxiety? Are you wondering what you’ve gotten yourself in to? If you’re having trouble sleeping, eating too much or too little, have difficulty concentrating, are short-tempered and on edge most of the time, you’re probably suffering from pre-wedding jitters. Although this is to be expected, there are steps you can take to calm yourself down.

Calming your pre-wedding nerves:

  1. Spend fun, relaxing, romantic time with your fiancé without talking about the wedding.
  2. Consult with friends and family who have already experienced this.
  3. Designate one night a week where discussion of the wedding is off limits.
  4. Look at photos of happy times with your fiancé.
  5. Talk to your fiancé about specific concerns you might have regarding the marriage.
  6. Let others, especially your fiancé, support and nurture you.
  7. Exercise.
  8. Practice relaxation techniques.
  9. Talk about your feelings.
  10. See an individual or couple’s therapist if you feel you need additional support.

Some of the best and most memorable weddings are ones that didn’t go exactly as planned. It isn’t a sign that the marriage will fail, it’s just life. Laugh about it, brush it off and enjoy your day!

To read the complete article, please visit my blog at Psychology Today which can be found at:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-without-anxiety/201803/calming-pre-wedding-jitters

 

 

Start Today

pexels-photoWe’ve all heard the saying: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. How can you make that phrase meaningful to you?

Everyday offers us the opportunity to look to the future differently, to take stock of where we are, and to resolve to make the changes we want to make.

Many of us get mired in looking at the past, wondering how we got to this place, wishing we had done things differently, regretting what has been done and said. Perhaps we even feel stuck in our present situation because of past decisions.

It is important to know that decisions you made in the past were made based on the knowledge and information you had at the time of the decision. They could not have been made based on what you know today and it is unfair to judge your younger self based on what you know now. Could you possibly make a decision today based on who you will be and information you will have in 10 years?

Know that you did the best you could do at the time. And know that you will do the best you can do today. The past is over and no longer exists. The future is unknown. But today, you can celebrate you and know that you have the best of intentions for yourself.

Uncoupled on Valentine’s Day

friends_having_pizzaTomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day that may have some feeling sad and anxious. There is a lot of hype surrounding this day. The media tells us we should be madly in love and strive towards having the “perfect” relationship like we see on TV commercials and in movies. They show us that perfect mate, with a beautiful face and body, who says the most profound, loving  things. And if that’s not enough, they want us to long for the perfect gift!

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. For those who are single, remember that your friends and family are also important relationships. They can be the perfect company for a Friday that just happens to also be Valentine’s Day.

Here are some things you can do to make your Valentine’s Day special:

1-  Call some friends of family members and make dinner plans. Celebrate the fact that it’s Friday.

2-  Watch a movie you’ve been dying to see. If you’d rather not be alone, invite someone to watch it with you.

3-  Buy yourself that “perfect” piece of jewelry, flowers, or chocolates. You’ll be sure to get exactly what you want if you buy it yourself.

4-  Buy a single friend flowers or chocolates, you’ll make their day.

5-  Set up a “secret cupid” gift sharing with friends so you all get something special and unexpected on Valentine’s Day.

6-  Volunteer to work with those less fortunate or with animals.

7-  Tell people what you need so they can be there for you.

8-  Pamper yourself or make a plan to pamper yourself so you have something to look forward to.

I invite you to read a fuller version of this article which can be found at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-without-anxiety/201402/single-valentines-day