How The Body Speaks
We are deliberately using our bodies when we shrug our shoulders, clap our hands, shake our heads, or roll our eyes. Our bodies move behind our backs to betray our moods or thoughts without our understanding when we unconsciously point our feet in one direction, make our body take up less space, or touch our neck and face.
According to David Lambert, body language serves three important functions: as a conscious substitute for speech, like when we wink or give the thumbs up; to reinforce speech, like when we use hand gestures to help articulate a point we’re making orally; and as a reflection of mood, like our expressions, body pointing, and dilated pupils.
It’s likely that before the human capacity for language, humans communicated through body language. In 1969, British naturalist Desmond Morris claimed that humans owe their nonverbal communication to their animal nature.
Charles Darwin stated in 1872 that humans and apes share comparable facial expressions that they inherited from a common ancestor.
Other creatures, ranging from lizards to birds and canines, puff out their chests when they wish to assert dominance. We know that when a dog lowers his head, he feels sorry, but we also know that we can give those puppy dog expressions.
Different species, including humans, dance to attract mates and shrink down when rejected or vanquished.
6 Powerful Body Language Tips
Our bodies appear to be powerful, globally expressive tools that communicate far more than we think, both when we want them to and when we don’t.
The Physical Thought
Something weird has emerged in recent decades: the notion that our bodies may not only express our ideas but also actively impact them in their own ways. It’s a two-way street here.
Embodied cognition is a new school of psychology whose basic concept is that our bodies and the world around us not only influence us but are also deeply intertwined into our thinking. Our thoughts are shaped by our experiences.
People who sit on a hard chair are less inclined to compromise than those who sit in a soft chair; people who handle a hefty clipboard take their jobs more seriously; people who hold a warm drink view others as more kind and caring than those who hold cold drinks.
It’s giving our perceptions of ourselves a fresh twist. The common belief that our awareness resides inside our brains and observes the world while commanding the body to perform actions is only half true.
We go along with a lot of our body language because we aren’t conscious of it. However, if we consider the concept of embodied cognition, we may discover that by becoming aware of our bodies and employing the mind’s power to volitionally choose our form and motion, we may change our minds and emotions. Let’s have a look at the possibilities.
Here are 6 most useful tips for understanding body language affects:
You’ve undoubtedly been instructed to sit up straight at least a few times in your life, and it turns out there’s an excellent reason to do so. Slouching while sitting or standing can cause incorrect spine alignment, which can negatively impact our overall health and cause problems for the rest of our life.
There are also short-term consequences. According to a study from San Francisco State University, slouching your body can make you feel depressed and exhausted from energy. They also discovered that adjusting your posture to a more upright stance can boost your mood and energy levels.
When we see a grin, our brains replicate the same pattern of activity as if we were smiling, and as a result, we experience the same emotions as if we were smiling – it’s the same concept behind those contagious yawns.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait for someone else to smile; you can do it yourself. Sticking with furrowed eyebrows and negative expressions causes you to see the world in a more cynical way while doing this can lift you out of a bad mood and lessen your stress levels.
3. Eye Contact
Eye contact has a powerful effect; looking into another person’s eyes causes arousal, which can be beneficial or harmful depending on the situation. It also improves your ability to distinguish between fake and real smiles, which may reveal your lies.
According to a 1989 study, two familiar persons gazing into each other’s eyes for two minutes was enough to increase feelings of affection and passion. Another study discovered that when we make eye contact with others, we become more self-aware.
4. Crossed Arms
Folding our arms is a protective strategy for our heart and lungs. When we’re apprehensive, insecure, or pessimistic about something or someone, we frequently use it. In similar scary conditions, monkeys have been spotted making the same motion.
Crossing our arms has been found to increase perseverance and willingness to work longer on challenging challenges, even when we are tempted to give up.
When dealing with other people, however, we might not desire that strong attitude because the physical barrier it creates could not only give the idea that you’re not open to their opinion, but it could also make you less open to them.
5. Power Poses
Taking up space is a forceful display, similar to how animals puff up their chests to establish dominance. Those who take up more space are thought to be more confident, self-assured, and belong to a higher social class.
The power position, in which we take up space with a confident posture, affects our testosterone and cortisol levels.
Practicing a simple position for 2–3 minutes a day has been proven to raise our sense of power by up to 20% by increasing testosterone, whereas individuals who feel defeated by low-power poses see a fall in testosterone.
Cortisol, a stress hormone, lowers in those who just appear confident and increases in those who appear unconfident.
This happens unconsciously through those mirror neurons, but the effect is also present if we do it actively. Mirroring has been found to aid in the development of rapport with others, the resolution of arguments, and the development of empathy.
Making Use Of The Loop
Body language has existed for much longer than humans have, and it is an incredibly universal function. However, not everything we communicate with our bodies is heard by everyone.
We should all be aware that diverse hand gestures can imply one thing in one culture and something else totally in another. There are also some notable distinctions between men and women, especially when one is attempting to attract the other.
Despite the variations, our bodies give away a lot of information about our inner thoughts and feelings, and we also interpret a lot from other people’s body language.
This language, like spoken language, is not limited to interpersonal communication. Our bodies, like us, talk to ourselves all the time. Through embodied cognition, they aid in the shaping of our experiences, feelings, and thoughts.
According to Michael Lewis, “it appears that the way we feel emotions isn’t simply limited to our brain—there are portions of our bodies that aid and reinforce the sentiments we’re having.”
Much of what we do is defined by this behavioral and cognitive loop. Our behaviors and expressions influence our thoughts, which in turn influence our emotions, which affect our bodies.
We may learn to hack this cycle and construct the best thoughts and feelings for the scenario, as well as project the appropriate body language to people around us, by learning to hack this loop. What is the relationship between your body language and the words you say? What impact might it have on your thoughts?