Behaving Your Way Into a Better Mood

>> Friday

When you feel good, you often behave well. And when you feel bad, you often behave badly, right? For example, you have a stressful day at work and when you get home, you're not very nice to your kids.

How you feel influences how you act. But it's also true that how you act can influence how you feel.

You can use this fact to your advantage by deliberately altering simple things about your behavior in order to feel better. For example, changing the muscle tension around your eyes. Or changing they way you're breathing. Learn more about this: A Simple Way to Change How You Feel.

5 comments:

Adam Khan 9:05 PM  

Many people have remembered this principle as: "act as though you were happy" and went around with fake smiles and fake bubbliness. Please remember my warning: Do not think of it that way.

Remember the details of the principle:

"Assume the posture you would have if you felt the way you want to feel, breathe the way you would breathe, talk the way you would talk, think the things you would think, act the way you would act — do the things you would do if you felt the way you want to feel."

This is a much more complete and effective way to use this principle than "pretend to be cheery."

Think "posture, breathing, and speech." Focus on those first.

And then change your thoughts.

Mary 1:42 PM  

Hmm that's a good idea. So all I have to do to be confident is act confident? It sounds really hard to do though, because of all the self defeating thoughts I get. And all the self doubt. But I think I'm going to try my best. Sometimes I get really down on myself about grades, not having a boyfriend, mean girls you know how high school is. I feel like becoming confident will make life so much better. But what if your to unconfident to act like your confident

Adam Khan 1:07 AM  

Mary, DO NOT OVERSIMPLIFY THIS. This is a common mistake people make. I've made it myself several times. Read the instructions again and do them one at a time. First change your breathing. Is that hard to do? Does it matter whether or not you have self-defeating thoughts?

No, you can change your breathing regardless, and it is not hard.

Okay, now change your posture. Is this hard? Does it matter if you have self-doubt? Are you too un-self-confident to change your posture? No. You can do it regardless.

Do these first. Then talk the way a confident person would talk. Study confident people. Watch them. Listen to them. What makes you think they're confident? Okay, now you try it. Talk the way they talk.

And so on. Don't try to do it all at once. Change your breathing first. Change your posture second. Etc.

Fred Miller 4:22 PM  

This really does work. I have a similar technique called "The Pretender". It's a little simplistic, but it's the same principle.

I especially like the way you explain the effort that it takes. It actually takes work. When people complain to me that meditation doesn't work, I explain that I've been doing it for twenty years. It's WORK, people!

Sarah K. 11:15 AM  

What a great reminder! I have tried smiling when I'm feeling bad, and it really does work! I need to remember about using my body too. It seems a fun exercise to think about what my body does when I am happy, or sad, ect...
I know that when I get nervous, I tend to cross my arms and legs. It's so hard to put your hands by your side and stand up straighter when you feel like that, but it gets easier the more you practice it. :)

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