Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

by Jean-Paul Cortes
(San Jose, Costa Rica)

How Does This Picture Make You Feel?

How Does This Picture Make You Feel?

Take a moment to pay attention to your own body. Notice what your thoughts are at this moment. Notice your posture. Notice how you feel. Now, take a mental note here because we're going to come back to this in a second and if you're feeling down, I'm going to help you feel a lot better.

Or, if you're already feeling better I'm going to let you in on the very powerful, yet incredibly simple, reason why you feel this way.

First there's something you probably already know, and that we should put it out on the table. What is it?

Our fascination with body language

We are simply enthralled by body language. Most of us can't really help it. As soon as we interact with someone, even if we realize or not, we're noticing their body language.

"Why is he touching his nose, do I smell bad?" "Why is he avoiding looking at me, is he lying?" "Why is he slouching down like that, is he hiding something?"

You know how this internal dialogue goes don't you? I'm sure you do.

Human beings have very complex ways of communicating with each other. And the truth is that, yes, non verbal communication is a very big part of this. In fact, researchers have determined that it's even much greater than verbal communication.

Since it's all about communication: what are you communicating?

So, if you're always communicating some message to others in your daily interactions with them, the next logical question you might ask yourself is, what are you communicating?

Because as you might realize, the implications might lead you one way or the other. How so? In as much as how people perceive you to be.

And, what social research has shown, is that we make snap judgements, mostly unconsciously, about others based on very precise signals of verbal and non-verbal communication.

Judgements about how you communicate therefore lead to crucial decisions on whether you are liked or not and your place in the social structure.

What's more interesting is what we tend not to see. Because as it happens...

We are influenced ourselves by our own non verbals: thoughts, feelings, and physiology

We are mirrors unto ourselves. What this means is that not only are we communicating to others, we are constantly communicating to ourselves. In very many ways. Our behaviors are run by a constant stream of interconnected feedback loops of how we think, feel and carry ourselves.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: There is ample research into how we can increase our feelings of well being which would also in turn affect our thoughts and our physiology. I know of one easy and simple technique that I learned from the founder of NLP, Richard Bandler, that can increase your feelings of well being. It might be the subject of a future article)

We know our non verbals influence how others think and feel about us but...

Now that we've established how others think and feel about us has to do with our non verbal communication.

The next question you might ask yourself is, how do our non verbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves? Because our bodies can and do in fact change our minds and we'll get to that in a second.

First, lets talk about two hormones

Testosterone: You might have heard of testosterone as the "male" hormone. And that's because men are driven by it. Low levels of this hormone, at least for males, wreak havoc in their lives.

Women produce testosterone as well, although in low quantities. Yes, men produce Estrogen also, but in any case here are 7 reasons why women need testosterone as well.

Cortisol: Although stress isn’t the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, it has been termed “the stress hormone” because it’s also secreted in higher levels during the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body.

What does this have to do with anything? To answer this, we're going to look at what happens when a male chimp takes over a troop.

You see, alpha males tend to have high levels of testosterone and low levels of cortisol. What's more when another chimp takes over the troop suddenly, in a matter of days his levels of both testosterone and cortisol go up and down respectively.

Could it be possible then, that there be a correlation such as the one above in humans? And, if so might there be a way into altering our levels of these two key hormones through our bodies?

The difference between high power poses vs. low power poses and how it relates to you

Turns out, there is. As social researcher Amy Cuddy has found in her research that she shares in her TED talk. What she's found is so deceptively simple that you'll be amazed.

Pay special attention to what happens around minute 18:43, it will bring tears to your eyes.

More importantly she shares a 2 minute solution to instantly become powerful. I'm guessing you might want to watch now:

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