There is one thing we do every night, which can tell us something very interesting about how our bodies and our psyche connect. This is sleep, or rather, pretending to sleep until we actually do enter the realm of dreams. Indeed, every night we fake our sleep and this somehow tells our bodies that we want to sleep, until at some point we just pass out, without much extra effort than keeping up the pretense. This could lead us to believe that whatever we do with our body might actually have an effect on our mind, showing that not only mind over body works, but that the opposite relationship is efficient as well.
If this is the case then, it would open the door to a wider range of possibilities, where we could use our body to influence our mind in a specific way for whatever reason we might desire. One area which might be of interest is the relation between body posture and self-confidence. In a very interesting TED talk, Amy Cuddy actually explains in details how taking up certain “power poses” helps to increase our self-esteem, especially in situations were we might feel nervous and could use the extra confidence boost, like interviews, dates, or any other stressful events.
The same also works with laughing, for example, since one can start to fake laugh, and keep going until eventually that person will really start laughing, even if they might not have wanted to. But even more than laughter, this could be applied to any area of the psyche or of one’s personality that one might to want to work one, like being outgoing (or learn to become more recluse), confident, change to a healthier diet, and any other habit or lifestyle change one could think of. The idea is simply to pretend to be something in order to keep working on that something, until it has become a part of us. By this I do not mean to pretend to be someone we are not, or to go against our true self for the sake of social acceptance but simply to keep working on ourselves, get up to prevent laziness from taking over, and smiling even when we don’t feel like it, so that we can trick ourselves into being happy, regardless of our state of mind.
Until next time,