Have you been looking in the wrong places to calm anxiety and boost confidence? You’re not alone.
Our feelings and thoughts are constantly being communicated whether we’re aware of it or not because most of what we’re saying is expressed through our body language not just our words.
Your body speaks, mainly, in these ways.
1) Internally through emotions and feelings.
2)Externally to the world through your body language and postures.
3)Outwardly through spoken words.
Out of those, 80% of what others are receiving is through our body language. That’s a lot!! Only a small portion is words and tone of voice, the rest is appearance, movements, gestures and facial expressions. Meaning people take in more with their eyes than with their ears.
It contradicts what we’ve believed for so long that words are the most powerful tool. People often come to counselling looking to learn new words to use when it’s really their emotions and thoughts that are doing most of the communicating.
No matter what you’re job or situation is, communicating effectively is important. To maintain the message you want to get across you need awareness of your body’s emotions and signs. So much time is spent in our heads thinking, worrying and figuring out life that we don’t pay attention to our bodies. Give your brain a break…for your health and happiness’ sake.Cal
Try these exercises anytime to Raise energy, Boost confidence and Calm Anxiety:
RAISE your energy level and your mood.
Before you reach for another coffee to stimulate you try this. Stand up and do five or six jumping jacks, jog on the spot or swing your arms around for 2 minutes. Do something to get your blood flowing. How does that feel? Is your heart beating faster, breathing deeper, is your body warmer with a flow of energy? Your mood will often change as well as you bring oxygen into your brain and body.
CALM your stress and anxiety
When you’re tense before an important meeting or interview do this quick check in to calm you down.
Close your eyes and let all the air out of your lungs. Take a deep breath into your belly feeling your belly then your chest expand. Hold the breath for 4 counts then exhale and hold the exhale for 4 counts. Repeat this 5 times. Return to your regular breathing pattern. With your eyes closed give your body a quick scan. Feel your feet on the ground, notice your legs and back touching the seat. Move up and around your body with your inner eyes. Are your shoulders tense? How is your chest feeling.. open? tight? move into your belly and feel around like it’s a container. Use your awareness and inner eyes to move over the sides of the container. Notice any pain, tension or lightness anywhere in your body. Breath into whatever you experience. Take one more deep breath and open your eyes. If you were able to relax then you should be feeling calm and grounded. The bonus to this breathing exercise is it increases your insight, clarity and health as well.
BOOST confidence. Another exercise to do before a big meeting or interview is to stand in what social psychologist Amy Cuddy calls the high power pose for 2 minutes. Research proved that by doing this your testosterone level goes up which effects your ability to handle stress and feel assertive, confident and comfortable. Watch her full TED talk here
Your body is speaking are you paying attention?
Like just changing the words you use helps only in the short term if you have a persistent pattern or behaviour in your life contact me for a consultation to see how counselling can help.
Liz Coleman, RTC, is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor based in Surrey, BC. She specializes in anxiety, anger, insecurity, and relationship problems. If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Ms. Coleman at (604) 809-8947 or use the convenient form on her Contact page.