Perhaps you have heard that our internal state if often reflected in how we hold and move our bodies - whether we like it or not. (Freud famously quipped, "if his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips.") Such unsconscious expressions of our mood can shape how others perceive and react to us, and this reinforces our perceptions of the world, be they positive or negative. Such sycles are incredibly powerful.
We mostly talk about this phenomenon in terms of the negative spectrum of feeling - how low self-esteem causes bad posture, depression causes a slow gait, stress causes body tension, etc. But we also talk about how confidence is telegraphed by a straight spine and squared shoulders, joy by a spring in our step, trustworthiness by a firm handshake.
Researcher Amy Cuddy has done something remarkable with this observation by investigating what happens when we invert the equation. If mood influences body language, she surmised, then could body language influence mood? The answer turns out to be yes, and the effects are every bit as powerful.
If we deliberately sculpt our bodies into postures that we associate with strength, confidence, and joy, the feelings fill actually follow. Watch for yourself, and consider implenting this in your daily life - it really works!