When you look at your predominate emotions, how often are you in a negative emotional state? For most people, this is 90% of the time. They are worried about stuff, fearful the day isn’t going to go right, and scared that bad things are going to happen to them. What they don’t realize is that they can easily control those emotions.
The instant you create meaning for anything that happens or will happen to you, whether it’s “I’m really happy” or “I’m really depressed right now.”, the brain automatically begins telling the body how to feel. Billions of chemicals called neuropeptides instantly flood the body, and each emotion has its own unique chemical structure. These little chemicals will float around and it will tell the cells what to “feel” because it will chemically change – everything about that cell changes based on the chemical messages from the brain. It becomes happy or pissed off, nervous or calm, afraid or confident. That’s how we feel.
Think about it, when you have feelings in your body you really feel it. When you feel happy you feel light, you feel joyous, and you feel good. When you feel angry you’re toxic, you’re pissed, you’re smoldering. Your emotions and your physiology are intimately interconnected.
- Jenny sees a snake
- Jenny interprets situation as dangerous
- Jenny’s brain releases chemicals (neuropeptides)
- Jenny screams and runs away in fear
This process also works in reverse! If you want to change the emotions, one of the easiest ways to do it is change the body first.
A John Hopkins study on the clinically depressed and bi polar patients: about 6000 people were divided into four groups. One group continued on their meds, ¼ got placebos, and ¼ was a control group and got nothing. The fourth group had to smile 400 times a day. They’ve been clinically depressed and taken off their meds and told to smile 400 times a day and it’s a grimace at best. Here’s what they found: Not by an incremental improvement but by an order of magnitude improvement, the group that was told to smile had the most improvement in happiness! Whether it was day 1 or day 12 or day 30, when did they start becoming real smiles and when did they stop being depressed? It’s immaterial. What’s important is that the people who took it seriously started to become happy.
Emotions are hard wired to your body. You cannot be depressed when you’re smiling.
Change your physiology and you will change the emotions you feel and the thoughts you have. What other emotions can you feel or control just by changing your physiology?