Aside: Think Great, Pose Great, Feel Great

*This article has been published in and is republished here after the site has been shut down.

There is no doubt of the fact that our verbals and non-verbals are influenced by what we think. We react according to what our brain processes.

Then there comes ideomotor effect – the influencing of an action by an idea – that we will unconsciously act based on the words, sentences or concepts that have glimpsed through our thoughts.

The other day, I went out to town with a friend of mine and the distance was like 30 minutes from our campus. We took too much time waiting for our food during dinner that we were actually really late for an event that we wanted to attend that night. So the driver – me – who had a thought – of being late and imagining a situation where we went in after almost an hour past the entry time – unconsciously hit 130 km/h mark on the speedometer. There was no pure intention of being that fast though we were in fact rushing. We had normal conversation to fill up the journey back, acted and behaved like we were still on time. And yet I sped.

Or simply notice how you start headbanging your head, stomping your feet on the floor while listening to some pop songs. Or how fast your walking pace is when you think of how hateful you are with those who walk slow. Or notice how the thought of the words FOOD and WASH will prime the word of S_ _P respectively. 

And do our non-verbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?

In one of the Ted talks that I watched, Amy Cuddy said that how we pose indicate what we feel. And it affect how we think.

Hunchingusually makes one feels less confident, powerless and afraid. Take some time observing how people pose when waiting for their turn to be interviewed for a job. You can notice how one’s facial expression is affected by his/her pose – the indication of how they are feeling.

That is why you can see Usain Bolt spreads his hands high up in the sky when he is the first to cross the finish line of the 100m sprint competition. He wants to feel great of his achievement. He wants to feel proud. And you can pretty easily notice the difference between a confident presenter with a nervous and shaky presenter. See how they move around and control their hand movements. They control their cognitive association through each of the movement made.

When you are feeling nervous or not confident, try to ‘force’ yourself to pose in the way that people – and you yourself – feel comfortable when approached. Try take a pencil and stuck it crosswise in your mouth to make yourself ‘smile’. Try to cross leg, open your chest wide open, put both of your palms in the back of your head and spread your hands wide. Make yourself feel great. You might feel a bit odd and kind of faking but truly speaking, faking is not always bad. It might lead you to actually really feel good.


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