Updated: May 15
Please take a moment to look at your body now. Would you say your body is open or closed? Open = relaxed, arms and legs uncrossed in an open stance, head up with eyes open Closed = tense, arms and legs crossed in a closed stance, head down with eyes closed
What happens if you fully open your body? Please adjust your physical position so that you are fully open. Sat down, both feet on the floor, arms open, legs uncrossed, shoulders back, head up and gaze towards the ceiling and smile. Stay like this for a minute or so. How do you feel? Silly, relaxed, flexible, smiley, light etc. And as a result of your positive physiology, what type of thoughts are you experiencing? Positive?
However what happens if you fully close your body? Please readjust your position so that you are closed. Sat down, arms and legs crossed, shoulders hunched forwards, head down facing towards the floor, with eyes closed. Stay like this for a minute or so. How do you feel now? Nervous, tense, rigid, down, heavy etc. What type of thoughts are you experiencing now?
What did you notice about your thoughts when your body was closed to when it was open?
Your body position led the flavour of your thoughts! This is not a coincidence.
Closed body = negative thoughts Open body = positive thoughts
It does not stop there. More interestingly it is extremely difficult to have a positive thought when your body is closed or a negative thought when your body is open!
Open your body up and allow a nice happy thought to be present e.g. I feel happy. Now repeat this statement in your mind over and over whilst gradually closing your body, ending up with head down and your eyes closed. Once your body is fully closed, what has happened to that happy thought?
Did it disappear? Did it darken or turn negative? Did it stop being a happy thought in some other way?
Now, close your body again and think of a negative thought e.g. I feel stupid, when closed and reverse the process by slowing opening up your body, whilst repeating the thought in your mind, ending up looking towards the ceiling smiling.
What happened to that negative thought?
Did it disappear and be replaced by a positive? Did it appear lighter in some way? Did it seem to lose its power?
Interesting isn’t it?
How would you describe a depressed person: Body open or closed?
A depressed person would spend more time with a closed body. With a closed body it is almost impossible to feel or think positively. Therefore the physical body is influencing not only the thoughts but a whole state – of sadness! Remember the body leads the mind.
Think back to a time when you were really sad about something. Were you spending a lot of your time crying, looking down, your head in your hands, wanting the world to swallow you whole? What happened for you to feel better? Were you cajoled into getting showered, going out, or doing something different? Believe it or not, the main impact on your mood was moving your body from a closed to an open position!
As a result of this knowledge, therapies addressing depression will first employ behavioural activation strategies, which encourage the body to move and invariably become more open!
How would you describe a happy, sociable person: body open or closed?
A happy person would spend more time with an open body. With an open body it is almost impossible to feel or think negatively. Therefore the physical body is influencing not only the thoughts but a whole state – of happiness!
Therefore if you want to feel happy, change your body to an open position. And if you want to feel unhappy, change your body to a closed position.
Think back to a time when you were really happy about something. Were you spending much of that time smiling, relaxed, making eye contact with others, laughing and wanting that moment to last forever? The only issue here is that a feeling is a feeling and will pass naturally. Your body will naturally open and close in response to both your internal and external environment. So when you are feeling happy, feel happy. And when you feel sad, acknowledge your sadness. Accept the sadness in your body as a fear and once your body is calm, unless you are at a funeral, jump up, do a few start jumps, laugh at yourself and make the most of that moment!
Just bear in mind that YOU CHANGE YOUR STATE EASILY BY CHANGING YOUR BODY!