TC 292: Cafe Book Club – Presence part 7: Pose for Presence
In this week’s Cafe Book Club podcast, host Robin Masiewicz and her guests discuss chapter 7 of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
by Amy Cuddy. In this section we talk about how research has demonstrated that your emotional state follows the actions of the body. If you smile, you’ll feel happier. If you furrow your brow and grit your teeth, you’ll start to feel angry. And, as we’ve already seen, if you assume a power pose you’ll feel more confident.
“I don’t sing because I’m happy. I’m happy because I sing.”
William James, the “father of American psychology”
Can you imagine trying to sing the words to a sad song while smiling and doing jazz hands? I’ll wager there’s no way you’d actually feel sad; you’re body is signaling that you’re happy and excited!
William James is one of the two namesakes of the James–Lange theory of emotion, which he formulated independently of Carl Lange in the 1880s. The theory holds that emotion is the mind’s perception of physiological conditions that result from some stimulus. In James’s oft-cited example, it is not that we see a bear, fear it, and run; we see a bear and run; consequently, we fear the bear. Our mind’s perception of the higher adrenaline level, heartbeat, etc. is the emotion.
Expressions and Depression – the Mind/Body Connection
So the thinking is, if the expression on your face can influence your mind, what happens when we inhibit the muscles in the face associated with sadness and anger? In the video below, you’ll see a news story about how Dr. Eric Finzi is using Botox as a treatment for depression. You can learn more about this approach at Botoxfordepression.com.
In the image below, Amy Cuddy strikes a super-hero power pose.
Examples of High Power Poses
Examples of Low Power Poses
We’re going to explore the topic of how your body affects your emotional and mental state in more depth next week. We’ll examine how yoga therapy and other forms of movement can be used to treat people that suffer from anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress disorders.