The motion of emotion


It seems obvious that our physical state reflects outwardly how we feel inwardly.  The depressed person slumps, the happy person beams. 

I’ve often heard the advice that emotion follows thought.  If we think enough about something, we’ll end up having the feelings that those thoughts will lead to. 

When we’re feeling a certain way, then our energy levels, posture and demeanour will reflect how we feel.

Something like this…

Thoughts –> Emotion –> Motion

What if this isn’t a linear relationship?  For example, Friedrich Nietzsche says that “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier and simpler.”.

I think we would agree that if you’re feeling down, the thoughts that you have will usually be negative ones.  Thoughts most likely do follow emotion also.

In his “Personal Power” course, Anthony Robbins says that just as motion follows emotion, emotion follows motion.

He gives an example of looking upwards, smiling and moving your hands quickly (the opposite of a depressed demeanour).  It tends to have a dramatic effect.

So the effects are less like a progression and more like an equation:

Thoughts with Emotion with Motion = Your State

I’ve been finding over the last few days that positivity can be encouraged very easily, just by being conscious of the way you move. 

I think that all the advice about going for a walk to ease depression makes more sense now.  I used to wonder how “going for a talk” (which in my opinion burns a negligible number of calories) was beneficial.  Now I know. 

The effect of motion on mood can be dramatic.  So at the risk of alarming the people around you, look up, smile and give a victory punch into the air.   You’ll be glad you did!


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