Day 21 of migraine awareness month “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” video
In the video, she discusses nonverbal postures. How when we feel powerful we make ourselves big and have open postures. And how when we feel powerless we make ourselves small and have closed in postures. I must feel pretty powerless because I am always pretty slouched in with my arms close to my body or rubbing my neck, with my legs often twisted up in a pretzel because I find nice awkward positions comfortable. Even standing my legs are often crossed. I have hypermobility syndrome… and being very double jointed I feel less pain in odd positions. And I agree that my posture screams passive and powerless. I am a real mellow person and do not have an aggressive bone in my body. I do often lack self-confidence.
She brings up the concept of Fake it to you make it. Until you become it. That is mimic powerful body language, since mimicking it affects the brain. Mimic it until you become it. It seems absurd to mimic this confidence until you become confident. But it is in fact not at all. I had learned this trick a long time ago. I faked it until I became it as well. Just not confidence and power. Instead, I when with a more positive outlook on life, more humour, more laughter and less negativity, cynicism, and depression. You see I have always been a very sarcastic, moody and negative person. But that sort of personality did not deal with pain very well. I found it difficult to cope with the level of pain I was dealing with in university in my early twenties. I became pretty depressed trying to deal with it. I knew I needed to change my mental outlook in order to cope better. However, it does not happen just instantaneously. Partly it is changing how you think. Partly it is faking it, as in acting differently, until you become that facade you are enacting. In my case, I let out the more goofy side of my personality to let myself see the humour in everyday things so that I could laugh more. Until I became the sort of person that smiles and laughs easily.
Another example is the fact that faking a smile biologically affects our brain as if we were actually smiling. So faking a smile can actually improve our mood. I used to do this to help me deal with working with chronic pain. It was part of my facade to deal with pain. Easy to smile and laugh sort of facade. And that sort of became the person I was. Some days I did fake it because pain does make that sort of thing difficult at times. But most of the time it just is who I am now. And that helps me cope with pain. Laughter is good medicine. It does, in fact, help with mood and dealing with pain as well. And I need these sort of tricks because I do have problems with mood regulation and depression due to migraines. But always hiding the pain can backfire. We don’t Look in pain and therefore to others We are Not IN pain. Nevertheless, I use the facade of wellbeing all the time.
I do like to idea of changing my posture to boost my confidence and sense of power as well though. And that is definitely something to consider doing. It is very easy to trick the brain with these sorts of things. It is harder to change our thinking which can be quite the broken record, but also something we have to watch closely.
Body language is definitely an important thing for ourselves and for others. She briefly mentioned physicians there and I can tell you that I certainly pay attention to the tone and body language of my physician. The one I have now is clearly a very good listener, attentive and meticulous. However, my previous doctor really irked me. His tone was always disinterested. He never seemed to listen to me fully. Usually, you can tell because someone cuts you off, does not repeat what you say back to you, or does not refer to what you have said. His body language also demonstrated his lack of concern. He would only face me for a minute or so and then turn away to his computer while talking to me as if he no longer really had any interest in the conversation. His expression never even showed much concern over what I said, no matter what it was. And he never offered me much of his time, no matter what I came in for. It is easy to tell someone has no real concern over your affairs and is pretty disinterested. We have a real doctor shortage in the area though so it took me a very long time to find a new one and I was very fortunate to find a very good replacement.