Tag Archives: happy

Tip for May: Positive thoughts from “Happy Walking”!

Working with the effects of the body’s “success switch” is based on a principle that is classified under the term “embodiment” in psychology. “Embodiment” is a psychological approach that describes the resonance of our physical awareness with our emotional experience and our cognitive performance; there are many interesting studies on this subject. One of them also looks at different motions and it was conducted under the leadership of psychologist, Prof. Dr. Johannes Michalak at the University of Witten/Herdecke. He investigated how the cognitive powers of students was affected by their gait. He asked one group to let their head and shoulders droop while walking, i.e. to creep around in a deliberately “depressed” manner. A second group was requested to portray a “happy gait pattern” with their head raised and an upright posture. Although the subjects enacted the two “gait modes” deliberately, in a way that was almost “superimposed”, there were clear distinctions in a test that was subsequently carried out.

Demonstrable connection between body and mind

The students taking part in the trial were given positive words (e.g. “brave”, “attractive”) and negative words (e.g. “boring”, “stupid”). They had to decide whether these words chimed with their mood. Then after eight minutes, a test was conducted that had not been announced, and the results speak for themselves: subjects who walked in a “depressed mode” remembered more negative words while those that indulged in “happy” walking retained many more positive words. Johannes Michalak commented as follows: “This  shows that the way we walk affects whether we tend to process information positively or negatively. There is a connection, therefore, between the body, in this case the gait, and the mind, in this case the information we retain. Results like these could be used in future to develop treatment options for depression which work by changing physical processes”. The result reveals that our body also sends signals to our mind and psyche – so the resonance also works “upwards” from the body to the world of the mind and not just “downwards” from our thoughts to what our body experiences.

Motion training support with “happy wingwave walk”

There is a simple exercise to train your movements to support this insight: walk “happily”, sit “in a good mood”, run in a deliberately “exhilerated” manner. Even if it seems artificial and contrived to you, your body will send positive signals to your brain through your posture alone, and this will improve your mood. Support this training with the wingwave music; we call this combination the “happy wingwave walk”. The wingwave balance training can also help you to work this method into your everyday life. You will find wingwave coaches and wingwave trainers at www.wingwave.com.

Source: http://www.uni-wh.de/universitaet/presse/presse-details/artikel/unsere-art-zu-gehen-beeinflusst-was-wir-uns-merken/, seen on 05.05.2015 at 13:37