Our negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, and guilt contract us. And I mean that literally. Think of how you sit when you’re sad. Your shoulders are most likely hunched forward, you might have your hands in a fist, you’re probably leaning into yourself, you’re most likely looking down, and your breathing is short and eradicate. That’s being contracted.
Now imagine (or better yet, actually do it) you do the exact opposite. Sit upright, with your shoulders back, relax your hands and let them rest, open your body up to the world, look up to the tops of the trees or the sky, and take a deep breath. Doesn’t that feel so much better? Don’t you feel lighter? This is expansion. And if you really want to feel this expansion fully, stand up, open your arms up, tilt your head back slightly, take another deep breath and feel the freedom of this expanding position.
Sometimes our happiness is stifled because our body is just in the wrong position! To have the energy of happiness fully flowing within us, we have to help it by paying attention to how we are holding ourselves. Our physiology gives clues to our inner state. You simply can’t be happy when you’re contracted physically.
This week as you do your gratitude list and remind yourself about your good qualities, pay attention to your body. When it’s contracted, reposition to expansion. It’s a simple challenge. Are you open to it?
To your improving happiness,