You are probably familiar with all the ways that we communicate non-verbally to other people through our body posture, our hand gestures and facial expressions. But you may not be aware of how strongly you are communicating not only to others, but to yourself.
I'm not talking about how your body reacts to how you feel. You probably know that already—when you are having a great day, and you feel on top of the world, you smile, walk energetically, stand erect and maybe even gesture largely with your hands. When you are having a bad day, and you feel like the world is getting you down, you hunch over and frown.
No, I'm talking about something much more radical. The communication between your body posture and your feelings also goes the other way. You can change the way you feel based on how you hold your body. You can change your brain chemistry, and the actions you take or don't take.
Botox Zombies. Botox is a popular cosmetic procedure to reduce facial wrinkles. Botox is injected into various muscles, for instance in the face, and it paralyzes the muscles, thereby causing the wrinkles to “relax." It’s been known for a while that one of the side effects of Botox treatments are that people can’t fully express emotions (for example, they can’t move the muscles that would show they were angry, or even happy). New research shows that one of the side effects is the opposite—people who have Botox injections can’t feel emotions as well either. If you can’t move your muscles to make a facial expression you can’t feel the emotion that goes with the expression. So if you have recently received a Botox injection and you go to a movie that is sad, you will not feel sad because you won’t be able to move the muscles in your face that go with feeling sad. Moving muscles and feeling emotions are linked.