a simple way to change how you feel

home

search

immediate relief

bite size tastes

bonus chapters

how to order

contact us

 

 

This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

SOMETIMES WHEN YOU WANT TO behave differently, you don’t feel like it when the time comes. And sometimes when you want to feel differently, you don’t really know how to get there from where you are. Maybe you want to feel confident talking with strangers or feel cheerful at work, but you don’t know how to feel confident or cheerful. Well, there is a way.

The principle is simple: Assume the posture you would have if you felt the way you want to feel, breathe the way you would breathe, talk the way you would talk, think the things you would think, act the way you would act — do the things you would do if you felt the way you want to feel.

Are you depressed and want to feel happy? Move your body like you move it when you’re happy. If you can’t remember what it’s like to be happy, move your body the same way you’ve seen others move when they looked happy. Put the same expression on your face. Imagine or remember the way you talk to yourself and the kind of perspective you might have about your situation when you’re happy, and then say those things to yourself and take that perspective.

In other words, act as though you were happy.

If you are angry and want to be calm, act as though you were calm. Do you feel weak and want to be strong? Act as though you were strong.

What you’re doing is changing everything that can be changed, and this changes your feelings, which can’t be changed directly.

Remember Pavlov’s dogs? Pavlov rang a bell every time he fed the dogs, and the dogs associated the sound of the bell with the taste of food. So when the bell rang, the dogs salivated, even when there was no food.

For your whole life you’ve been relating certain body postures, facial expressions, breathing patterns, etc., to certain feelings like happiness or calmness or strength. The postures and facial expressions and feelings belong together. So when you act as though you’re relaxed, you begin to feel relaxed. When you act as though you feel good, you begin to feel good. And after awhile, you aren’t acting. It’s like siphoning gas — you suck on the hose at first, and then it comes out by itself.

“Acting as though” also changes reality, which tends to reinforce the feelings. For example, people who feel depressed typically aren’t very friendly. If they acted like a person who felt good, they would act friendlier, which would cause people to act friendly in return, which would make the person feel less depressed. It creates an upward spiral. Change how you act and what you do and your feelings will change. You will get a better response from the world, which will reinforce your good feelings.

Act as though you already feel the way you want to feel.

This article was excerpted from the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works: How to Become More Effective with Your Actions and Feel Good More Often.

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
Moodraiser
Articles and Interviews
Learn about sustaining motivation, improving relationships, relieving depression, improving your health, reducing anxiety, becoming more optimistic, enjoying a better mood more often, earning more money, expanding your creativity, making better decisions, resolving conflicts, and much more.

Self-Help Menu
Want to learn to enjoy your relationships with people more? Do better at work? Feel good more often? Have a better attitude? Use the self-help menu.

Facebook and Twitter
We post on Facebook and Twitter a few times a week, focusing on helping you feel good more often.

Search For Anything On YMW
Type in any topic and find all the material on YouMe Works on that topic. You can also browse topics on this page.

Subscribe to Moodraiser
Get articles delivered to your email inbox free. Learn simple methods for lifting your general feeling of well-being right away, and improving your mood over time.

 

Google
 
YouMe Works is a self-help website, giving you tools and ideas to help you feel good more often and become more effective with your actions.

Explore This Site | Immediate Relief | Bite Size | Home | Contact
Copyright © 2001-2099 -
YouMe Works Publications - All rights reserved.