How Body Language Can Help You Manage Your Emotions

Imagine you're about to speak in public, and you're nervous, but you can't control your feelings. Your body language makes your anxiety clear and the situation worse. You're embarrassed about your sweaty palms, high-pitched voice, and weak knees. If only you were confident, everything would be okay.

Now imagine a different scenario. You're about to give a speech, and you're anxious, but you can handle your emotions. You understand how to change your body language to make it work for you. You take deep, soothing belly breaths, and, in a private room behind the stage, you stand in a superhero pose with your legs apart and your hands on your hips. When it's time to give your talk, you are confident.

Can you change your body language to feel better? The answer is yes.

You can use body language to cope with your feelings. Additionally, it will help you produce the emotions you want, like self-confidence.

Body language for self-confidence

Whether you want to be confident during an interview or speech, using the right body language will help. There's a trick to knowing the gestures and body movements to make. You need to identify the body language of people who display the emotions you wish to imbue.

Self-confident people stand tall. They use eye contact and smile when they meet others. They face them, and if seated, lean forward when conversing. Also, they give firm handshakes and use open gestures.

Open gestures are the opposite of closed gestures. A typical example of the latter is crossing the arms over the chest. Doing so reveals defensiveness. To be open, relax your arms and hold them at your side when standing. When sitting, place them loosely in your lap.

You may have noticed the confident person in the example adopted a superhero pose. Studies show standing like Wonder Woman helps people produce feel-good hormones that make them self-assured.

Thus, when you need a confidence boost, stand with your hands on your hips and legs apart. Look ahead and keep your back straight.

You'll feel braver within a few minutes.

Body language to help you relax

Feeling tense? You'll benefit from assuming body language that helps you unwind.

Engage in the gestures and body movements of peaceful people.

Move slowly and breathe deep. Let your shoulders and jaw drop.

Relax your vision, so you're not squinting or wide-eyed. If possible, lie down with your arms by your sides.

This position will open your chest area, so you breathe from your diaphragm with ease. If you are sitting, rest your hands in your lap and uncross your legs.

Body language to relieve social anxiety

Anxious people touch their face, neck, and hair in social situations. They also fiddle with their jewelry and glance around nervously. To reduce stress, keep your limbs and muscles loose and your hands away from your head area.

Even better, interlock the fingers of your hands to help keep them still, or hold something like a glass or book.

Practice smiling at people to tell your brain you feel fine. At the same time, doing so shows you're friendly and will encourage people to be friendly back.

You can also increase confidence by adopting a superhero pose when you visit the bathroom.

Body language to reduce anger

Angry people are tense, and their tight muscles reflect the rigidity. To reduce tension, adopt the body language of calm individuals. Shake stress from your body, picturing your muscles relaxing. Roll your neck and stretch your limbs, before releasing tension. Walk and move at a gentle pace, and if seated, rest back in your chair, allowing it to take your weight.

Uncross your arms and rest your hands on your thighs and take slow, deep belly breaths. Your anger will quickly subside.

The fastest way to alter your emotions is to change your body language; it informs your system all is well and transforms your emotional state.

Adopt the body language of people who feel the opposite of what you experience when you're unhappy. Thus, if you're angry, use calm body language.

Practice often and you will be adept at transforming your mood.