How to feel happy just by walking differently

Posted on October 20, 2014

Photo: flickr

It’s well-known that when we’re in a good mood, our style of walking tends to reflect how we feel: we bounce along, shoulders back, swinging our arms in style. Sometimes, just from our gait, it’s more obvious to other people how we feel than to ourselves. Now, a new study finds that it also works the other way around: people who imitate a happy style of walking, even without realising it, find themselves feeling happier.

The study had participants walking on a treadmill after looking at a list of positive and negative words. While on the treadmill each person’s gait and posture was continuously measured and fed back to them visually. Afterwards, they were asked to write down as many of the positive and negative words that they’d been shown earlier.

Those who’d been walking in a happy, upbeat way remembered more of the positive words, suggesting they were happier. The study also found that those who walked in a slumped, round-shouldered, depressed way, remembered more of the negative words.

This ties in with research on people who are depressed: they have a strong tendency to remember negative events, rather than the positive.

Click the link below to read the full article.

Source material from PSY Blog

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