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Walk Jauntily

 

Techniques Happiness > Walk Jauntily

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Walk in a happy manner, as if you had just heard some good news or are really enjoying your day.

Ways to walk jauntily include:

  • Swing your arms over a longer arc.
  • Twist your body more, matching your arm swings.
  • Walk upright, without slouching.
  • Add a bounce to your step.
  • Smile as you walk, as if you're having a great day.

Do not do the opposite. Avoid sagging and walking as if you are unhappy or depressed. At the very least, walk upright and as if you are just feeling normal.

Discussion

When you walk in a happy manner, you are acting as if you are happy. Your mind sees this and concludes that it must make thoughts and actions consistent, and so modifies your mood to match your actions.

Researchers Michalak, Rohde and Troje found that when they told people to walk on a treadmill in a positive manner, they subsequently agreed with more positive emotional words than a control group. The reverse happened too. When they got people to slouch and walk in a sad way, they agreed more with negative emotional words. This is consistent with Self-Perception Theory and other research (eg. Schnall and Laird, 2003) where people who adopted happy body language actually became happier.

See also

Consistency Principle, Association principle, Look Good, Self-Perception Theory

Michalak, J., Rohde, K., and Troje, N. (2015). How we walk affects what we remember: Gait modifications through biofeedback change negative affective memory bias. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 46, 121-125.

Schnall, S. and Laird, J. (2003). Keep smiling: Enduring effects of facial expressions and postures on emotional experience and memory, Cognition and Emotion, 17, 5, 787-797.

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