How’s your mood right now? I have a fun experiment for you to try.
- Find a pen or pencil.
- Hold it between your teeth, sideways, kind of like a horse’s bit, while you work at your desk, surf the internet, etc.
You may find that your mood improves a little.
Did you notice that the muscles that were activated when you held your mouth the way the pen or pencil demanded are mostly muscles that you use to smile?
I remember this experiment from my psych courses. Our emotions and their visible signs aren’t necessarily one-directional. We know we smile when we feel happy. But did you realize the act of smiling, even if we just trick our brain by activating the muscles for a while, can also make us feel happier? Or at least, as in the study, find comics funnier after we’ve sat like that for a while.
We’ve primed our brain to feel the emotion that goes with the physical sensation it’s experiencing.
If you’re already feeling down, you may not want to try the opposite way of holding your writing implement, with the end between your lips. The weight pulls your lips and face down in the way a frown does. You can guess the result found in the experiment. The “frowners” weren’t so easily amused as their counterparts. They didn’t enjoy themselves as much. It would seem they couldn’t. Because their brain was primed to feel the emotions that went with the muscles that were working.
The brain is an amazing, confusing, intricate thing… and the mind!! Wow.
2013 flashback for Father’s Day!
Taking a look back at a Mental Health Monday post for today’s Wisdom from the Word…
Mental Health Monday: Sabbath Sanity
July 29, 2013 by Melinda VanRy
From the beginning of time, God revealed the importance of rest. Holy rest.
God, who has no need of rest, set an example for us.
How much healthier – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically –
do you think we would be – individually, as the church, as a society –
if we remembered the Sabbath and kept it holy?
We don’t even really know what that means. But what if each of us was committed to a day of holy rest?
The Israelites were a strange people. They believed in one God, and they believed this God had given them various rules to ensure their purity and reflect His… holiness. When they chose to trust their God, and obey His commands, they were victorious and mighty. When they chose to look elsewhere to satisfy their needs and wants, and disobey… well, things weren’t so pretty. They suffered defeat and oppression, not without warning. They suffered consequences.
One important thing God expected of them was setting aside every seventh day as a holy day, a day of rest. Every seventh day.
It seems to me this observance would have shown their neighbors many things. It would prove that the Israelites’ God would provide for them, apart from them scrabbling every day. Keeping the Sabbath was an act of obedience, and an act of faith in God and His provision. It would show that the Israelites knew and accepted that they were small and finite, and God was not. It was a regular reminder that they needed rest, that they truly were dependent on God for everything. It would demonstrate their faith and God’s faithfulness.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But we’ve been too adamant in ridding ourselves of what might be considered old-fashioned or legalistic. And God-forbid, errrr, ummm… I mean… “we” will not tolerate anything that could be claimed an effort to force religion on someone. And don’t even think about threatening to slow down the constant cycle of earn earn earn, spend spend spend…
You have every right to believe or disbelieve whatever you want.
But what’s wrong with being reminded that living life as if there is nothing bigger than us is empty? Why can’t we enjoy one day a week that doesn’t involve… acquisition? A day people were encouraged, expected even, to stop running.
How much of our stress comes from feeling like we can never catch up, can never have enough?
How often are our feelings of not being enough a direct result of our refusal to slow down, quiet down, and just BE?
Would it be so bad to have “blue laws” forbidding businesses from operating on Sunday? Setting aside one day a week to remind everyone of the need to stop doing and learn how to, and then enjoy, being…
Sounds good to me…
And to be motivated by a desire to honor God – the Creator of everything, the Giver and Sustainer of life, the Giver of all that is good…
In Christ, you wear His righteousness before God the Father…
It looks like spring is finally here!