How your body language can affect your own mood

I have been reading a particularly good book at the moment (Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie) and during one rather intriguing conversation between two of the main antagonists, I was reminded of one of the earliest things I learned about body language and I started to ponder how you could use it to your benefit…

It is usually the case that your body language is a result of your state of mind thus waving the subtle flag that you’ve trodden in a well placed dog poo, lost your best tie to the shredder and had an ear full for killing the peace lilly in the hall when someone caught you emptying the dregs of your coffee into the base. And all since half past nine and you’ve got an appraisal meeting with the boss this afternoon…

All that is quite enough to get one worked up and in a state right when you want to be calm and efficient-looking.

In my mind, there are two main elements that I would want to address here:

  • Mood
  • Anxiety

The bad mood is easy to cure: Smile

Smiling will put you in a good mood
Smiling will put you in a good mood

It sounds simple and it really is! Force a big smile on your face even though you really don’t feel like it and after a few minutes, you’ll forget all about forcing it and discover that you’ve somehow managed to give your bad mood the slip (you may even find yourself having a water cooler moment with the office hottie!).

The next step is also an easy one: Steeple your fingers

A classic confidence gesture
A classic confidence gesture

Just like the smile technique, steepling your fingers when you want to feel confident will help make you feel confident! Combine the two and you’ll be well away (not counting the chewed up tie of course).

The key is to notice your gestures and body language when you are in a resourceful (good) state and when you want to recall that state: simply recall the gestures and hey presto – resourceful state resumes!

I think it was at this point that I realised that I’d been staring at the person sat opposite me on the train and quickly had to bury myself back in the book before they started to wonder about my mental acuity.

The importance of scale

This week I was given the opportunity to work with anchors with a client and it reminded me of the importance of doing things in the proper order: When creating anchors, you must create the desired state 3 (or more) times and each time you run through it, you make the state more pronounced or at least of the same level. If you don’t, you may risk anchoring a less than optimum state.

Say for example, you wanted to be more confident in certain situations, we could build up a “confidence” anchor and attach it to a gesture such as a pinching your thumb and little finger on the left hand together. We do this by putting you into a confident state, firing the anchor (pinching the fingers) and repeating a few times (3 or more). Sounds simple, but it really is!

In the session I had this week, we used a memory revivification (basically using specific techniques to bring to life a previous memory and allow the client to really re-live it in their mind) to achieve the state of mind required by the client.

The temptation to get carried away in the creation of the state and max-out on the first or second run through was strong and it took quite an effort to hold back enough for the second and even more so for the third pass through. At one point in the second pass, the client was obviously completely engaged and was showing some fantastic signs of hypnosis: flushed skin, breathing rate change, twitching eyes and started to wonder how I would enhance the state or even match it for the third pass through!

Fortunately I managed it by getting the client to make their memory even bigger and closer than it had been before at the same time as raising my voice (which by the way is a big tip for those practitioners out there: increasing volume = increasing effect). So the three passes looked a little like this:

Pass 1

I asked the client to choose a memory where they were in the state that they wanted to achieve. I then asked them to run through it in their mind a couple of times to refresh it. Then, by asking questions such as “can you see each person individually” and “do you remember what you were doing before this memory”, I was able to get the client to solidify it in their mind.

Then I said that they should allow that state to start to build until they could feel it inside them now and that when I count to 3 the feeling will build and build until at 3, they should activate their chosen trigger (in this case a foot stamp) before coming back to the room.

Pass 2

The second pass, I asked the client to return to the memory focusing on the things that they focused on last time, but this time, I asked them to remember what they heard, what individual sounds could they hear, what was to their left, to their right, ahead and behind them. I asked them to focus on the colours in their memory and clearly see them in their mind. I asked them to remember what the floor felt like under their feet, what clothes they were wearing and how they felt.

Then I repeated the count to 3 before waking them and breaking the state.

Pass 3

As I said earlier, I was a little worried I’d over-egged pass 2, but I once again got them  to return to the memory, but this time make all the colours brighter and more vivid (and I named a few colours to focus on), then I turned to the sound and told them to make the sounds louder and louder until they were almost too loud and lastly that they should step completely into the memory making it massive and all around them so that they could turn around in their own memory and experience it in a 3D, surround sound, smell-o-vision experince before counting to 3 to set the trigger.

Needless to say, the client was blown away and he said that he was feeling amazing afterwards.

The point I am trying to make with this post is that a sense of scale and perspective is essential when working with any form of trance: from phobias where we ask the client to set out on a scale of 1 to 10 how much their phobia affects them, to creating anchors and remembering to increase the scale of the effect each time.

Welcome to Practitioner Of Trance blog

OK, so I’ve finally installed and setup my blog which will see me through the next few years of blogging. Thanks to WordPress for the blog and to thanks to Andrei Luca for his theme that makes it look so awesome. I may of course experiment with the theme and see if I can find one or modify one to more accurately look like the main home page – this is, after all, only a sub-site of