Tag Archives: walking and mood

Don’t Slouch, and Have Another Brownie!

Science Notes for October 2014:

Science Daily (“Change Your Walking Style, Change Your Mood”, 10/15/2014) reports that The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research conducted a study on mood and walking style and found that how you walk affects your mood.

We all know that when we’re sad, for example, we tend to walk a little slumped-over, but this study found that the opposite applies also. If you deliberately walk as if you were sad, you actually begin to feel that way.

This is something therapists have known for awhile, otherwise known as “fake it ’til you make it”. Often when treating someone with depression, it’s not a matter of waiting until the person feels better to assign them a task of some kind (like get out of bed), it’s really effective to encourage them to do something – anything – in order for them to start feeling better.

For example, if someone is in the hospital for depression, it’s helpful for the therapist to ask the patient to “just get out of bed for 5 minutes” the following day. That’s it, just 5 minutes “then you can go back to bed”. That next day, the patient is instructed to “just get out of bed and take a shower, then you can go back to bed” and so on, each day, adding more tasks each day, one by one, until the patient is up and about and interacting.

It works. They start to feel better.

This article seems to back that up, though it deals with walking styles. It can be used therapeutically, I would think, perhaps maybe in a group exercise (so the patients won’t feel silly doing this on their own). “Everyone get up and let’s go!” the therapist could say, then lead the group, encouraging them to walk as if they were actually in a good mood.

I bet that would work.

Anyway, it’s an interesting article, so check it out.

And, from the “too much information, just pass me the cookies” file…

“Buzz Feed:The Science of the Munchies”, (Scientific American, 10/22/2014) is an article about an experiment in France where scientists studied stoned mice in order to see what sets off the munchies…

It’s smell. That’s right, the olfactory bulb, which is responsible for smell and appetite, is the culprit that makes those cookies smell-amazing-lets-eat-2-dozen! Pot heightens sense of smell, big time, which can lead to an increase in appetite.

One scientist, Dr. Obvious, stated “It’s not like we found a new effect of marijuana.”

I love the French and their understated humor.

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