What does your non-verbal say about you? How do facial expressions and gestures affect others around you?
Research suggests that more of what we communicate happens through out body rather than our words. At a recent presentation I gave on “Mental Skills for Tennis”, participants shared how their partner’s body language affected them: an anguished look, dropped head, lack of eye contact and related behaviors is often interpreted as disappointment, disapproval and rejection. Walking with your head high and shoulders back conveys confidence, while a droopy head, hunched shoulders and shuffling your feet conveys defeat. Avoid giving your opponent extra confidence by minding your non-verbal behaviors after points and on changeovers.
Often times, we are not even aware of our non-verbal behaviors. As a psychologist, I help my clients recognize how their body reflects their thoughts and feelings and how to change their responses to stress. Developing awareness and control over our non-verbal behaviors can help individuals get along better whether it is on the tennis court or in relationships at work or in ones personal life.
Of ten time our non-verbal behavior stems from our thoughts and beliefs. An important part of this process is based on cognitive therapy which helps individuals see the connection between their thoughts and feelings. They are then shown alternative ways to view the situation and practice responding in new ways to the old triggers.
I detail these strategies in a number of self-help books I wrote including, “Manage Your Stress” and “Anger Management”, which are available on my website, www.cognitivetherapy.cc