Friday, June 28, 2013
Proof that small changes in our behavior can make big differences
Just came across this article about how people who use smaller devices (iPods, iPhones, nano-istybitsy thingamabobs) end up displaying more passive and insecure behavior than those who use bigger, larger screened devices in comparison. The bigger the device, the more assertive and confident the behavior of the person right after they use it. The smaller the device, the more intimidated and unsure of themselves they are... interesting, isn't it?
They believe that the posture that a person has to use to hunch over a smaller screen, tapping tiny keys with delicate finger monitions, correlates to the mindset that they take on about themselves and about the world around them. Their posture sends messages to their brain that they are insignificant and withdrawn, even if they normally wouldn't characterize themselves as such. On the other hand, those who work on larger, more impressive looking devices, with wide screens that cause them to sit up straight and take in clearer visuals, messages are sent to their brains that they are important, smart, and have opinions that matter.
Other studies about facial expressions have proven this as well. Paul Ekman is a psychologist who pioneered the study of facial expressions relating to emotions. His researchers discovered that just making certain expressions caused them to feel emotions that had no relation to the situation they were in. Contracting certain muscles to form various forms of frowns throughout the day, created a strong sense of sadness and depression, and likewise, using muscles to examine the different forms of physical smiles, created a great sense of happiness for no other reason than the fact that they were just smiling all day!
This is something I have seen repeatedly when it comes to faith. Those who choose to proclaim and stand up for the promises of God, those who fully expect them to come true, take on physical changes in their behavior, that bolster that faith and confidence. They proclaim that "God will answer me, no matter how I feel," and stand straight with their shoulders back, to convey determination. Their hearts may not feel very determined, their emotions may want to cry and panic, but they choose to act and behave according to their faith - not their feelings. Quickly their emotions fall in line, and their behavior the rest of the day also falls in line. They are not intimidated by threatening clouds or negative words, but are confident to act in faith until the answer of God comes through. They find they're not scared of risks, and that they enjoy being "on the edge" when everyone else around them is falling apart with fear. And because of their confidence, (think Jacob having the audacity to wrestle with God) they are blessed.
They're not being fake - as some people would want to accuse them of being - they are choosing to be bold. Rather than wait for the feeling of boldness to overcome them, they just decide they ARE. Like Ekman's research team who chose to smile just for the sake of the study and found themselves full of joy at the end of the day, we have an obligation to God to choose bold faith, every day, and let God fill in the appropriate emotions later.
What kind of behavior will you choose to use in the month to come? It could make all the difference in the world!
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30