Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
A Russian Physiologist while studying digestion in dogs accidently noticed associativequestionre of learning. Dogs normally salivate upon seeing the food but he found a strange thing that dogs started to salivatn seeing the peophysiologicalusually fed them. Any object or event that dogs learned to associate with food would trigger the same response. To confirm associative learning, he conducted additional experiments. Among one of these was to ring a bell before feeding the dogs. After continuation of procedure for many days he rang the bell without presenting the food and found that the dogs salivated in the same way as if food was there. He was Ivan Petrovich Pavlov who received Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904.
Our actions are associated with our feelings in the same way. They constitute a self sustaining system. They form a vicious circle in which feelings incite action and actions reaffirm those feelings. We, at any moment, are the cumulative effect of our actions. Our actions shape ourselves to a great extent.
The way we interact with others shapes our opinion of ourselves. What we do influences people's opinions of us; and from their reactions to our behavior we draw some part of our opinion of ourselves. A braggart antagonizes people, causing them to withdraw from him. From their reactions he comes to feel that he is adequate and that people are impossible to impress. Believing himself unnoticed and unheard, he invents stories of accomplishments even grandeur than he has talked in the past — a tactic which antagonizes people further, provoking reactions that in the end make him less desirable. His bragging is, by its influence on other people, producing an eventual change in his own attitudes toward himself.
The other way our action influences us is through our pre-suppositions. When one escapes from school to watch a movie and sees his neighbor standing outside the theater. And, the neighbor visits his house to meet his father in the evening. Would he able to meet his eyes with the neighbor? If not, then one thing is certain that his own behavior has influenced his perception of his neighbor. The neighbor may not even have seen him.
Our actions, whatever they are, mold our perceptions in someway. One thing is crystal clear that we are responsible for good or bad whatever we are at present. Whether we like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment is result of the choices made in the past. Unfortunately, a lot of people make choices unconsciously and therefore, don't think they are choices and yet they are. If I were to insult you, you'd most likely make the choice of being offended. If I were to pay you a complement, you'd most likely make the choice of being pleased or flattered. But think about it: it's still a choice.
Let me tell you about an experiment conducted by B. F. Skinner. He put a rat in his specially designed Skinner box fitted with light bulbs and a lever. The rat was subjected to unpleasant electric shocks through the floor of the box. As out of discomfort the rat moved about the box and accidentally knocked the lever which ceased the electric shocks. The rat quickly learned to go straight to the lever encountering occasional electric shocks a few times. The rat observed that bulbs were lighted just before the electric shock came on and also learned to avoid the electric shocks by pressing the lever when the lights came on.
We learn in the same way as the rat in the experiment. We are born in chaos. We use trial and error. We find a pattern of attitudes that are acceptable, either because they please us or mitigate our fear in someway. We allowed those attitudes to motivate us. We widen the sweep of our activities, many of which reinstate this set of attitudes and lock them and we continue enlarging on our behavior. Though, we are infinite choice makers but have become bundles of conditioned reflexes that are constantly being triggered by people and circumstances into predictable outcomes of behavior.
We are hard-wired to think negatively at first instance to avoid potential dangers. Imagine, we're early Homo sapiens dwelling in caves. It is the dead of night and we're comfortable in our warm cave, asleep with our family. Suddenly, we hear an ominous noise outside the cave entrance. What do we do? Can we ignore this noise and sleep normally? No, we're mentally predisposed to take the negative view to defend ourselves from attack and possible death.
As it is said that excess of anything is bad; so, is the case with pessimism. In extreme cases, we give our negative thoughts the domineering power and they manifest in negative ways. The Law of Attraction says that we attract into our life whatever we think about. Our dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds, and, by means with which no man is familiar, these “magnets” attract to us the forces, the people, and the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts. Our every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind.
Now, the question is what to do then? The answer is very simple: Change the thoughts. But, as easy it sounds, it isn't that easy. We don't have direct control over our thoughts. But we can change our thoughts by changing our action which is under our direct control. Recent researches show that by changing our action in really pretty easy and simple ways for a short span of time, we are able to change our state of mind from docile to powerful through physiological changes in our body.
It is found that in both human and non-human primates, expansive, open postures reflect high power, whereas contractive, closed postures reflect low power. Not only do these postures reflect power, they also produce it; in contrast to adopting low power poses, adopting high power poses increases explicit and implicit feelings of power and dominance, risk-taking behavior, action orientation, pain tolerance, and testosterone (the dominance hormone), while reducing stress, anxiety, and cortisol (the stress hormone). High testosterone means more confidence and low cortisol means less stress. High testosterone and low cortisol, a hormone profile that is characteristic of high-status and effective leaders and is induced by power posing, is associated with reduced stress, increased sense of personal control, and increased engagement and performance in competitive tasks.
In an experiment conducted by Amy Cuddy and her team, it is found that 2 minutes of high power pose increases testosterone level significantly and drops cortisol level while 2 minutes of lower power pose does the opposite.
Thus, we can conclude that motion can be a precursor of emotion and attitude of a person can be changed by changing his physical action. A person can't act devoted for a long time without feeling devoted.