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Shake it off!

Feeling the post-summer blues yet? Of all the autumn happiness hacks doing the rounds of late, the best pick-me-up advice yet might surprisingly come courtesy of Taylor Swift, no less!

The idea of ‘shaking it off’ might seem simplistic, and optimistic perhaps, but the premise here - that it’s possible to physically displace negative energy - is gaining some traction as a means to cope with everyday stresses. The success of this approach is based on the theory that we live too much in our heads, and that any action which connects us more to our bodies can only be a good thing. If in doubt, you need only look to the wider animal kingdom, where ‘shaking it off’ is an everyday coping mechanism for life’s stresses and strains. Take dogs, for example, who instinctively shake to relieve tension. Or antelope, who shake themselves off after each close encounter. Even birds are renowned for picking themselves up and dusting themselves off using this approach. To us, ‘shaking it off’ might not be an obvious response to a bad day, but this could be where we’re going wrong, advocates of the method would say. By improving blood flow to the muscles, and helping discharge nervous energy and tension, ‘taking a moment’ might just be the ultimate solution to some of modern life’s challenges. After all, if it worked for Laura Linney in Love Actually scene (who remembers the infamous scene?!) ... then it can surely work for us in situations of non-hot-date-containing- proportions?! The idea might well be the antithesis of the popular ‘keep CALM and carry on’ advice to dealing with life’s stresses, BUT the benefits of shaking it off are a testament to the mileage that exists in sometimes (sometimes!) trying something different.

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