Strike a Pose
We all know that people who have strong, open posture seem confident. The trick of it is, just by assuming better posture and a more upright stance, people can actually become more confident. Recent studies have shown that posture has a profound affect on confidence levels—and that you can influence this just by learning to sit and stand in a new way.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has found that assuming “power poses” – strong and confident postures – both raises testosterone and lowers cortisol levels in the brain. Elevated testosterone levels make you more assertive and more likely to take risks, while cortisol levels rise as you become more stressed. The combined effects of these two hormones boost your confidence and have been shown to improve performance in stressful situations, such as job interviews.
By holding yourself in an expansive power pose, you’ll also seem more open and attractive to other people. Another study indicates that recovering alcoholics who slouch are more likely to relapse than those who have good posture. Striking an expansive pose has also been shown to increase your pain tolerance, and can even make you behave more assertively. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that we at LUMOback are so dedicated to helping people improve their posture!
Reaping all of these amazing benefits for yourself is easy –simply spend two minutes standing in an expansive pose, such as putting your hands over your head, stretching out at your desk, or standing with your hands confidently on your hips. The hormonal changes associated with power posing should last for at least 15-20 minutes, but can lead to a confidence boost that lasts all day.
When standing with your hands over your head for a few minutes isn’t appropriate, standing tall and stretching expansively for a short period of time can give you a confidence boost. And remember, sitting straight and standing tall will always help you present yourself in a better light, while also fending off back pain and allowing you to breathe better for overall health and wellness.
To learn more about Amy Cuddy’s amazing research, watch her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html