Not only do you look insecure and miserable your brain gets the message that you are unhappy or angry. It’s mind-boggling really. You might be feeling fine but as soon as you assume negative body language the brain follow suit. Crazy.
Hunching over your phone for instance sends the brain the message that you are feeling insecure. Of course this affects your phone calls and the outcome of your conversations. It’s that powerful.
I personally find that when I stand with one hand on my hip in a slight slouch I feel like an old, cranky broad. I don’t now why. I can be happy as a pig in a sty but as soon as I assume that pose I feel nasty. That’s my number one no-can-do pose. Read about the Benefits of Good Posture.
Here’s an interesting article called Bad Posture Makes You Sad and Afraid. A group of researchers experimented on 74 human animals (PETA approved) testing their blood pressure, heart rate and mood while some of the 74 sat in erect, confident poses and slouched poses. “The upright participants reported feeling more enthusiastic, excited, and strong, while the slumped participants reported feeling more fearful, hostile, nervous, quiet, still, passive, dull, sleepy, and sluggish.” I’ll throw my hat into that ring.
I liken it to how I dress, wear my hair and do my makeup every day. When I wear jeans and a t-shirt (almost never out of the house) I feel sloppy, sometimes cute if the jeans are a favourite pair of mine, but definitely not the confident woman I am at work. I become a totally different person, at least that’s how it feels. I walk with slightly more swivel in my hips. My chin is held high. My tummy is held in. Both of my personas couldn’t be more different. It’s like an alter ego. I’m sure you can guess which one I prefer.
Not only does good posture help to elevate your mood it prevents physical injury and general wear and tear of the body. Slumping is something we do without realizing it because it’s automatic. Sit in your seat long enough and your body slowly does a downward slouch. When you’re at work you’re often at your computer a lot. Every 15 minutes it’s advised that you get up and walk around for a minute – stretch your back, get water. Of course no one ever does that but it’s not a bad habit to get into.
Much of the time we are standing or sitting with the posture on the left or in the middle of the image above. The ideal posture is on the right. Think of a yardstick attached to your back, along your spine, so you cannot slouch. Yes that sounds nasty but it can be remarkably effective. Consider these tips:
- get a posture-friendly chair
- adjust your chair for spinal alignment
- don’t lean too far forward or backward
- rock back and forth in your chair now and then (Mama was onto something when she rocked you in her arms as a baby)
Here is part two of the above video. animation – Part 2 on body posture tips.