As annoying as it was being told this, they had a point. But why does good posture even matter?
Here are just a few of the benefits from having better posture.
Benefits of Good posture:
Reduce muscle tension and improves our headaches:
Poor posture can contribute to tension headaches due to increased muscle tension in the back of the neck. Often if we correct our posture, we can reduce muscle tension and improve our headaches.
Reduces back pain:
Bad posture puts pressure on our spine, including the intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, and muscles. Having better posture can help to keep our spine healthy!
Increased lung capacity:
Slouching, you're compressing your lungs. Standing tall, your lungs have more space to expand.
Improved circulation and digestion:
When we are slouched, we compress vital organs, our circulation is poor, and our organs aren’t going to work as well.
I want to focus on this last point, "increase self-confidence."
A little while back, I wrote a blog post on How to be confident from the inside out. In this blog, I talked about 3 activities that could help us feel confident from the inside out. I want to add another tool to our confidence-building tool kit. Let's further explore how we can help ourselves become more confident through our posture… aka power posing. You might have heard of power posing before, or you might have seen this famous Ted Talk given by social psychologist Amy Cuddy called, How Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are. In this Ted Talk, she introduces the word "power posing." She explains that our body language can determine how we think and feel about ourselves. Basically, when we hold our bodies in a more powerful stance, we feel more powerful and confident.
What does power posing look like?
Power posing or "expansive posing" is another tool we can use when needing an extra boost of confidence. Let's break it down.
Expansive Pose Examples
1. The Victory Pose:
Hands raised up and apart over the head resembling a giant V, and head held high and proud.
2. Wonder Woman Pose:
Hands-on-hips and feet spread wide apart.
Why does this matter?
When you are facing a workout, do you notice what your body language is saying? Are your shoulders slumped, or are you looking down nervously? Are you hunched over with your hands on your knees? Or are you standing tall? Are your hands on your hips, your eyes locked on your prey. Are your shoulders pulled back, and is your head held high? You know what they say, when a girl tightens her ponytail… She means business. Expansive poses (also known as power posing) require us to EXPAND and GET BIG. Ladies, TAKE. UP. SPACE. When we are doing GREAT things, we need to GET BIG! Whether it's going for a PR, asking for a raise, or setting a boundary with a loved one, our body language reflects our level of confidence. It might not feel totally comfortable practicing these expansive poses, but like everything, practice makes perfect.
Power Posing Routine
- First thing in the morning. You know that big, arms raised to the sky, morning stretch? Yeah. Power posing! As soon as your feet touch the floor, raise your arms, open your chest and take a BIG breath.
- On your breaks. You know that mid-day slump? This would be the perfect time to take a break from whatever you are doing and get in some power posing. In your office, the bathroom... wherever you feel comfortable. Put your hands on your hips, shoulders back, and chin up! Hold this for a min or two. You can even repeat a mantra or affirmation that motivates you.
- In your head. Even if you can't get up and power pose, you can visualize it in your head. See yourself and your body in the most powerful position.
You know the saying, "fake it till you make it???" Well, with power posing, let's work at it until we become it! Remember, we won't always feel confident, but we can do things that help us develop our confidence.
Practice these power poses daily, and let me know how it goes! What other tools, tips, or tricks do you use to help boost your confidence?