Body Posture Affects Emotions

Your body posture can greatly impact how you feel. Striking the correct body posture can also help you reduce the amount of stress you feel. Researchers at both Columbia and Harvard Universities have found that you can manifest your personal power simply by focusing on your body posture. They found that certain postures make people feel more commanding while other postures invoke feelings of stress or sadness.

The researchers found that cortisol and testosterone levels significantly change for most people after they stand in high power positions. In other words, when you stand firmly on both legs with your shoulders back and chest out (think Superhero pose), you’ll feel better and more positive about yourself and your situation.

Conversely, testosterone levels fell significantly in participants who stood in low power positions. Those who had to either sit with their shoulders slumped or stand with their ankles crossed and arms hugging the torso felt more stress and less powerful about themselves and their situation.

Improve Your Body Posture Today

These findings build on earlier research showing that if you hold a pencil in your teeth, which forces your facial muscles to approximate a smile, you will report feeling happier. The researchers have a useful phrase for how posturing the body can change the mind. It’s called “the effects of embodiment.” Their findings support the notion that “You really can fake it until you make it.”

The good news is that you only need to hold the power pose for two minutes in order to feel the benefits. So the next time you feel negative, stressed, or anxious about something, strike a pose like Superman or Wonder Woman. Within minutes you’ll feel unbeatable!

Have you ever felt your body posture impact how you feel? What were the circumstances? What body posture positions do you most often find yourself in? Please share your comments and examples on the Without Stress Facebook page.