“The body says what words cannot” – Martha Graham
Wisdom tells us that the body is not worth as much as our inner being.
However, it is our body that bridges the world into our soul.
It is the means that nurtures our being not only by what our environment shows us.
It is also affected by the way we choose to move and act our bodies.
A study by the Ohio State University found that our posture can also affect how we think about ourselves.
- How do you sit up at the family dinner table?
- How do you stand while waiting for the bus?
- How is your body positioned in your usual work meetings?
Do you see any difference or any pattern? Also remember to check out other important situations. These will reveal your attitudes. Find out where you can improve.
Kellogg School of Management described these helpful postures as those that open up the body and take up space.
It was reported that these positions activate a sense of power and produces behavioral changes in a person regardless of his role in an organization.
Here are 5 body postures that will fire up your confidence and performance.
- Stand or Sit Up Straight (Done Always)Straighten up your back from shoulders to hips. Do not slouch. Show up your chest.
Shelley Moore shared in livestrong.com that sitting or standing up straight makes you get a good impression and look more attractive (such as making you taller and slimmer). Hence, in terms of appearance, it boosts your confidence.
This is a common reminder from our parents and teachers back when we were kids. It makes a good bearing out of each one of us. It puts us on equal footing with royalty. That’s exactly what the posture wants to tell us.
- Arms Outstretched (Done Before/After Activity)Stretch out your arms like you want to hug someone and notice how you feel.
In an interview, Professor Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School shared findings of her study that when we use expansive postures such as arms outstretched, we increase our confidence brought about by an increase in our level of testosterone.
This hormone is found to increase levels of confidence. Postures that make us feel smaller physically, also make us feel smaller emotionally.
Open up your body, mind and soul. Do not get cloistered by limiting beliefs. Think about how you can do better. Be willing to take on new challenges.
- Clenched Fists, Raised hands (Done Before/After Activity)Do it like you’ve got the power or you won with hard work.
Oftentimes symbolizing rebellion, a clenched fist can also be used to fight against our own self-destructive habits.
A joint study by the National University of Singapore and University of Chicago reported “that engaging in these bodily actions, which often result from an exertion of will-power, can serve as a non-conscious source to recruit will-power, facilitate self-control, and improve consumer well-being.”
Yes, you have the strength to make a change. You have the energy to say the right words. Do what you gotta do, and do it now.
- Lean Forward (Done in Activity or While Listening to Someone)Curious face and shoulders.
Ann Demarais co-author of First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You said that men and women use similar body language to show interest such as leaning forward. Stiffness may send the wrong message.
While this body language is more to communicate interest, it makes us feel better that we get to show our engagement in the conversation.
Outside of romantic relationships, you can also show interest in what someone is saying. Burst out with confidence while someone is posing a challenge.
Do not be intimidated.
- Hug This can be done as an exercise of greeting or goodbye, especially to a loved one.
Personal, warm and intimate.
Dr. Paul Zak, neuroeconomics pioneer, shared that the human brain naturally produces oxytocin during breast-feeding, orgasm, holding hands, hugs, and many other intimate activities. This hormone is also considered a ‘major player’ in the regulation of trust and morality.
Hug personifies love, care or at the least, peaceful relationship. It gives a feeling of support and encouragement. Doing this to your loved ones and intimate friends, gives tons of confidence in your emotional bank account.
Your body connects to your brain and emotions. The techniques I have mentioned allow you to choose to reach the depths of your being.
Start raising your self-esteem by the movements of your body.
Shake a leg, come out of your shell and set yourself free!