Lately I have been noticing how many people walk around hunched over and slouching. Even at places like the gym I see guys walking around with their shoulders rolled forward in a slouched position. I can’t help but think of how much more confident they would look if they walked around a little taller.
Posture certainly affects us physically, but did you know how much it affects our mental and emotional health? Standing up straight is like telling the world you are open and ready to conquer whatever comes your way.
Here are 3 fascinating things that happen once our posture changes:
1. Increased energy.
2. More positive thoughts.
3. You actually feel better about yourself, and this in turn affects everything!
A FURTHER LOOK INTO STANDING UP STRAIGHT
1. More Energy
Good circulation is crucial to keeping your mind alert, body energized and feeling good. Slumping tightens your chest and compresses your lungs — which means less oxygen circulating freely in your bloodstream, leaving you tired, stressed, and mentally foggy. While a slow, slumped walk drains us of our energy, a confident one builds our energy. It’s essentially a free, feel good tool to boost energy!
2. POSTURE CHANGES OUR HORMONES: STANDING TALL LITERALLY MAKES YOU MORE POWERFUL.
When we talk about body language, we can see the affects it has on relationships in the animal kingdom. Body language is used to express power through expansive postures – standing tall, spreading limbs and opening up the body. Think about how you feel when you stand up and keep your posture open, as opposed to closed. What do you notice? Studies have shown that standing up straight and tall can actually affect our decision-making subconsciously. Researchers have actually found that those people who use powerful poses not only felt more powerful and in control, but were also more likely to take a risky bet!
3. Better Digestion
Slouching after eating causes your stomach muscles to tighten, which can push stomach acid into your esophagus and cause heartburn. Standing, sitting up straight or walking allows your digestive system to work more efficiently, cutting down on gas and tummy pains.
4. Fewer Headaches
Headaches are a common by-product of our constant use of computers and other electronic gadgets — notice how gravity pull your head forward when you’re staring at a screen. This position pulls on neck muscles and nerves in the back of your head and cuts blood flow to the brain. The result: a throbbing head. Sit straighter and you’ll prevent the pain.
5. Less Back Pain
Need I say more?
WHAT TO DO
Practice keeping your shoulders down and back, and stand up straight. How does this make your feel? You might be surprised by how people talk to you when you’re walking around in this confident posture vs. the slumped over posture. Let me know how it goes, I would love to hear from you!
If you would like to dig deeper, check out Amy Cuddy’s famous Ted Talk on her incredible insights about how posture changes our hormone levels.