27 Aug 2013

Use Body Language To Lower Stress

27 Aug 2013

We know that body language makes a difference to how others perceive us and how well or how badly we connect with others. Body language can also be used to convince ourselves we are something else. That’s the findings of Princeton MBA Social psychologist Amy Cuddy.

In this TED talk below she shows how holding a “power” pose for just 2 minutes – the sort of pose you’d expect from a powerful big person – raises testosterone and lowers cortisol (the stress hormone).

With these new hormone levels her test patients become more bold, more confident in their risk taking and capable of handling tough situations. Remember, that’s only 2 MINUTES of holding the pose.

Not that we should all wander around in Wonder Woman position all the time, but being aware of the poses we hold throughout the day can help us see where there’s room for improvement. It may also be a very powerful way to pull us out of anxiety and stress when nothing else seems to help.

I find when I’m talking with someone or speaking in front of others I take a pretty bold, forward leaning pose. But when I sit to watch a video like this one, I shrink down with arms and legs crossed and one thumb across my mouth as if willing myself to be silent.

And that’s OK!

Having a balance in ourselves on all levels means having those quiet passive times treated as just as important as the pro-active, take-on-the-world moments in the day.

So, what about you?

Do you lean more towards the dominant or recessive during your day?

Do you want to balance it out more?

Why not try a power pose in the loo on your most stressful days?

I’d love to hear your results…

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