How Your Posture Can Boost Your Self Esteem

How are you sitting or standing right now? What if I told you that if you expanded and opened your posture and held it for just two minutes, you could change your day and perhaps your life?

Amy Cuddy, social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard Business School, has studied exactly this by having subjects hold what she calls a “power pose” for two minutes and then swabbing their cheeks to test for changes in hormones, specifically testosterone and cortisol. Ms. Cuddy has found that their testosterone goes up and cortisol down. In the human and animal kingdoms, in both males and females, this balance signifies power and dominance.

The impact of her research is far reaching thanks to her TED talk which to date has over eight million views, making it the second most viewed TED Talk of all times (Sir Ken Robinson’s “How Schools Kill Creativity” is number one).

One of the most fascinating things to come out of her work is how the body creates change on an unconscious level. “Your body can change your mind. Your mind can change your behavior. Your behavior can change your outcomes,” declared Ms. Cuddy.

As a therapist who uses both conscious thought (cognitive behavioral therapy) and unconscious thought (hypnosis), I find her work exciting and promising.

You can try it right now.

I invite you to go out, be powerful, and change your life!

  1. Open — Be expansive. Occupy space. Put your hands on your hips, push your chest out, and take a wide stance, i.e. Wonder Woman and Superman.
  2. CEO — sit with your feet on your desk, lean back, put your hands on back of your head, elbows out. It may not be ladylike, but it works.
  3. Starfish — Raise your arms over your head in a V-shape, up and out, as if you are crossing the finish line, spread your feet apart. This is also called the “victory stance.”

Practice one of these everyday for 21-days (the amount of time it takes to create a new habit) and see what happens. Let me know.