Does Your Posture Affect Your Mood?

woman in yoga position for good posture

Believe it or not, the way you stand and sit can have a powerful impact on the way you feel, psychologically.

While all our moods aren’t necessarily governed by our physical posture, it does make a difference in the way we feel.  When we’re feeling gloomy and negative, could it be our slouching that’s at fault?

Let’s answer the question, “Does your posture affect your mood?” and talk about how we can improve our questionable attitudes with some targeted tweaks for better posture.

Ohio State University Study

In 2003, Ohio State conducted a study concerning the impact of posture on mood.  As part of the study, participants were asked to respond to questions requiring a “yes” or “no” answer by nodding or shaking their heads.

Results revealed that the simple act of nodding the head improved participant confidence, while shaking it reduced their confidence.

This leads me to conclude that our physical responses and actions have a direct impact on our state of mind.

Try it.  Try choosing to smile in the morning and see if your day doesn’t automatically get a kick in the pants.  It works!

Power Posture

Picture a person slouching as they enter a room.  Now picture someone standing up straight, eyes forward, shoulders back and chest out.

Who would you assume is a leader, or someone pleasant to interact with?

Not Slouchy McSloucherson, surely?

A power posture looks a lot like a victorious Superman.  Your chest is out, your head is up, your shoulders are relaxed.  Just the act of consciously arranging your body in this posture immediately changes your attitude and mood.

So, posture’s about much more than the perceptions of those around you.  It’s about your self-perception and sense of self.  Consciously seeking to model a power posture (whether seated or standing) changes your outlook, instilling confidence not just in your overall person but in your thoughts and competencies.

More Evidence

In 2012, Amy Cuddy delivered a Ted Talk on the influence of posture on our mental health and wellbeing.  The information for the talk derived from a study she’d completed at Harvard University.

However, following her Ted Talk, Cuddy’s work at Harvard came under intense scrutiny (in the great academic tradition of denigrating the popularization of research).

But a subsequent paper published in Psychological Science vindicated the original work.  In it, Cuddy builds her conclusions on sound scientific empiricism, establishing that the power posture infiltrates our psyches, making us feel more powerful, confident and competent.

And as I’ve illustrated above, Slouchy isn’t going to win a lot of fans entering a room in an attitude which can be interpreted as defeat, depression or a lack of confidence.

But Superman, striding into the room with his head held high, is going to be the life of the party.  You and I both know that’s the case.

Posture Support at Back & Body

Is your posture (literally) getting you down?  Come talk to the experts at Back & Body Medical.  Improving your posture can improve your overall health – and your attitude!

Contact us.

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