Want to have more confidence, increased motivation, lower stress and the ability to basically rule the world? Sit up straight.
Yep, just like your mother always told you. But there really are benefits to practicing good posture -- and they extend far beyond how much better you look in the mirror. Below are six ways straightening your stance positively influences your body and mind. Simple? Yes. Effective? Definitely.
Good posture can lift your confidence.
When it comes to our own qualifications, we're usually the first ones to count ourselves out -- however, that may be remedied with a simple adjustment in our stance. Research suggests that when we exercise proper posture, we tend to have a little more self-esteem and believe in our own assets more than when we're slouching. Big work presentations and first dates have nothing on you.
It may give you an energy boost.
We've all fallen victim to that afternoon slump -- but before you down your third cup of coffee, check how you're sitting. A little stretch and adjustment to your posture may help give you the stamina boost you so desperately need when 3 p.m. rolls around. According to research published in the journal Biofeedback, standing or sitting straight can also rectify decreased energy and feelings of depression that come with poor posture.
It can help reduce your stress.
An improved posture can also help build your resilience to deadlines and to-do lists. A recent study published in Health Psychology found that sitting straight when you're strung out can cut out those negative emotions. Additionally, a straighter stance can also lift your mood. So long, stress.
Sitting up straight may lower your fear.
In the same study, researchers also found that participants who weren't slouching reported lower feelings of fear and more positive emotions. Next time you have a big interview, square those shoulders -- and kick your worries to the curb.
It could make you more productive at work.
Powering through those tasks may be as simple as fixing the way you're sitting. Proper posture allows your body to expand and signals to your brain that you're in a stance of power, which then increases testosterone and leads to a productivity boost, Entrepreneur reported. "The amount of change that you see in testosterone when power poses are engaged is like when you win a game," Dana Carney, cognitive psychologist and assistant professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, told the magazine. "The magnitude of the change is the same."
It helps optimize your breathing.
When you're slouched, you're inhibiting prime air flow. Sitting up straight can increase your oxygen intake by about 30 percent, according to Real Simple magazine. Good posture opens your chest cavity and allows more oxygen to enter the body and brain, contributing to that energy boost mentioned above. Plus, more oxygen = better breathing, which is your body's natural way of keeping you relaxed. Doesn't that feel good?