Grahi writes about the immense importance of maintaining good posture throughout your life.
Why your posture is so important
Here’s an interesting study (1) that confirms something we probably already knew – but couldn’t fully believe:
Your posture and your expression actually change your hormone levels, and affect your health, the level of pain that you may suffer, your strength, personal power and much more.
If you act confidently and expressively, and take on dominant postures, then you change your hormone levels for the better. When you act like a peacock spreading its feathers, and assume an expansive, powerful position, you boost your testosterone and decrease your cortisol levels.
The increased testosterone helps with your energy level, strength, mood, sense of wellbeing, libido and pain tolerance.
Cortisol is a stress hormone, which in the long term can be extremely damaging to the body under conditions of ongoing worry. Cortisol is one of the major aging hormones. Continual high levels of cortisol cause bone loss, breakdown of collagen in the skin (ie old skin), depleted DHEA, adrenal stress, memory loss, and a tendency to metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes).
New habits that reduce cortisol promote a long and healthy life. So next time your boss criticises you, or you have a painful hip, don’t cower or roll into a miserable ball. Instead, take a deep breath, and stand tall and confident.
Here are some more tips
Stand straight with your head lined up over your shoulders, hips, and ankles (not hunched forward).
Choose a chair with armrests to sit on. Place your arms wide on them, so your chest opens up, signalling confidence to yourself and others.
Keep your hands relaxed and fingers open rather than clenched, in a fist, clasped together or held to your chest. Use your hands and arms to make bold gestures.
In the study, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group had open postures, the other group had closed postures. Each posture was only held for one minute. Before and after saliva tests were done, and the participants played a dice gambling game that assessed their risk-seeking behaviour.
Those assigned to the open postures showed an increase in testosterone and a drop in cortisol, as well as more risk-taking tendencies. The opposite was true for the closed postures, which can lead to poor outcomes. Your moms old advice to sit up straight and quit slouching takes on new implications. There is a negative feedback loop cycle that we all need to break. How often have you seen someone with lower back pain unable to stand up straight – they look small and crumpled up, and their whole esteem is affected.
Everything about your posture and attitude can affect this cycle. In Grow Youthful I show how smiling causes the release of endorphins and serotonin, even when you don’t feel like smiling.
1. Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy, and Andy J. Yap. Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance. Psychological Science, 21 September 2010. Article PDF
Our visitors offer information and opinions from their personal experience. What you read here is not a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your doctor or your other health care providers concerning your symptoms and medical rquirements before following any of the remedies or other suggestions on this site.
Article by Grahi