by Dr. Alexander Wright
Your body position and posture impacts confidence and brain chemistry. Certain body positions result in the release of testosterone, the hormone associated with confidence and other body positions result in the release of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress and fear. Simple saliva tests have confirmed the connections between body positions and confidence. Open body positions (such as the “Superman” pose above) as well as arms and hands to the sky position (think runner crossing the finish line of a race 1st) result in testosterone release. Closed body positions (i.e. arms and legs crossed with head down – think turtle in a shell) result in cortisol production and release. Numerous social scientists have studied the power of body language in depth but I highly recommend watching Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.
Amy Cuddy is not only an authority on the power of body language but her story is personal and therefore, all the more meaningful and helpful. Her body language research focuses on how “faking” body postures that convey competence and power “power posing” for as little as two minutes increases testosterone levels in the body and subsequently increases healthy risk taking and increases stress resilience and frustration tolerance.
Practice the power pose (“Superman” pose) portrayed in the above picture for two minutes a day and increase your ability to manage stress well. To learn more, be sure to check in with Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk.