How to Change Your Posture to Build Self Confidence

Man and women being introduced to each other

Our posture is a projection of how we feel about a situation, person or even ourselves. It is believed that 55% of how we communicate is in our body language.  If you struggle with self-confidence or depression changing your posture can quickly change your mood.   It is also possible to build confidence with rigorous attention to how you sit, stand and walk.  

How Do You Define Posture

There are several ways we describe posture:

A.  A position of the body or of body parts: a sitting posture.
B. An attitude, a pose: assumed a posture of angry defiance.
C. A characteristic way of bearing one’s body, carriage: stood with good posture.
D. Relative placement or arrangement: the posture of the body in the environment.
E. A frame of mind affecting one’s thoughts or behavior: an overall attitude.

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To improve your #posture make sure that your body is in a plumb line. Correct seated posture first with proper pelvic position. #OfficeTips

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Did you grow up with your parents and teachers telling you to stand up straight? New research is showing that they were right! There's even research to show that our posture has more reaching impacts on our long-term health.

How Good Posture Builds Self Confidence 

Amy Cuddy, from the Harvard Business School has completed extensive research on how our nonverbal behaviours affect not only the way people perceive us but also how we perceive ourselves.  As you read this, start by hunching your shoulders forward and lowering your head. Notice how you feel.  Next, lengthen your spine, roll your collarbones back, open your chest, drop hands by your chest and bring your head up so your ears are over  your shoulders and you're looking forward.

Which position do you feel more confident in? I bet it is the second one, right?

Watch Amy Cuddy's TED, Talk Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Changing Posture Changes Mood and Hormones

Use High-Power Postures to Be More Assertive

Low-power postures lower moods and lower productivity. Low-power postures are slouching with shoulders rounded forward or leaning back in a chair with feet elevated.

Practice high-power postures instead to elevate levels of testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Doing so will also lead to increased confidence, more assertive behaviour and improved performance at work.

High-power postures include standing tall like a plumb line with your head over your shoulders, chest open (not flared) and feet firmly planted. A more dominant stance would be to lean slightly forward over a desk with hands planted firmly on surface and chest open. 

Woman sitting back with feet on desk

Affects of Cortisol and Testosterone on Health

In a 2010 study Andy Yap, Dana Carney and Amy Cuddy found that our posture not only affects our psychology and behaviour but our physiology as well. In saliva studies they found that expansive power postures increased testosterone levels while decreasing cortisol levels. A neuroendocrine profile of high testosterone and low cortisol has been linked to such disease resistance, while chronically elevated cortisol levels decrease testosterone levels.

Cortisol – A Stress Hormone

  • Chronically elevated cortisol is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, pain sensitivity and increased abdominal fat
  • Chronic stress leads to less cortisol modulation which leads to over production of cortisol when someone is exposed to a stressor
  • Depression and post-traumatic stress associated with reduced cortisol levels and inability to increase it in the morning (increased cortisol levels wake us up)

Testosterone

  • Important for muscle gain
  • Testosterone production reduces in men as they age which leads to decreases in muscle mass and strength
  • Reduced testosterone is associated with depression in women
  • Testosterone counteracts breast cell proliferation induced by estrogen/progesterone therapy in postmenopausal women
  • Hormone replacement therapy is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Testosterone therapy associated with increases in strength and muscle
  • Testosterone therapy decreased waist circumference and levels Hba1c levels in men and improved total cholesterol levels in people with Type 2 diabetes

Curious about your own posture? Book a video posture assessment to find out how to improve your own posture. Get start on your journey to improved health and high self-confidence.

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Alfred Ball

CEO | Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. He founded Lifemoves in 2007. He has been a Practicing Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA for over 15 years. When he isn't helping people regain their strength and confidence to move with ease he is hanging out with his wife and young son, writing, or training for his next endurance running race. His big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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