Take a second and think about all the important relationships in your life, focusing especially on those that lift you up the most.

Out of the all relationships you thought of, did the relationship between your body and mind make the cut?

Okay, maybe that was unfair – but it wasn’t a trick question. First and foremost, you have a relationship with yourself, your mind and body. All of us over here at Corpore Wear believe that this is the most important relationship we will ever have – and evidently we are not the only ones.

The Power of Posture:

YouTube sensation Shay Carl also subscribes to this philosophy, recently sharing how he lifts himself up on his down days in an interview with human guinea pig, Tim Ferriss.

“What I found is that knowing that I had to do a daily Vlog, even in those bad moods, I would sit up straight, I would take a deep breathe and I would smile and I would turn the camera on and I would be like, `Hey guys this is Shay blah blah blah’, and I would turn the camera off and all of a sudden I would feel better.” 

Carl went onto add, “And not just feel better, but physiologically I could feel my body was different and there are studies that if you sit up straight, if you breathe deep, if you smile….. And so just by sitting up straight, putting a smile on my face and kind of faking it till you make it,” you actually do feel better. There is actual real power in this.” 

Tim Ferriss summed up their conversation by saying: 

“That is a really cool point. And there is research to support this too. There is a great TED Talk by Amy Cuddy who talks about posture and looking at self-reported averages of say of well-being and so-on which correlates to this.”

Stop slouching!

We have all been told to sit up straight by a loved one in the past.  And it turns out it was not just to annoy us; it plays a significant role in not only how other perceive us, but also in how we perceive ourselves. Sorry Grandma, I should have listened.

In the discussion above, Tim Ferriss referenced Amy Cuddy, who is a big proponent of using the power of our bodies to boost our minds. 

In her talk she said that, “Our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behavior and our behavior changes our outcomes.”

Cuddy’s Harvard research took 24 test subjects, who were placed in random groups – some were tasked to sit in power poses and others in low power poses. In testing saliva samples taken before and after the poses, Cuddy et al found something striking: after just two minutes, those in the power pose groups saw cortisol (a hormone linked to stress) decrease by 25 percent and measurable testosterone increase by 20 percent. Conversely, in the low power group, cortisol increased by an average 15 percent and testosterone dropped by 10 person. 

“…a person can, by assuming two simple 1-min poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful has real-world, actionable implications.” – Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance Dana R. Carney, Amy J.C. Cuddy, Andy J. Yap

In other words, when you demonstrate strong posture, not only does your internal self-talk improve (a key component of your mind-body relationship we talked about earlier), but your body responds physiologically, too. The reverse is true when you demonstrate poor posture. 

Furthermore, the study showed that powerful body language has the power of affecting our decision-making processes. The researchers did various tests in an attempt to measure the appetite for risk in part of the participants through various body positionings: expansive, powerful poses or constricted poses (or the poses we associate with weakness or self-doubt). 

The participants when in a power pose, not only felt more confident, their propensity to act rose by 45% when faced with a high-risk bet. 

The researchers across three studies concluded in this article in Scientific American, and in Psychological Science, that:

not only does expansive posture predict power-related behavior, but it might actually be the closest correlate to these behaviors. Across three studies, we found that when individuals were placed in high- or low-power roles while adopting an expansive or constricted posture, only posture affected the implicit activation of power, the taking of action, and the tendency to see the forest instead of the trees. These recent findings further suggest that if you want to predict how people will act in any given moment, it may make sense to look to their posture instead of their role or title. that a person’s posture is often more indicative of actual influence than their position in a hierarchy.

Look more confident to others. 

Feel more confident. 

Have the confidence to act. 

This can all be found in our posture, and reason number one, two and three why posture matters.