According to experts, a large portion of our communication is non-verbal.
The way that we carry ourselves speaks volumes to other people. Happy, mad, sad, frightened – we can covey these emotions without saying a word. And you may be surprised to know that it’s not just to other people that our body language speaks. It speaks to us as well.
In a previous step I spoke about the importance of keeping your muscles relaxed and loose throughout the day because your brain interprets tense muscles as a sign that you are in danger. Now I want to talk you about another way your body language sends messages to your brain, and that is with your posture.
Good posture is important to help keep your body moving and functioning the way that it was designed to do. It is vital to the health of your back and spine. It is also vital for a confident, strong, positive attitude.
My posture has never been great throughout my life, and after my anxiety disorder erupted, I knew that I wanted to improve it and send a stronger message to other people, and myself, with my body language.
I did a lot of research into posture, and its effects on physical and mental health. I recorded myself having “pretend conversations” with people in my normal stance. I watched them in playbacks and I was pretty horrified at how bad my posture was and how “forward and down” my head and neck were. It was no wonder I had horrible TMJ and neck issues.
And it was no wonder I was a bit shy and awkward and unsure of myself around people. My posture screamed lack of confidence and self-doubt. I knew I was a confident, strong person but for some reason, when I was around people I still felt very nervous and shy. That had always confused me a bit, and after watching those videos of myself, I started to wonder if my posture contributed to those feelings of self doubt. Maybe my brain couldn’t pump out confidence and strength, when my body was pumping out weak and meek.
It wasn’t easy to train myself to have better posture. It felt very un-natural to me at first. And I will be honest, healthy posture hurts! At least, in the beginning it does.
But one thing I know for sure is that once I made a conscious effort to correct my posture by standing up straight, keeping my shoulders back and my chin level to the ground – I started feeling like a completely different person. I started feeling confident and strong and even a little bit powerful. Keeping my muscles relaxed and my body stance open instead of closed off enhanced these feelings all the more! I continue to reap the benefits of good posture to this day.
Trust me when I say that your body language really does speak to your brain and send a message about how much “help” you need. Good posture tells your brain that you are just fine and you don’t need any extra adrenaline or hyper-awareness, and that its okay for you your brain to help you feel relaxed and open to whatever comes your way.
Check out the graphic below to check your posture and get some helpful tips and then put yourself on a “Posture Challenge”. Give it some time and stay consistent in your efforts. It will make a positive difference in your life.
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For more information about posture including some remedies to common posture mistakes, stop by this article from National Health Service in England.
All Images Other Than InfoGraphic From Pixabay