Welcome back for the big reveal of the last anxiety hack for this series. How is it going with trying out the other two? Remember, practice makes perfect so don’t wait for the perfect storm to hit you to start scrambling for these tools.
Without further delay, here is the big reveal of the last but not least Neuroscience Anxiety Hack #3 – Change your posture!
Some of you might be thinking “What? There’s nothing wrong with my posture! You sound just like my mom”. These were my thoughts exactly until I heard about this recent research about how our posture affects how we feel in here and now.
- According to the research Amy Cuddy, prominent social psychologist, our posture has a powerful but also an immediate effect on how we feel. Slouching, standing unevenly, hanging our heads are elements of posture that signal our brain that things are not well causing a surge of changes in the chemical cocktail of our brain and blood stream that further fuel anxiety and uncertainty. That’s right; your posture dials up that Fire Alarm in your brain, amygdala.
- And this the last thing we need when we are facing tough situations. To take the edge of the anxiety you feel, change your posture to a power pose position to give yourself a boost of confidence and to lower anxiety. These are called power poses because when people usually display them, they are in the position of power or authority. Spreading out, taking up a lot of space and making yourself bigger are the key characteristics of the power pose. The pictures you see in this post are examples of the power poses.
- All you need is to hold the power pose for two minutes. In just these short two minutes, this posture will signal to your brain to release more testosterone (power and confidence associated hormone) and to decrease cortisol (stress-associated hormone). You will feel calmer and more assured following this simple exercise.
- But not to worry if you don’t have a chance to sneak out to the bathroom to practice these; just standing straight, your neck straightened, chin raised and feet firmly planted on the ground shoulder length apart will do the trick. Same tips apply for a sitting position. At the times of stress and anxiety, sit up straight like your mama taught you! For more information about power poses, check out the video Amy Cuddy, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.
Try this anxiety hack out and let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!
Your Global Therapist,