Did you know that how you USE or MOVE your body can actually change your physiology?
This little bunny was having a really hard time coming out of her shell, notice how her arms are drawn inward and protect her core.
Once read this great book by Amy Cuddy and I want to tell you a little bit more about her research.
As you probably know, your body language speaks volumes. Body language allows us to read other people and to be read by them. It's a big part of how we decide what and how we feel towards them; whether we like or dislike someone or find a situation is safe or threatening, fun or boring, and so on.
But did you know that when you, or that guy at the office, make your body big (expanded as opposed to contracted postures) it is actually chemically boosting your self confidence?
Improved Body Posture/Movement -> Positive Chemical Release -> Physiological Reactions -> Thought Patterns Change -> Actions are Modified -> Results are Awesome
When you sit down, do you cross your legs and lean into yourself? This would be a contracted pose and while cozy, it's better for hibernation than a board meeting.
Alternatively, do you leave your core wide open, arms and legs long, for all to see? This style of posture is making your body appear larger, and when done 'socially appropriately' it is perfect for the confidence boost you need to bring up that tough conversation and stay assertive.
The even cooler part about all of this is not only do you look more self-assured and confident to others, you also give yourself that boost of belief due to chemical and hormonal shifts in your own brain! Win win! You look competitive, you act competitive, and you get the job done.
When you make your body larger, by stretching or running or stand in front of the mirror like super woman, you are changing your physiology!!! You are changing the chemicals being released in your brain and even your hormones shift within your body! In turn, those changes make you feel, then ACT more assertive, in control, and as a force to be reckoned with.
A common time for me, and many of my friends and clients to feel depressed, alone, sullen, and sad is when we are new mothers. OR new again mothers. Now, yes, there are TONS of things going on inside our bodies and all that. But think about how a new mother spends SO much of her time. We curl up in bed, on the cozy chair, or under the fuzzy blanket on the sofa and nurse that baby to their tummy's content. We almost curl entirely AROUND the baby, as if it's a football during the Super Bowl and our ability to form a human shield around it HOURS a a day is our one true job in this world. There is no safer place for that baby but mamma's brain NEEDs a break from the maternal fetal position. We NEED to open our bodies up and get the happy chemicals flowing so we can battle the hard and negative sides of post partum life. This is one tool out of many to help stave off post partum depression, open up and move your body mamma. Your feelings will change, your thoughts will follow, and we will all smile again!
See that smile brighten as she literally OPENS UP!?!
There are so many practical applications for using our body and posture to help us manage a given situation, here are a few examples:
-You are getting ready for a big meeting, presentation, interview in front of people you feel the need to impress. Exercising or even just standing like a starfish or Super Woman for a few minutes will help give you the physiological boost you need BEFORE even entering the room.
-You want to work up the courage to ask someone out on a date.
-You're ready to ask for help on a tough project, to stop a negative behavior, or anything else that has been weighing on your mind.
-You are gearing up at the starting line of a race or getting ready for another competition.
-You are ready to take a stand for yourself and tell someone, 'enough is enough!' and you won't tolerate their mean or abusive behavior anymore.
-You're having a less than perfect day and you just simply need a little pick me up!
Making your body large is a way of using your beautiful body and your body sure does like that! It loves the blood flow because that means oxygen and food for the brain, muscles, and all the other parts. The chemical changes help your body and mind connect with each other and ideas come, self-confidence gets a boost, and sure, even your achey back can get eased.
So, the next time you want to focus and step into your power, get large girl! Also be sure to check out the Going Goddess program. It's a self paced but fully coached program that will help you tap into all your power!
You have the POWER to be your most POWERFUL self. Will you choose to embrace it?!
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I am an Exercise Physiologist and mother of two lovely ladies. I love teaching my community about health and wellness and I love helping likeminded people implement natural solutions into their everyday lives.