Long story short
- Doing a power pose can increase your testosterone (T) and lower your stress hormone, cortisol.
- Low power posers experienced the opposite, lower T and higher cortisol
- 2 Minutes of power posing, that’s all it takes.
- The power of your mind extends beyond just feeling and thinking but actually manifests as physiological and behavioral changes.
- Fake it until you make it, simple as that.
About 3 years ago I caught a TED talk by Amy Cuddy (here) that has left a lasting impression one. What if your posture impacted your mind and body, physiologically and mentally? That is exactly what Dr. Cuddy and her colleagues showed in their research. Men and women who did power poses for only 2 minutes had a significant increase in their dominant hormone, testosterone and significant decrease in stress hormone, cortisol. Fascinating! More so, the participants felt more ‘powerful” and “in-charge”, and furthermore they were more of a risk-taker. So basically, these people were faking (positioning themselves as powerful figures) it until they became it, and that’s what happened exactly.
So what does this mean?
It means there is a connection how we act and how we feel. Changing your posture, changes your mindfulness, changes your hormones, which all in the end change the way we deal with situations. Or as the authors so eloquently put, “they suggest that the effects of embodiment extend beyond emotion and cognition, to physiology and subsequent behavioral choice.” Our mind frame and posture are connected, and it says we can have an active impact on how we feel. This also connects to mindfulness and breathing exercises. When we become mindful of our body, of our breath, we change the way we feel and that translates into lowered stress hormones and better response to stress.
The body fascinates me. I am all about trying to figure out how to make the body function to its peak potential, because well, I believe our body’s are capable of extraordinary things if we set it up in the right environment with the best tools. That’s why I’m a fan of David Asprey & Bulletproof. And of course Men’s health is kind of my thing so if I can tell a male patient to change his stance or pose for 2 minutes to give him a little extra confidence, why not!? At least now I have some backing that it’ll help.
Stop slouching. Pay attention to your posture and how you present yourself. Pay attention to how you breath. And even if you don’t feel powerful, in-charge, dominant, or confident then FAKE IT! Fake it until you become it.
, , and Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk TolerancePsychological Science October 2010 21: 1363–1368, first published on September 20, 2010doi:10.1177/0956797610383437