Do you ever have a down day? A day where you feel like everything is going wrong, and you just lose your confidence? Did you know that using something as simple as posture will help turn it around? Hey you don’t need to believe me. You can take the word of a renowned Harvard social psychologist, Amy Cuddy. Powerful poses or power pose, as she calls them, help to raise testosterone and lower cortisol.
Power poses will increase your confidence and lower your stress. The best part is that it doesn’t cost anything to try them. You can strike a power pose today…
Try it right now, stand like Superman or Wonder Woman! Seriously, do it now, I’ll wait…
Here’s the Power Pose Deal:
I first learned about, Amy Cuddy’s research in an awesome TED Talk. Amy explores the impact body language plays in dominance and stress response.
I spend my day in leadership, so Amy’s research has a lot of relevance to me. However, you don’t need to have an MBA for this to make a positive impact in your life.
Amy compares two types of body postures…power poses versus powerless ones.
What does Amy’s research reveal?
Awesome stuff is what. Firstly, using more powerful poses helps you get a better job, makes you feel better, and makes you overall more successful.
Yup, higher confidence and lower stress!
You probably know that your mind controls your body, but your body can also control your mind. Amy explains that posture impacts your mind through your hormones. Power poses positively impact the hormonal cocktail flowing through your body, while powerless pose negatively impact the mix.
The two main hormones in question are:
- Testosterone: The “power” hormone, important for more than just guys. It helps with focus and attention, great for leaders, but also positively impacts body composition for both men and women.
- Cortisol: The “stress” hormone, in small amounts is beneficial, but in today’s high stress life where cortisol constantly floods the body a number of bad things began to happen like impaired cognitive function, blood sugar imbalances, decreased bone density, decrease in muscle tissue, and so on. Ultimately, it makes us feel powerless
Amy’s Power Poses help:
In an experiment performed by Amy’s team, they brought people into a room. For two minutes, they would either perform a power pose or a powerless pose. After posing, they would participate in a job interview.
The job interviewers didn’t know who did which pose, but the interviewers consistently picked those that performed the power poses as people they would hire.
Plus, the posers’ hormone levels changed. Here is the increase in testosterone and drop in cortisol after performing the power pose for only 2 minutes!
For you visual/auditory learners:
You may have skipped right to this section, it’s ok, I don’t mind if you skimmed…So the following three videos will introduce you to Amy Cuddy’s research on power poses.
The first video is for you if you have a short attention span or only 30 seconds to spare (really this is a teaser). The second video from TIME is six minutes long and will give you a solid introduction to power poses (If you only watch one of the videos than pick this one). The third video is for those of you that are perpetual learners like me and also love TED Talks (yeah, I post a lot of TED talks…they are just too good not to). So really do yourself a favor and spend the 20 minutes watching Amy’s presentation (or at least bookmark this post to come back to watch later).
Watch this 30 second video to get a taste of power poses:
TIME’s Game Changer: Amy Cuddy, Power Poser
TED Talk: Your body language shapes who you are
She had me at “free no-tech life hack…”
Strike a pose today!
Next time you need a boost of confidence go ahead and use a power pose. Two minutes are all it takes to increase your testosterone and lower your cortisol. Plus, it is a free, simple life hack.
I know that November is a long way away, but you can pre-order Amy’s upcoming book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges on Amazon here. It’s on my list!
How are you going to use power poses? Let me know in the comments.
p.s. Here’s a bonus posture: smile…it also helps to change the course of your day.
p.p.s. Please do me a favor and share this article with one person who could use a confidence boost.
p.p.p.s. I want you to be part of the crew: I want to be part of the crew!