There is a simple strategy that you can use to reduce anxiety, improve your ability to deal with stress, and boost your confidence.
“Your body language affects and influences how others see you, and even your own brain”.
This is a story about Amy Cuddy who is a successful social psychologist who studies body language and the impact it has on your hormones.
Amy’s personal story sparked her research into ‘power posing”, and shared it in a TedTalk which rippled out into the world, transforming her own life as well as the lives of many people who have watched.
Early in Amy’s college career, she suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, and doctors said she would struggle to fully regain her mental capacity and finish her undergraduate degree.
But she proved them wrong. Today, Amy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behaviour and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom.
Amy’s research suggests that when people feel personally powerful, they become more present: better connected with their own thoughts and feelings, which helps them to better connect with the thoughts and feelings of others and can prepare us to cope better in stressful situations.
“Presence — is theconfidence, engagement, and ability to connect with and even captivate an audience”.
Amy’s studies have found that a person can, by assuming two simple 1-2 min poses, embody power and instantly become more powerful.
Holding one’s body in “high-power” poses for short time periods can summon an extra surge of power and sense of well-being when it’s needed.
Amy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
If you’re feeling anxious before a high-pressure situation like a job interview, a presentation, or a performance, then you need to strike a ‘power pose’…
“If you act powerfully, you will begin to think powerfully.”
The best part is… It works immediately and only takes two minutes.
All you need to do is – stand tall, put your hands on your hips and plant your feet shoulder width apart. This is the Wonder Woman pose -it can boost your confidence, make you more self-aware, and change your body’s chemistry. This posture can lead you to feeling empowered.
“It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting”.
‘Power posing’ is one way that people can change feelings of powerlessness, and get some of the performance advantages that come with being successful.
Amy’s now-famous TED Talk has been viewed more than 32 million times and people all around the world have been practicing their “wonder woman” pose before entering a challenging or stressful situation. (“Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”), ranks among the top 5 most popular TEDTalks of all time.
In May 2013, Amy was named as one of “50 Women Who are Changing the World. Amy is also the author of the book, “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
Watch Amy Cuddy’s TedTalk on how she overcame shyness and anxiety with the ‘Wonder Woman’ pose – here https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
If you’re feeling stressed a few minutes before your next presentation, interview, or meeting — take a moment to adjust your posture and stand in a powerful position. Doing this for just two minutes will increase your confidence and improve your ability to handle stress.
Your behaviours and emotions are firmly tied. The most powerful leaders not only think a certain way, they carry themselves a certain way. You should do the same.
So now, you have another tool in your toolbox to use whenever you need it!
Consider adopting a daily power pose into your morning routine to positively kick start your day…