Amy Cuddy: Power Posing

The power of body language – both outside and inside (your inner strength)

Often without noticing we use idioms which refer to parts of the body, e.g. to straighten up or show some backbone.

“Stomach in, chest out, straight back” – that’s how we want to impress others especially when it looks different from the inside, e.g. when doing a presentation which makes us more than nervous.

But do we know that we also influence ourselves? The social psychologist Amy Cuddy from Harvard Business School has found out that we can actually change feelings we have about our own status through the positions we take with your bodies. According to her research people have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol after just two minutes of power posing.

I do it myself but not in the sense of power posing, as demonstrated in the video, but by opening myself up: I roll my shoulders back and stretch my chest: That’s how I widen myself as insecurity and anxiety leave you with a feeling of restriction and they block your thinking – something very powerful to be aware of (mindset). I make sure that my feet are grounded and I breathe deeply in and out. According to Amy Cuddy two minutes are enough, I personally don’t pay attention to the time but more to my body feeling: What does it feel like when I have a feeling of restriction opposed to a feeling of width? I call it my “pseudo-progressive muscle relaxation”. Do it the way it feels good for you, do it again and again, at work, in your free time, and be aware of the pleasant feeling it leaves you with compared to before – discover the power and width in your body and love it. When you practise regularly, you can more easily connect to your inner strength.

Here’s Amy Cuddy‘s TED Talk, I find it really powerful: