Activities To Improve Self Confidence And Understanding Body Language

In my previous post, I’ve discussed how sunlight plays a big role in the science of gaining confidence. Now, we’ll be looking at activities to improve self confidence.

Body Language

Now that you’re well rested and hopefully feeling the power of those confidence chemicals, let’s talk about one of those elements in our formula that makes a huge impact but frequently gets overlooked – Body Language!  

Studies show that roughly 60 – 90% of communication is non-verbal and expressed through your body language. Accordingly, one of the most obvious indicators of whether or not someone suffers from low self-confidence is how they project themselves to the world through non-verbal cues. These include things like eye contact, gait (how you walk), and posture.   

While most confidence tools take weeks, months or even years to implement, by deliberately practicing and improving non-verbal cues like posture you can boost your confidence almost instantaneously.   

Confidence Postures 

As featured in one of the most popular Ted Talks of all time, a study on body language led by researcher Amy Cuddy at Harvard University classified different body positions as “high power” or “low power” poses. In general, the high power poses are open and relaxed while the low power poses are closed and guarded.  

Above you can see an image from the study contrasting high power poses on the top with low power poses on the bottom.

Remarkably, after measuring the testosterone and cortisol levels of 42 students before and after holding both high and low power poses for two minutes, Cuddy found that high power poses increased testosterone by 20 percent and decreased cortisol levels by 25 percent.  

This is really significant since we’ve already verified that confident leaders have a rare combination of high testosterone and low cortisol.

The researchers also found that in addition to the common seated and standing power poses, when someone raised their arms over their head like they just won the Olympics their testosterone again shot up by over 20 percent.   

If you’re at all doubtful about how important good posture is perhaps the following studies will convince you otherwise.  

Turns out, over 55 published studies prove poor posture has negative consequences and open expansive posture leads to multiple benefits.  Below are five of my favorites; as you read through them, notice which ones relate to your personal circumstances.  

Self-Esteem Study 

Published by Health Psychology in 2015 researchers state: “Slouchers reported significantly lower self-esteem, mood, and greater fear.”

Confidence Study

A 2012 study by scientists Pablo Binol, Richard Petty, and Benjamin Wagner on how body posture might affect “self-evaluation” showed that people who stood in a power pose (they called it “confident posture,” with chest pushed out and erect spine) were much more prone to rate themselves more confidently than people in a “doubtful posture,” slumped and self-contained.

Low Energy & Body Pain Study

Published in BioFeedback in 2017 by Dr. Erik Peper, this study found that “Sitting up straight” led to “positive thoughts and memories” while a sad, slumped walk “decreased energy levels.”  The study also found that poor posture could lead to fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, increased muscle tension and even injury to your vertebrae over time.

Power Study

When scientists tried to poke holes in Harvard University professor Amy Cuddy’s study from 2012 she created a follow up study Published by Sage Journals Psychological Science in 2017.  This study examined over 55 additional studies and clearly demonstrates:  “A link between expansive, open postures and feelings of power.”  

Depression Study

A study published by the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry in 2017 found that:  “Adopting an upright posture may increase positive effects, reduce fatigue, and decrease self-focus in people with mild-to-moderate depression”

But that’s not all you can learn about your body language and its relation to confidence, check out the top-selling book Get High On Self Confidence here to get yourself ahead.

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