Maintaining an attitude of security and confidence at all times is not easy. There are moments when we can feel small and insecure. Our hands sweat, our throat dries, and we are unable to formulate a simple sentence. It may even seem like our own body has turned against us.
When we feel bad and insecure, our body shows it. We all know and have experienced this. It goes without saying that body language is very important. Not only do we judge others by the body language they emit, but others judge us in the same way, and more importantly, we are also affected by our own non-verbal signals.
Our body and the mind are interconnected and have a very close relationship; they influence one another. Meaning that our mind affects our body in the same way our body can influence our minds. This last bit of information can be beneficial, especially for those who suffer from anxiety or have low self-esteem, as power posing can help us manage better stressful situations.
In 2002, Professor Amy Cuddy did a fascinating TED Talk Your Body May Shape Who You Are, which I highly recommend everyone to watch. It is the second most viewed TED Talk video with over 60 million views. The Guardian even called it ‘One of the 20 Online Talks that Could Change Your Life’, and today I will talk a little about it and why it is so important.
Cuddy was aware of how interconnected the body and mind are. She explains that our body language significantly affects our mental states. For instance, if you are hunched over with your shoulders rolled forward and looking down at the ground, your body will tell your mind that you are in a nervous state. Whereas if you sit back, lean backwards, open up your chest, breathe deeply, then it is very likely that you will feel more relaxed and less anxious.
In the experiment that Cuddy conducted, she discovered doing the high-power pose for two minutes can give people a feeling of power and confidence by increasing their testosterone levels and lowering their cortisol levels. She also learned that those who power pose minutes before an interview do significantly better than those in a low power pose.
“All you need is two minutes,” said Cuddy in her TED Talk. Two minutes can be enough to configure your brain to better handle a high-pressure situation for your next job interview, for your next big exam, or a significant date with someone special. So, I invite you to check it out for yourself.
Two minutes of power posing can be enough to change the outcome of your life significantly.