Power Posing body language
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. In a TEDx-talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.
Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and perhaps even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.
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The effect of power posing
The key finding is simple: adopting expansive postures causes people to feel more powerful. What’s absolutely clear from the studies is that adopting expansive poses increases people’s feelings of power and confidence. And feeling powerful is a critical psychological variable. As Columbia University professor Adam Galinsky and colleagues wrote in a 2016 review, a person’s “sense of power … produces a range of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological consequences,” including improved executive functioning, optimism, creativity, authenticity, the ability to self-regulate and performance in various domains, to name a handful.
Two systems are believed to drive most human feelings, thoughts, behaviors and even physiology — approach and avoidance (i.e., inhibition). When our approach system is activated, we are happier, more optimistic, more confident, more creative, more likely to take action, more likely to seek rewards and opportunities, more physically energetic and less inhibited, among other things.
As neuroscientist Peter Strick, a former skeptic of practices like Pilates, said in a recent interview, “How we move, think and feel have an impact on the stress response through real neural connections.”
Power posing for 2 minutes
Amy Cuddy: “My unintentional oversimplification may have allowed people to miss the forest for the trees. That makes me sad because it’s a much bigger idea. As Maya Angelou wrote, “Stand up straight, and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.” It’s not just about standing like a superhero for two minutes; it’s about carrying yourself with power and pride and poise, as you deserve to do.
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