Are you aware how much your body impacts on your mood? We are familiar with the idea that our body language sends out messages to others, but at a subconscious level, our physiology also influences our own mood. To illustrate this, hang your head, look down, and think how bad you feel when you wake up, need to go out and it's dark, wet and windy. Spend a moment auditing what your body is doing. Now, shake it off and straighten up: look up to the ceiling with a huge smile on your face. How was that? It's amazing the effect that even a forced smile can have on our mood.
American social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, is known for her research into empowering body language and 'power posing'. She has found that adopting a high power pose (think Wonder Woman!) for just two minutes significantly impacts both our levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and our outcomes. Her TED talk has been watched by over 22 million people.
Play about to find out what works best for you. Become aware of how you stand when you feel confident. Where are your shoulders? Is your weight evenly distributed over both feet? What do you do with your arms? And what do you need to change for you to lose that sense of confidence? What happens when you slouch? Look down? Fold your arms? By increasing your awareness of the power of your physiology you can be more in control of it when it matters most.
So the next time you are feeling down and want to take control of your mood - check out your body language! Look up, smile and try posing like a superhero! And the next time you are faced by a stressful situation, take a moment to adopt a powerful stance. You may want to keep the Wonder Woman pose for times when you are by yourself, but when in public you can still keep an eye on your physiology and remember that it is not just others who are affected by your body language!