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How much does body language affect people’s perception of another human being? People who are really into the practice always talk about how the body speaks. Others who are on the fence about this relatively new science don’t necessarily know what to make of it.
Are there ways to train the body to communicate something specific to others? In fact, could something like a power pose create a sense of self-esteem to help that person get through the day? The purpose of this article is not to continue creating ambiguous ideas about body language.
Instead, the idea is to explain why a power pose for confidence may also be great for someone’s back. Body language is not just this weird science related to the energy that someone puts into the world. Proper body language and the practices that can help achieve it will also have tangible health benefits.
To get to the point where good body language brings tangible benefits, a person must first find what works for them. Some people won’t have enough time to do yoga for two hours a day. That doesn’t mean they can’t harness that positive energy at work.
What Are Power Poses?
Power poses are different stances that people can apply to communicate something to others or even to themselves. It’s a practice that’s become popular over the last few years. Truth be told, many people still question the science behind it.
The debate over the effectiveness of this practice is likely not going away any time soon. At the end of the day, though, it may be worth a shot if the practice can help a person out when they are not motivated to work. Power poses can fall under that category of things like meditation or certain types of stretches popular in yoga.
Comparing yoga to power posing is not meant to question the effectiveness of yoga as well. The comparison is being made to show that some of these exercises can be very effective for some people. When it comes to power posing, if that can provide any benefit in its simplest form, then that’s a win for the person practicing it.
One of the main differences between power posing and things like yoga or stretching exercises is that power posing usually doesn’t require a major time investment. This makes power posing something that can be more attractive for the busy office worker.
Power poses can be simple things like the way that someone is sitting. People sold on the practice will say that sitting or standing a certain way is a power pose for confidence. Ironically, even people not sold on the holistic element of the practice can benefit from these poses.
These power poses can help increase blood flow or allow people to find more comfortable seating positions. That can lead to less strain on the back and the limbs. Those benefits alone make power poses something worth trying.
How Power Poses Boost Your Confidence at Work & In Daily Life?
The power-up pose preached by people in this movement has something to do with getting wider or bigger. This led to the pose that Linda Carter made popular as Wonder Woman in the 70s being adopted as the main power pose. It’s a rather simple pose where a person has to put their hands on their hips, which will send their elbows outward.
Peter Pan is another fictional character who popularized the pose before this entire moment really took off in 2012. When Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk about power poses went viral, she claimed that men saw higher testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels when power posing. Over the years, the research has been inconsistent.
One of the elements, though, that was central to the original claims was that power posing was something that was found in nature. What’s the advice that people give for certain animal encounters? Don’t back down and get big!
At its core, power posing follows that philosophy. Are there tangible benefits to be had by following some of these ideas? There might be, and the answer could be found in the negative effects of not posting correctly.
What are some of the bad work habits that people can have that can affect their life outside of work? Forgoing healthy exercise habits to remain at work can bring forth unwanted health conditions. Something as simple as slouching in an office chair can lead to major back issues.
Using things like power posing or active sitting can help remove the consequences of unhealthy behavior. What will likely happen to people who wake up with less back pain? That can be a good first step to build morale and try other healthy habits that can bring other benefits.
When to Use Power Poses?
According to the study that kicked off the power-posing movement, as it's known today, anyone can use power poses. The most common instances would have to be right before someone will do something important. One of the examples is an athlete that’s getting ready to compete.
Think of a boxer or an MMA fighter walking into the ring with a sad look on their face and slouching the whole way there. That would be a pose that wouldn’t help them instill any type of fear in their opponent. This is where power posing can come in handy. With their chest sticking out and arms bent by their sides, they’re certainly projecting confidence.
In a more traditional working environment, power posing is recommended when walking into a meeting. People who are going into a job interview could also benefit from the proper pose. Just like in the scenario about the fighter, at least the person walking into the interview will project a sense of confidence.
What’s the difference between power posing in these situations and carrying a lucky charm? This is one of the main questions people skeptical of this practice ask. The true difference is that a power pose or body language is something that’s going to project outward.
It’s not just situations where people need an extra boost of confidence for themselves when these poses can work. Maybe they can even be a good idea when someone feels threatened or insecure. They can become a safe place or way to find some quick peace.
In any of these situations, it’s important to remember that posing doesn’t need to be the only solution. Power posing can be combined with breathing techniques or even things like seated stretches. Learning to combine these different elements can turn power posing into a powerful tool.
Six Power Poses to Practice
These different poses are going to apply to specific situations. It’s a good idea to have a list of them ready to use when the time is right. Another positive element of applying different ideas is that each person can find a pose that fits their personality.
It’s one thing to strike a power pose and the other to try to be more engaging in conversation. Not all poses can or should invite conversation or response from other people. The right poses can help even those with shier personalities still get some of the benefits of power poses.
1. Open Power Pose
This is one of the more common poses that powerful people in the corporate world use often. It consists of extending the elbows out and opening the palms. It’s one of the power poses to use when giving a speech or during a meeting.
One of the best things about this pose is that it can be used sitting down or standing up. It can be a great tool to use in a job interview, especially when the person is looking to show interest in the position. People who already have a job can use it as one of their healthy office habits.
The pose can not only make the conversation more engaging. The extended hands show a sense of self-confidence. People who pose differently may use their body language to communicate certain insecurities.
2. Wonder Woman Pose
There are a couple more things about this pose that many people don’t realize. It’s not just about getting big and sticking the chest out to exert dominance. The pose can also be a part of a set of health challenge ideas.
Standing like this will force people to straighten out their backs and not slouch. Those who have a big belly and are insecure about it will be shy to get in this pose. That can lead to them looking into those health challenge ideas mentioned before.
3. The Lean Back
Leaning back in a chair will never be found on a list of good work habits. Why is it a power pose that can be useful? This is tough because not everyone can pull it off the right way. It depends on their position and what they’re trying to communicate.
This lean-back motion, though, can communicate that a person is at ease. Still, it may not be the best idea to use it during a job interview. It’s great, though, to assert a sense of dominance to certain lower ranks. The person who leans back and looks like they don’t care usually can afford not to care.
4. The Mr. Clean
Another controversial pose that flirts with elements that go against some of the main things power poses should represent. The Mr. Clean pose is the simple arms crossed pose, but the chest has to come out. It’s also a pose that works only when standing up most of the time.
The one exception to the standing-up rule could be when sitting at an office desk and trying to show a sense of disapproval and dominance. Outside the workplace, standing like this can also help build the narrative that the person is self-confident.
5. Performer Pose or Oprah Winfrey
This is the high-power pose of choice for self-motivation. All a person has to do is spread their legs out and stretch their arms up into the sky, almost forming a star pose. What this can help with is getting blood flowing through the body.
It could be a good form of seated stretching. People sitting at desks for a long time will feel that their arms are tired of stretching out towards the keyboard. This pose completely changes that dynamic and forces other muscles to stretch out.
Doing this pose in front of a mirror could work well when someone is going through a lot of stress or isn’t feeling too well. It can help that person see themselves bigger when they may be getting thoughts of self-doubt. This pose is one of those quick reminders that body language can also help improve self-perception.
6. Open Seating Pose
Plenty of the world's richest and most influential people have been photographed in this position. Could this be a massive coincidence? It seems rather unlikely. The position is simple. All there is to it is to sit with both legs naturally apart and firmly on the ground.
When this position is used to sit up straight, it’s another one that can bring some health benefits. It can help get rid of back pain. This position communicates that the person is open to receiving knowledge.
At the same time, in the body language department, it shows that a person has nothing to hide. People who look tense or guarded while sitting down will likely reflect that to others.
Is it truly important to have that go-to power-up pose? Some people will brush off this idea that poses mean something or another. If power poses, though, do, in fact, bring some type of positive outlook, there is no reason to shy away from them.
Maybe it’s something as simple as making that person smile in front of the mirror as they do their daily performer pose. Even if science does not back that moment as having tangible benefits, it’s such a personal experience that it doesn’t matter.
Knowing that practicing power poses can bring these personal benefits in many ways changes the outlook of the debate. At the end of the day, if posing does, in fact, provide that boost in self-confidence for some people, it works for them.
There might be others out there who don’t get the same results, and that’s unfortunate, but there are other things out there they could try.
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