“Our bodies change our minds and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.” Amy Cuddy
If I told you that standing there was a simple (and easy) way to boost your confidence and lower your stress levels in only 2 minutes AND that this was scientifically proven to work would you want to know what it was?
Good, because I’m going to tell you 🙂 You simply have to stand like Wonder Woman 🙂 Yes, seriously 🙂 Scientific experiments have shown that your posture dramatically affects your hormone levels and can increase your testosterone by 20% AND decrease your cortisol levels by 25% in only 2 minutes!
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School. Cuddy and her team devised a simple test in which they asked people to assume either a “high-power pose” or a “low-power pose”for 2 minutes.
The researchers then tested the subjects’ risk tolerance and body chemistry. The results were unequivocal. Risk tolerance was higher among the high power posers with 86% choosing to risk a $2 stake on a 50/50 gamble as opposed to only 60% of the low power posers. The hormonal results were even more dramatic – the testosterone levels of the “high power” posers rose 20% while cortisol levels dropped by 25%. The lower power posers experienced a 10% fall in testosterone levels and an increase of 15% in corstisol levels.
What does this mean in the real world?
Higher levels of testosterone (in both men and women) lead to increased feelings of confidence. Lower levels of cortisol lead to decreased anxiety and an improved ability to deal with stress. Tp out it another way – stand like Wonder Woman and you’re golden! 🙂
Does this have any practical applications?
At this point some of you may well be thinking that while this is all very interesting does it have any application outside of a lab setting. Cuddy and her colleagues wondered the same thing so they ran another test. This time they had people hold either high or low power poses and then go through a very stressful job interview. This was recorded and the “high-power” posers were overwhelmingly the ones that independent assessors who viewed the interviews wanted to hire. The significant factor in their decision? It was all about presence aka body language 🙂
How You Can Apply This
Try holding a power pose for 2 minutes before you start your workout. If your really want to push things try holding one between sets. I was amused to discover that I already do this! 🙂