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Strike a Pose, Claim Your Power

Updated: Jan 16, 2018


Strike a Pose, Claim Your Power

In today’s episode we will explore our second biohack of our 21 day happiness challenge: strike a pose! Through moving the body into certain poses you can actually become more empowered and increase your happiness, confidence, and well-being.


Key Takeaways

  • Biohacks can allow us to tap into our happiness by using the connection between the mind-body. What we think can shape what happens to our body (meditation is a well documented, well-studied example of this), but hacking yourself also works the other way: what you do to your body can impact the mind, and govern how you think and feel.

  • In the animal kingdom, the more space an animal takes up, the more it is perceived as powerful. Power displays consist of getting bigger to appear more powerful. Human animals do the same thing, and it turns out that not only do we use it to display power, but also to feel that power.

  • Researchers have examined expansive body language, sometimes called power poses, and how they impact people and their experiences. Power posing makes people feel more powerful, confident, and optimistic; it can decrease feelings of nervousness and anxiety. Some research support the idea it can even change our hormones, increasing testosterone (confidence/power hormone) and decreasing cortisol (stress hormone) in as little as 2 minutes of assuming an expansive position.

  • Exercise and other forms of body movement have also been shown to boost the immune system, release endorphins, and lower cortisol, as well as ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.


Today’s Challenge

Strike a pose!

  • Pick an expansive 'power pose' and pose for at least two minutes for a quick happiness boost. Listen to the podcast for some examples, or see the picture of Star Pose shown below.

Bonus Challenge!

For a fun bonus happiness boost you can actually move your body in a mini dance party, and then end with your 2 minutes of power pose! If you move and groove to music you have a happiness trifecta: power posing, moving, and music. All have been shown independently to make people happier.



Example of an expansive "power pose," 5 Pointed Star (or simply Star Pose) can boost happiness and lower stress. Other options include the "Wonder Woman" power pose, or any other expansive pose such as the yoga posture Cobra Pose.



Resources


Amy Cuddy, "Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges"


Amy Cuddy at TEDGlobal 2012, Your body language may shape who you are


Inside the debate about power posing: a Q & A with Amy Cuddy





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