“Some people seem to find it easier to cope in life, have you ever wondered why? I found myself doing just this. My findings were surprising. Research led by Harvard University, the University of Oregon and the University of Texas revealed that very effective leaders all share a similar mindset but, not just this, they also share similar hormone levels. The more powerful the leader, the higher the levels of testosterone.
This simply means that those with higher levels of testosterone are naturally primed to be more assertive, relaxed and confident. They will be less reactive to stressors and be able to handle the bombardment of pressure quite well. In addition, there’s one physical cue which impacts both hormones and that’s body language. So, if you can improve your body language, you will naturally increase testosterone while decreasing cortisone levels and this means, less stress but more confidence.
This leads me directly into power body poses.
Power poses are intriguing. Amy Cuddy is a researcher based at Harvard University and she and her team have identified that different body positions equate to high power or low power poses. High power poses tend to be open and relaxed while low power poses will be closed off and guarded.
“They studied the impact of these poses in a research study on 42 students. Saliva was taken from each of them and cortisone levels and testosterone levels were then measured. Afterwards, each person was asked to sit in either high power or low power poses for approximately 2 minutes. After which, an additional sample saliva was taken and cortisone and testosterone levels were measured yet again.
The results were stunning. High power poses serve to increase testosterone by approximately 20% and they found that cortisone levels decreased by 25%. When you consider the ability to exude confidence and cope with daily pressures, this is significant.
Try this well-known and versatile power pose so you can see what I mean. Its nickname is ‘The Wonder Woman’ pose and, you simply stand tall, with chest out and hands on the hips. It’s certainly a power stance and irrespective of its name, it is just as important to men as it is to women. Try it now and then see how you feel afterwards.”
“I mentioned before that our body language speaks volumes about us. If you are a little worried as to those secretive body language communications, try to build in some body language checks each day and insert a higher power pose into your routine each morning for approximately 2 or 3 minutes.
When you do so, close your eyes, breathing in deeply for a count of 3, you can hold the breath for just a second and then, breathe out fully for a count of 5. If this is difficult, you can reduce the count – say for 2, 1 and 4 counts. You can also combine breathing exercises with power poses for maximum benefits. I use power poses with meditation at the start of my day and I feel great afterwards.
As you are only investing a couple of minutes, you will have time for it.
Body language is important but it’s not everything. One thing for sure is that confidence affects both your mind and body. Your personality and emotional state of mind will no doubt affect your levels of confidence but improving your body language by taking up one of the power poses, will certainly increase physical presence and make you feel so much better.
You can use these power poses quickly and efficiently in every situation.
Think about a difficult presentation in front of your boss or colleagues. Imagine you are waiting to be called in and you start to feel nervous and your hands are sweating. Find a quiet space and take a moment to adjust your posture. Put your hands on your hips, keep your chin up, have your chest out and visualize the pose. If you can just do this for a couple of minutes before you attend your meeting or your interview, your testosterone levels will increase as will your confidence. You will also naturally and quickly lower your stress levels.”
The Goddess Bibles
A Memoir By Laura Zukerman