We’ve always heard our parents telling us to sit up straight, to walk tall, and to have proper posture. But, why is it that good posture is so important? Aside from the physical health benefits good posture can provide us, it can also contribute to a better feeling of self, a happier outlook on life, and even help us make friends. Below you’ll see five ways that posture can improve mental well-being.
1. Improves your mood
Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling down, you tend to make yourself physically smaller, maybe by curling up in bed or crossing your arms and legs. You try to make yourself as little as possible, which serves as a coping mechanism, but is also a reflection of how you see yourself. Our feelings in this cause change our posture, but our posture also changes how we feel. Doing the opposite can improve your mood! Sitting proudly at your desk and taking up space can actually make you feel better, whether you feel good or not.
2. Improves blood flow to the brain
Sitting or standing properly increases blood flow throughout the whole body. If you have a desk job, having proper posture can keep the blood from pooling in your legs and making you uncomfortable. Also, good blood circulation means that it is reaching the brain, making it easier for you to think and carry-out complex tasks. So, don’t get frustrated if you’re not quite on your game. Stretching and fixing your posture can help you get through that mid-day lull.
3. Helps you make friends
In general, people like happy people. If you can emit a feeling of openness, happiness, and receptiveness, people are more likely to be friendly with you. An open posture may be sitting up straight, facing people and not a wall, with your arms and shoulders back and in an inviting posture. You don’t want to cross your arms or legs, as it makes you seem closed off (but this may work if you just need some time to yourself!)
4. Boosts confidence
Keeping your back erect and pushing your chest out can help boost your confidence. Standing tall and feeling confident can make others perceive you as being confident. Even if you’re not so sure about your class presentation or job interview, you can trick yourself into being more confident than you actually feel by making yourself as big as you can, which is called Expansive Posture. Practicing some of this expansive posture can make you feel differently about yourself and even change your state of mind.
5. Makes you more productive
We’ve all tried to write our term paper or a big report while laying down in bed or on the couch. Yes, it is a lot more comfortable, but have you noticed that the content just isn’t as good and you have a harder time focusing? That’s because our posture affects how productive we are. Sitting upright at a desk makes us take the task more seriously and helps us knock out those last 3 pages faster than we could if we were hunched over or lying down.