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Posture Power

Do you know that your seated posture can make you feel anxious? (You probably know that the reverse is true – when you feel anxious or insecure, it impacts your posture). But how you stand and sit and generally carry your body can seriously impact your emotions and mental well-being?


Let me give you an example: Most of us sit in our chairs for many minutes even hours at a time without moving, whether we’re working on our devices or screens, in Zoom or Teams meetings, or just on social media or browsing – (keep reading, I’m probably not going to say what you think I am) – our attention on screens takes us out of our bodies and, while we can easily lose touch with time, we also lose touch with our own posture and movement and with our breathing. Gradually as our lungs are constrained by the seated or slouched posture and our attention is out of ourselves, the breath becomes increasingly shallow…


(Now the thing about shallow breathing is that it also happens when we are feeling anxious or afraid, and is one of the signals to the brain that we are in a state of angst - and that our ‘threat system’ needs to be on alert -. If shallow breathing continues, eventually the brain will ‘read’ it to mean you’re actually feeling anxious.)


Once you ‘come back into’ your self-awareness, should a sensation of unease or anxiety be there, if you are unaware of your breathing pattern you might associate it with something you saw on your screen, or worse you’ll look for a reason in your life or in your mind, - even though it’s likely that it may just be physical.


A simple way to avoid this altogether can include standing up every 20-30 minutes, releasing any pressure on your lungs and taking a few deep breaths, lengthening the exhale.


Studies repeatedly show that this can make a significant difference to well-being as well as concentration and even productivity! And this is just one example of the power of posture.


Basically, the signals sent from your body to your brain are more significant in determining how you think and feel than you may be aware of. Increasing your awareness of your body posture and state can begin to have real positive mental and emotional impacts, as that awareness also gives you the power to choose!



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