perfect posture – walking with confidence
This is a book excerpt from The Upside of Down. To read more about how Tamra Mercieca overcame depression the natural way, visit: www.theupsideofdown.com.au
You are only a few words into this chapter, and chances are you have already adjusted your posture. Posture is one of those things we often forget about – that is, until something or somebody reminds us to straighten up. Poor posture becomes a habit and then it is as if we need an alarm clock to remind us to sit up straight and stop hunching over.
Posture can be a great tool in overcoming depression due to the well-established link between the body and mind. Whatever happens to your mind happens to your body. If you watch depressed and sad people, their bodies are also depressed. They are often hunched over, and have slow body movements.
It may be a weird one to grasp, but the way you stand, the way you sit, the way you walk – all have an effect on your emotions. Those who suffer from depression tend to struggle more with maintaining a good posture, although posture correction can be a helpful tool in managing depression. In fact, studies have established that if we stand upright, head erect, smile and breathe deeply, it is impossible to feel depressed.
Thought is an electric current. It creates emotion, and thus chemicals in the body, whether good or bad. It takes twelve minutes to rid the body of negative chemicals using positive thinking. But changing physiology, such as fixing your posture or smiling, can have an instant impact. Therefore, changing your state of mind can be as simple as making the choice to do so.
One study involving manic-depressive patients who had been on medication for twenty years, found that while they all kept a perfect posture, none required medication. Of course, correcting your stance will not deal with underlying emotional causes, but it will certainly help control symptoms.
What does perfect posture look like?
The body is straight, but not robotic, so your appearance should be relaxed. People with a perfect posture move effortlessly with poise, confidence and fluidity. Nature aligned us so our centre of gravity falls through our body and moves through specific bony landmarks. In normal, correct posture everything is balanced.
Look in the mirror. Side on, your ear should be in line with your shoulder, not in front of it, and your shoulder should be over your hip, your knee and your ankle. If you hung an imaginary plumb from the earlobe the line would hang straight through the middle of the anklebone. From the front, your hands should hang with palms facing your thighs, not palms facing behind you.
How to get perfect posture
One of the easiest ways to improve your posture is to pretend that there is a string through the top of your head pulling your head up tall, just like a puppet. Once your head is tall, the rest of your body should follow. By forcing yourself to stand straight and tall you will align your spine and even force your abdominal muscles to line up correctly.
Another exercise is the Brugger’s relief position, which can be practised at your desk.
Step 1 Sit on the front edge of your seat.
Step 2 Allow your hands to fall in front of the seat pan, at the sides
of your legs.
Step 3 Turn your thumbs outwards until they point backwards.
Step 4 With your head tall, pull your chin back without tilting your
Step 5 Hold this position for ten seconds, five times.
Repeat this once an hour whilst at a desk.
The benefits of perfect posture
You can tell a lot about a person by their posture. Have you ever seen someone glide or stride into a room and command instant attention or respect? Walking with good posture is certainly a skill worth learning if for no other reason than it gives you more confidence and helps you feel stronger.
The simple fact is humans are drawn to people who look happy and confident because deep down we hope a bit of it will rub off on us. And we like to be around people who are happy and know what they are doing in life. Have you ever tried to walk slouched over when you are really happy? Or upright with a spring in your step when you are sad? See how awkward it feels?
A good posture is related closely to a better mood, a happier outlook and more confidence within yourself. In this way, posture works both ways. Negative emotions and feelings can lead to a poor posture, and a poor posture will generate negative feelings.
Posture does as much for the person who is holding it as it does for those around them. A good posture will inspire confidence in those around you and make people more willing to listen to what you have to say as you will be speaking directly to them rather than the floor. Within yourself, a good posture is related closely to a better mood, a happier outlook and more confidence.
Perfect posture can also make a person stunningly attractive. You can visually lose 2.5 kg just by standing up straight. As you realign your body your tummy flattens, then as you move your shoulders back your arms appear slimmer, and finally tucking your butt in creates a smaller shape – how is that for a confidence booster!
Think of good posture as your secret weapon, almost like your armour for the day.
It is never too late to improve your posture. Posture sets the platform from which your body is going to operate.If we can bring a change in the bodily behaviour, by improving our posture we will improve confidence and peace in our mind.
Committing to a slouch-free lifestyle will not only boost your confidence and ease your depression, but you will also improve your circulation, your breathing, and your digestion. You will help prevent back and neck pain too. If you are one of those people whose knuckles scrape the floor like a gorilla, it is time to stand tall and move into the 21st century.