Want to look and feel confident, even when you’re quaking in your boots? Strike a pose, say researchers at Northwestern University.
Sit back in your seat with one arm stretched across the top of your chair, your chest out, and your ankle crossed over your knee. Did you just feel a drop in anxiety and a surge in feelings of competence? Turns out that simply placing your body in postures that project power triggers two key hormonal changes. When researchers assigned study subjects certain postures (expansive or constricted) and roles (manager or subordinate), it was the seated posture that gave people the biggest shot of confidence. “The position raises levels of testosterone, a hormone that drives us to take action,” explains author Adam Galinsky, Ph.D. “At the same time, it reduces cortisol, a stress hormone.”