Stand tall and get more done

Does slouching contribute to procrastination?

According to a study highlighted this week in FastCompany, Erik Peper, PhD, says that when you stand tall, chin up, shoulders wide, your body relaxes into a safe and confident state. He says that when your body is erect, whether sitting, standing, or walking, you have more energy and more positive thoughts.

slouchConversely, when you’re hunched over, you don’t breathe as well, put pressure on your stomach, and don’t think as clearly.

“When you collapse, you signal to the body that you are in a defense reaction. Your cortisol goes up and testosterone goes down,” says Peper. “In our research, we have demonstrated that in the collapsed position, you have easier access to hopeless, helpless, powerless, defeated thoughts and memories, and it takes more brain activation to think of positive empowering thoughts than it does in the erect position.”

Peper calls depression a “sitting disease” and attributes it to too much time spent at a desk, on a couch in front of a TV, or hunched over a screen.

Let’s test out this theory.

  • Sit up straight in your chair as you read this. Is that your norm? Or does it feel like a stretch? Try to fully occupy the space around you and see how that makes you feel.
  • Now try sitting in a different chair. How does that affect your posture? Do you work in a place that helps keep your posture erect?
  • Notice how your posture changes when you walk, sit, work on your computer, or spend time on your phone.
  • When you work with your head high and spine erect, do you find you get right to work with less procrastination?
  • Does a change in posture help you stay focused?
  • As you go about your day with better posture, do strangers treat you differently?

If changing your posture is a habit you’d like to keep, try tracking your posture changes for a week. If you come out of that feeling “wow”, try a 30-day challenge to get this habit to stick.

Stand tall. Feel your power. And get more done.

I am grateful for autumn sunsets in Kettle Cove, Maine

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