How a poor body posture affects our physical health may not be entirely new to you. Most of us understand that slouching can lead to poor digestion or back pain, or that sitting for long periods can put us at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases.
We have long been aware of how a sedentary lifestyle can have such a negative impact on our health, and why physical activity is encouraged regularly. We also notice that when we feel emotionally low, our posture is often affected.
But many people do not consider the importance of how our posture can also affect our mental health and wellbeing.
This has great implications for giving us the means to positively influence our mental state by the way we choose to carry our bodies. The mind is totally synched to the body, making our body posture crucial to our mental state. It then makes sense why we say “stand tall and chin up,” when we encourage or motivate someone.
According to a new study from Health Psychology, the way we sit can be linked to our moods and emotions. Two sets of adults were grouped and placed in either a slumped position or an upright position. The scientists monitored the two groups, observing their moods, stress levels, and also their self-esteem.
They found that the group that sat in an upright position recorded more positive emotions than the people who slumped. Those who sat upward also had more positive thoughts and recorded higher self-esteem.
As seen from the contrasting results of the two groups, it seems that the people who’ve kept a poor body posture are not only putting their physical health in danger, but their mental and psychological health is also at risk.
There are more ways your body posture can significantly impact your mental wellbeing. Here are just a few:
Bad Posture Can Directly Affect Your Mood
It can be noted from the above results of the two groups that bad posture can impact your mood. Linguistic analyses point to similar findings. People who tend to slump or slouch were more likely to use negative words, which needless to say, can significantly alter a person’s disposition towards even more negativity.
Bad Posture Can Increase Stress Levels
Our bodies were made to be carried in an upright position, which means that slouching will cause our back muscles to work harder and later lead to more physical stress. It can even create more pain. A bad posture also increases cortisol, the stress hormone, and decreases testosterone.
Bad Posture Can Lessen Self-Confidence and Motivation
Another study on body posture found that bad posture can dramatically affect a person’s level of confidence and belief in themselves. If you’re put in a tight spot, say you feel intimated before an interview or a big exam, sitting upright or standing straight could help perk you up and give you a boost of confidence, increasing your chances of success.
Bad posture not only messes up your confidence but also lessens your motivation. When you feel discouraged, your body tends to slump, but this only leads to greater exhaustion, making you want to quit and give up on a challenge. The next time you feel like wanting to give up on a particularly challenging situation, think about your posture. It might just help you to endure better, and finish that task.
Bad Posture Can Cause Fatigue and Drain You of Your Energy
Are you not particularly stressed about anything, you are getting plenty of sleep, yet you still don’t seem to have enough energy? If you’re feeling tired or lethargic all the time, despite few stressors and adequate sleep, then it may be time to look at your body posture for the possible answer.
As we said, the body’s natural position is upward, but constantly going against it when you slump downwards uses up energy. Slouching can cause you to feel fatigued because your diaphragm can’t expand properly when you breathe. Your oxygen and blood flow will become restricted too.
Poor posture isn’t only limited to standing, it will affect your energy level just as much if you are walking with a slouched posture. Keep an upright pose whether you are sitting, standing, or walking, to help you better deal with stress and help you handle challenging situations, without becoming completely exhausted or drained.
The importance of good posture can often be underestimated, and the benefits of improving it can be profound. So make sure you walk tall, hold your head high, and look the world in the eye.