The way your body speaks is significant as your posture, breathing rate, muscular tension and even simple acts like walking affect your brain. When your posture slumps over the brain steps in to tell the body which mood signals to send out.
Poor posture also impacts on your memory. When you try to recall a memory and you are slouched over, the result tends to be a negative memory emerging. However, when your posture is straight you are more likely to remember positive memories.
It may, or may not, seem surprising to learn that your hormones take some responsibility for this. These hormones are cortisol, testosterone and serotonin. When you slouch over, cortisol increases and testosterone decreases. When your posture is upright the reverse happens with cortisol decreasing and testosterone increasing. You know that cortisol is the stress hormone, but it is testosterone that is important for boosting your mood.
Testosterone decreases body fat and strengthens the heart and bones to reduce your fatigue and irritability. Your mood can be changed by simply adjusting your posture.
When it comes to happiness and relaxation, serotonin – also known as the happiness hormone – is responsible for helping you relax and providing a sense of security. When serotonin is low, you may often find yourself slipping into depression or becoming more anxious.
When this happens take a moment to check in with your posture. How are you standing or sitting? When you stand up straight with a tall spine, serotonin will flow more freely through your body and brain, enhance your wellbeing and your happiness will return.
Serotonin increases when your posture opens and so too does your confidence to take on those toughest challenges.
Therefore, posture and mood are intrinsically linked and once you become aware of how you hold yourself it is difficult to overlook their importance to living a healthy life.
So the next time you find yourself feeling a little down, check your posture. If you catch yourself slouching, simply pull your shoulders back and hold your head high. You will notice the subtle change as your confidence improves, your social interactions grow and the memories you produce will be positive ones.