Reading for Treasure

Thanks, Mom—You Were Right

Posted at Jul 13, 2016 10:13 am

postureRemember when your mother told you to stand up straight? As a teen you probably tuned her out the first hundred times or so. But it turns out, she was right.

Good posture—as every heroine who stiffens her spine or squares her shoulders before a difficult confrontation knows—can affect how others perceive you.

Good posture benefits your overall health—keeping the bones, muscles and internal organs aligned as they were designed to be makes them more efficient and less prone to injury. Ask any ergonomic specialist, chiropractor or physician.

Good posture makes you look thinner, taller and overall more attractive, according to most fashion magazines.

But did you know that good posture affects how you feel—and what you believe—about yourself? A research study conducted at The Ohio State University (published by Petty and Brinol, October 2009, European Journal of Social Psychology.) In the study, students were asked either to sit up straight or to slump in their chairs as they listed three positive or negative traits about themselves. Then they answered questions designed to see how strongly they believed the traits they listed were accurate.

Students in the slumped over position didn’t have much confidence in the accuracy of either the positive or negative traits.

But here’s the interesting part. Those who sat up straight were more confident about the accuracy of the traits they listed. And it didn’t matter if the traits were positive or negative.

That’s right.  Be it positive or negative, those who sat up straight and tall, believed what they wrote about themselves.

So here are two take-aways for you:

  1. Listen to your mother and stand—or sit—up straight.
  2. Think positive thoughts about yourself while you do.

After all, don’t we all want to project more confidence, inspire trust in others, be healthier, happier and better looking?

And maybe—just maybe—it’s as easy as following the lead of a fictional heroine and stiffening your spine!

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