Your posture can speak volumes about your character, or the way you feel at any given moment.
Someone whose shoulders are rounded, upper back is slouched, and keeps their eyes lowered tend to come across as sad, depressed, or have low status. Whereas someone who keeps their head held high, with relaxed shoulders and good eye contact will convey the opposite: positive, relaxed, trustworthy, and a higher status.
Of course this perception may not be entirely accurate, but people in general judge others based on first appearances.
If you think about it, the body naturally displays these types of posture depending on the mood.
Next time you’re feeling depressed or sad, observe your posture. Sometimes you don’t even realize how the body has become slightly hunched over.
The following information will enable you to always hold yourself in a nice posture.
Method #1 ~ Shoulders Back
Hunched shoulders usually stay that way because of tightness in the chest muscles, which pull the shoulders forward. This means that even if you try to hold your shoulders back, after about 20 minutes the muscles will be too fatigued to continue doing so.
The best way forward’s to work on stretching the chest muscles at regular intervals throughout the day.
To do this you could try clasping your hands behind your head and push your elbows as far back as possible. Hold this position for over 20 seconds.
Another way’s to hold onto the side of a door frame with one hand, then twist the body away from the door frame and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on both sides.
It’s also good to strengthen the back muscles between the shoulder blades. This will balance the muscles properly so there’s less tightness in the chest and more strength in the upper back. Good exercises for this are bent over barbell row, dumbbell rows, or “flyes.”
Of course, please consult a health professional before trying these exercises.
Method #2 ~ Head Upright
Many people nowadays suffer from “forward head” due to working in office jobs or being hunched over a desk many hours a day.
This can be changed by carefully performing certain stretches or exercises.
The first exercise is to clasp your hands behind the back of the head with the elbows up (like some people do when they relax). In this position, push your head backward while giving resistance with the hands. Hold this position for a few seconds, release, and repeat seven times.
Do this at least once or twice a day.
It also helps to loosen the neck muscles by stretching. Keep the chin in, and tilt your head to one side. Pull your head lightly with the hand in the same direction until you feel the stretch. Hold this for 20 seconds and repeat for the other side.
Method #3 ~ Strong Eye Contact
If you don’t have good eye contact, especially during conversations, you could come across as shifty or untrustworthy. It’s good to maintain eye contact at least 70-80% of the time while you’re talking or (especially) while you’re listening. However, more than that could be too intense for the other person. It’s good to break the gaze once in a while.
Sometimes it can be intimidating to the listener to keep eye contact. One way around this is to focus on the bridge of the nose of the other person. It’ll still seem like you have good eye contact but you won’t be looking directly into their eyes.
Changing your posture can have benefits other than how you’re perceived by others. It can even change the way you feel!
Not many people realize this, but you can actually change your mood and behavior by assuming the right posture. You can prove this by trying to think in a negative way, while at the same time, walking proud with a big smile on your face. You’ll probably find this difficult!
One way of ensuring good posture at all times is to imagine a ribbon or beam of light attached to the top of your skull, coming from the sky or ceiling, slightly pulling you forward. This changes your body position so you begin to walk tall without forcing it.