How can you boost your confidence in two minutes?
20 May 2016
When a dog gets scared, it clamps its tail between its legs and curves it’s spine, folding up and protecting itself.
Alternatively, when a dog is proving its dominance, it raises its tail, gets its hackles up and stands tall.
This is basically the difference between a low-power and high-power pose. While it may seem a little primal, this nonverbal communication comes just as instinctively to humans. And if our mind influences our body, do you think we can use our body to alter our mind?
Science suggests we can – and it only takes two minutes.
Fake it ’til you make it
Speaking at a Ted event in 2012, researcher Amy Cuddy discussed her research into how tiny changes to your body language can alter what’s going on in your brain. This, in effect, adjusts your frame of mind.
Amy Cuddy’s research was based on the fact that both alpha males and effective leaders generally have markedly higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol, your dominance and stress hormones, respectively. It’s a key physiological difference that means they generally are more confident and calm.
Cuddy’s research found that people who adopted a low-power pose for only two minutes decreased testosterone levels by 10 per cent and increased cortisol levels by 15 per cent. Alternatively, when they adopted a high-power pose, the opposite happened, with testosterone increasing 20 per cent and cortisol decreasing a staggering 25 per cent.
But what does this actually mean? Well, when asked to gamble and take a risk, high-power posers were more likely to take a bet, while low-power posers were 10 per cent less likely to.
So next time you have an important meeting or presentation and want to feel confident and be heard, think Wonder Women or winning gold and definitely don’t cower over in a chair. Take two minutes to strike a pose and get your mind into gear.