There are several studies that have shown that posture affects the way you feel. When you are slumped with a bent over posture, it can worsen feelings of depression and make it harder to concentrate. In contrast, when you sit up straight, it can not only boost your energy, but it can also do wonders to your confidence. Here are a few tweaks to your posture you can try to incorporate.
When you lift your chest up, it can help boost your breathing. However, when you are sit curled into a C-shape, the areas around your chest pull your rib cage down which can make make it harder to breathe. When you aren't breathing deeply enough, you aren't getting enough oxygen into your brain, and shallow breathing is commonly associated with anxiety. Therefore, once you straighten your posture, you take off the added unnecessary pressure off your lungs, which can help you feel calmer. You can try pressing your hand on your sternum to lift your chest up, As you do so, you will notice that your shoulders will automatically shift back and will not require much effort.
Anxiety is said to be caused from worrying too much about the future and what might happen. If that's the case, one method that could help to try to reel yourself back into the present. A powerful tool is our sensory perception, which is what our body is feeling right at the moment. Your feet is filled with tons of sensory receptor cells that can send all kinds of data to your brain. So try this tip: When you are sitting down, whether at work or at home, try placing your feet flat on the floor and lean forward to feel the pressure of your feet against the floor.
When you bring your knees together, it can help you engage your core. These core muscles, in turn, can help you sit up straighter. You can feel your abs come together when your knees are drawn together. This can help keep your spine upright which in turn can help decrease the pressure on your breathing and aid in feeling calmer.
As we get older, we tend shrink slightly and lose a bit of height due to slouching. However at times, when we try to straighten our back, we tend to just hyper-extend our back into a backbend - which is not what we're aiming for. Instead, try reminding yourself that you have tons of space above your head. Also try placing your hand above your head and stretch your head towards your hand. You will notice how your neck and spine elongate. Doing this can help you feel more centered and stand up straighter as well as boost your energy and improve your mood.
So which posture shift will you try?