Body language reveals a lot about how a person feels, someone who is afraid is crouched down their shoulders are hunched up, if happy they looked relaxed, open and happy. In both cases different chemicals are produced which enhance those feelings. So holding a pose extends whatever the feelings are.
Research found that by posing in a confident position such as feet up on the desk, with hands behind the head produced feelings of confidence, the converse happened if sitting in a chair, arms folded and legs crossed. The change was measured on cortisol the stress hormone and testosterone which produces a sense of power and confidence. They found with the confident guys testosterone increased by 19% and cortisol decreased by 25%. The negative group’s testosterone went down by 10% and cortisol went up by17%. These changes occurred in a couple of minutes.
The implications are that self esteem and self confidence can be enhanced by holding the pose rather than just by cognitive restructuring. “Keep that smile”, “look tall” even when it doesn’t feel like it can change the way you feel. When confident, people have respect and trust in the individual, they feel he is on their side. They are more likely to get what they want and feel less like a victim.
For those in anger management their mood can be seen by their posture as much as what they say. The good news is that the man has 100% control as to the posture he holds and may be surprised by the results. Anger management requires maintaining some personal power. Try it.
Source: HBS Education