One way to reduce your stress levels, it turns out, is really simple: strike a pose.ï¿½ Big yourself up with a dominant posture and your hormones follow up with:
- A rise in your testosterone level, and
- A drop in your cortisol levels
As cortisol is a stress hormone, and testosterone increases aggression, these hormone changes will shift your mental and behavioural patterns.ï¿½ Feel less stressed and more powerful in one go!
Research at Columbia
This was the finding of research led by Dr Dana Carney, a psychologist at Columbia Business School, with Andy Yap (also at Columbia) and Amy Cuddy at Harvard.ï¿½ In their paper, Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance, they say we ï¿½express power through open, expansive postures, and they express powerlessness through closed, contractive postures.ï¿½ï¿½ Their study confirmed that posing in dominant nonverbal displays causes hormonal and behavioural changes in both men and women. Along with the hormone changes, subjects felt ï¿½increased feelings of power and tolerance for riskï¿½; while low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.
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