Like most people I am interested in body language. Like most people I noticed awkward social interactions in day to day life. Until recently I considered that body language is about
what you are communicating others
what they are communicating to you
I always viewed body language as a tool people use to help them understand how other people think & feel. What I never considered is the impact my body language had on me. The influence my body language hand on my thoughts, feelings and physiology.
We all have situations in our life when we would like to feel more optimistic and confident basically more powerful. Social science has show that powerful leaders have low levels of cortisol (i.e. low levels of the stress hormone) and high levels of testosterone (i.e. high levels of the dominance hormone). So what if we could use our body language to make ourselves feel more powerful in challenging situations, it turns out we can by adopting the wonder woman pose.
By adopting the Wonder Woman pose for 2 minutes, social scientists have proven that it will increase your confidence, assertiveness and help you feel more comfortable in a situation. This is due to the impact holding this "high power" pose for two minutes has on your body, its reduces your cortisol levels and increases your testosterone levels. Meaning you are less reactive to stressful situations.
So can you apply this in real life. Last weekend I was on my sports massage course and each weekend we have a written test we need to pass. For some reason I had misunderstood what the test was on and forgot to review the whole subject. I discovered this about 30 minutes before the test. So I was in a highly stressful situation. So I decided to give this power pose a try and did it during the next 30 minutes while revising. The science says 2 minutes but I felt I needed all the help I could get. It turns out that I passed. While this isn't irrevocable proof, I would recommend people try it.
As Amy Cuddy says "our body's change our minds, our minds change our behavior and our behavior changes our outcomes." For a more detailed understanding of power poses, the science behind them, watch Amy Cuddy's Your body language shapes who you are.