Throughout January and February I am teaching a 4 week course at Rhodes Wellness College on Posture. The intention with this specific course is to teach the students how to improve their own posture, and the importance of doing so. In turn they develop the knowledge and awareness around how this valuable information may come in handy with one of their coaching and counselling clients.
I have decided to share one of their summary handouts with you as I feel like the information is not only valuable for coaches and counsellors, but valuable to any of my readers looking to boost mood, spirits, confidence, and energy!
Here it is:
The objective with coaching/counseling in general I assume is to support people in managing stress and emotions, feeling better about themselves, building confidence and trust in themselves, feeling motivated and supported and happier! It is important to address the physical/physiological components of wellbeing as well as the mental/emotional components. Posture plays a crucial role in a person’s wellbeing. Here are 8 ways improving posture will impact your coaching/counseling clients (AKA top reasons for encouraging someone to take their posture improvement program seriously):
#1: An obvious conclusion: exercise naturally produces endorphins that are mood-boosting transmitters in the brain. Want to support someone in feeling happier and more motivated towards his or her goals? Get clients moving and in one session they can lift their spirits, manage stress, have a more positive outlook, improve focus and creativity. Bonus: If they are doing the posture exercises then they are gradually building a stronger body position, as well as improving their mood!
#2: Finding your four points of posture, and standing/sitting taller can immediately provide a person with a greater sense of control, can lower the body’s stress hormone (cortisol) and can improve testosterone levels (good for energy and motivation).
#3: Mood is affected by the use and position of your body. As a person ages and moves less and begins to assume a hunched over posture you can imagine how this may affect a person’s state of mind. A hunched posture is associated with a loss of emotional flexibility or resilience, leading to a more depressed mood and state of being. Supporting a person to maintain a proper posture program life long will maintain good spirits and emotional abilities as they age.
#4: You know the common saying “fake it until you make it” or “think happy thoughts to change your mood” or “smile and you will feel happier”. Well the same things goes for posture! Exercising with your posture program, standing and sitting in good posture can make you feel more confident, energized, functional, capable, alive, vital and healthy. It can be very difficult to distinguish between real confidence, and confidence you have created physiologically by standing in better posture.
#5: What is one of the biggest triggers for emotional traumas and challenges that would bring a person to see a counselor? Stress! Stress from thoughts or life situations that are feeling unmanageable. By changing a person’s position from a hunched position that promotes further stress to a proper posture and breathing position a person can begin to feel more relaxed immediately and can begin to manage stress easier.
#6: Are you sitting this way because you’re sad, it’s also true that you’re sad because you’re sitting this way. *http://www.fastcompany.com/3041688/body-week/the-surprising-and-powerful-links-between-posture-and-mood
#8: Trust in self. Studies have been done that demonstrate when students sit in their four points of posture they trusted their self and their opinions better. When students sat in their slouched powerless position they tended to not believe themselves no matter what their opinion was.
Ways to remind yourself to be in good posture:
- Put photos/windows in your office slightly higher up for eye level breaks
- Look up at the sky or tall buildings while walking around rather than at the ground.
- Avoid spending numerous hours a day texting and staring down at a cell phone, instead try to bring the phone up to eye level.
- Put your rear view mirror higher to encourage you to look up
- Put electronic reminders on phone and computer
- Put post it notes up in visible places
- Set your work station up so it isn’t conducive to a slouching posture.
- Get up and move around frequently and take that time to walk in your best posture.
- Take note of your mood and energy level and when it starts fading assume a better posture and take deep breaths.
PS- I am pretty sure my posture in this top of the mountain photo is saying HECK YES! I JUST CLIMBED TO THIS BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN TOP 🙂 Confident, happy, and energetic (except for the fact my eyes are closed….).