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Powerful Poses: The Secret to Confident Body Language

Our bodies speak almost as much as our we do, and we may not even be fully aware of the extent that our body language affects our overall demeanor, as well as how others perceive us.

Body language is the “unspoken element of communication that we use to reveal our true feelings and emotions.”

Think about the positions your body takes when you’re feeling negative emotions: when we’re feeling insecure, we might slump or subconsciously try to take up less space; when we’re angry or anxious, we may become fidgety or jittery; when we’re feeling happy, our posture elongates and our eyes light up.

Your body language says a lot to other people; it can even affect how you feel about yourself. In fact, adopting more confident body language can do a lot to improve your self-esteem.

Read on to find out the most powerful poses and secrets to exuding confidence through self-assured body language.

Eye Contact

Eye contact can be uncomfortable for those with social anxiety, but it’s an important aspect of confident body language. Eye contact lets the person you’re talking to know that you’re listening and focusing on them. However, you don’t want to stare them down. Try to spend about 60% of the conversation engaged in eye contact to make it feel as natural as possible.

Say Cheese

Smiling is contagious; according to recent studies, the act of smiling can actually reverse a funky mood by tricking your brain into thinking you’re happy. Have you ever heard the expression, “Fake it ‘til you make it? As silly as it may sound, practice smiling more. Try smiling in the mirror, or on your way to work. Smile whenever and wherever you can. You’ll be surprised at how much it shifts your own mood and delighted to see how much your smile cheers up those around you.

Stand Up Straight

Posture is an important element in body language, and erect posture makes you feel more powerful—especially because it engages your car. While it may be uncomfortable at first, your abs will get used to the new, elongated position. Sitting and standing up straight also take strain off of other parts of your body, like your back. There are myriad health reasons to maintain correct posture but sitting up tall will also help you feel rooted in confidence and self-assurance.

Stretch It Out

Yoga is a practice that benefits so many aspects of life, it would take a separate article to dive into its myriad amazing qualities; but did you know that yoga can improve both body language and self-confidence? Introducing power poses into your routine can open your body and mind to a more self-accepting point of view and increase courage. Child’s pose, downward-facing dog, low lunge, and side plank pose are but a few of the confidence-inducing yoga poses out there.

Read this next: How to Improve Your Active Listening

Keep Your Head Up

Many people have the habit of keeping their eyes to the ground when walking, and maybe it feels inherently more comfortable to avoid eye contact when ambling about among strangers. Practice keeping your chin elevated and your eyes on your surroundings. As you get more comfortable, practice making eye contact and extending a smile to someone along your way—you might even make their day.

Slow It Down

Fast, hectic movements are typically associated with nervous, excited energy. Try making your movements more relaxed and languid. Think of the hard-working but slow-moving (and adorable) sloth. Focus on purposefully slowing your movements and moving with intention.

Open Your Energy

Try to keep your body positioned in a welcoming stance by keeping your arms open. Crossed arms signal that you’re closing yourself off or trying to protect yourself from an external threat, whereas open gestures show that you’re comfortable with the person with whom you’re engaged.

Let’s Get Physical

When introducing yourself to someone, open with a strong but friendly handshake. A weak handshake may signal insecurity, but you don’t want to rip their arm off either. Try to remain calm and upbeat, grab their hand firmly and with confidence, and shake naturally. Don’t overthink it too much—even if your hand was sweaty or went a bit limp, you can still win them over with elevated posture and mirroring techniques.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirroring others actually comes quite naturally, but if you can harness this skill on your own, you’ll be able to make anyone feel comfortable in your presence. Pay attention to the body language of the person or people that you’re engaging with. You don’t want to be too casual in a professional situation; conversely, you also wouldn’t want to appear too stiff or reserved in a relaxed environment. Your best bet is to feel out the room and think of yourself as a mirror to their actions.

Keep Practicing!

You probably won’t become a master of confident body language overnight—and that’s OK. While it’s a good idea to take note of and pay attention to the body language you express, don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t in a constant power pose. If you find yourself a little more slouched one day, try to remind yourself to sit up the next—but never put yourself down in an attempt to bolster confidence. Remind yourself that you are a strong, powerful, capable individual and hold your head up high.

For even more information on confident body language, check out The Dictionary of Body Language: A Field Guide to Human Behavior by Joe Navarro.

Related Article: The 5 Best Affirmation & Oracle Decks & How to Use Them

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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