Did you know that it only takes about one-tenth of a second to form a first impression of someone? Be it good or bad, that first impression sticks with you forever. Of course, someone can redeem his or herself from the bad first impression that was given, but it takes time. It’s much easier to impress someone positively the first time you are introduced.
Physical Posture Determines First Impressions
Physical posture has so much to do with how we perceive others, and how we are perceived. It’s amazing how someone with poor posture can strike us as unpleasant, ill, untrustworthy, and incapable. On the contrary, a person with great posture may seem inviting, confident, warm, and interesting. Since posture affects others’ first impressions of us, we should spend some time correcting our bad-posture habits. Do you agree?
Poor Posture Causes Bad Moods and Health Problems
Not only does bad posture cause people to perceive us negatively; it also puts us in a bad mood. Psychology Today’s Susan Weinschenk wrote, “You can change the way you feel based on how you hold your body.” She went on to encourage readers to take Amy Cuddy’s advice and assume a “large” physical posture. (Apparently, choosing a body posture that is large rather than collapsed changes your brain and body chemistry. Watch Cuddy’s TED talk on this subject here.)
In addition to being detrimental for your psyche, poor posture is also hard on your health. For some people, bad posture is at the root of headaches, jaw/shoulder/back pain, and even reduced lung function.
These 3 Habits are Killing Your Posture
There are a myriad of ways in which you may be facilitating bad posture; here are a few examples:
#1 – Not strengthening your core – Weak core muscles are often the culprits behind poor posture. After all, if your core is weak, there is nothing to “hold you up.” This can result in hunching over in fatigue. The stronger your core is, the better your posture will be.
#2 – Raising your shoulders – The article Bad-Posture Habits to Avoid states, “Raising your shoulders, especially just one of them, causes a significant imbalanced loading across your upper body. One raised, or dropped, shoulder can throw your posture severely out of whack. If you place your hands on your hips, it pushes your shoulders up. If you hold hands with someone taller than you, it pushes your shoulders up. If you carry a purse or shoulder bag, you often shrug your shoulder upwards to keep it on.” Try your best to keep your shoulders low and level, and you may see an improvement in your stance.
#3 – Wearing high heels – Ladies, wearing high heels too often can do a number on your posture. If you must sport heels, use caution by wearing special inserts. A physiotherapist can help you with this.
The definition of good posture is subjective. That’s why the advice “stand up straight” doesn’t work for everyone. To get a personalized analysis of your posture, see a physiotherapist.
Which of the 3 poor-posture habits mentioned above will you put an end to today?