Your Posture Determines Your Position:
3 Things you Should Know that will Change Your Outcome
by: Heneka Watkis-Porter
Lately, every opportunity to visit the friendly island of St. Maarten/St. Martin brings with it a level of excitement that is only surpassed by that of a kid in candy store. The middle of November 2016 was no different for me. My visit on this occasion which I dubbed ‘work-cation’ was two-fold; it was work mixed with vacation.
I presented at an annual conference, Dominate360 – led and organized by Ife Badejo where other high profile speakers from the Caribbean, the United States and other parts of the world were brought in to provide fodder in the form of inspiration, motivation and best practices to a captive audience of entrepreneurs, prospective entrepreneurs and executives.
I established some business contacts and strengthened others among other things business related. This was expected, as any serial-entrepreneur does, I look for opportunities to pursue everywhere I go.
My business that I run full-time, Patwa Culcha International was ran from beaches, poolside, restaurants, the homes of families and friends, in cafes and so many other places in my absence from Jamaica. Wherever there was internet, I was doing business – my computer and smart phone went with me almost everywhere I went.
Amidst all of that work (writing proposals, sending and responding to emails, meeting with business prospects, etc), which really didn’t feel like work anyway, I threw in some well needed vacation time. With that comes more freedom to get out of bed, eat and shower when I wanted, if I wanted. It was great spending time with friends and family, meeting new people, going new places and soaking up the environment of the Dutch and French island. It was the best work-cation ever, Caribbean style.
It was a welcome break, all seven weeks of it.
But I’m back and need to switch into full work mode. I must confess, it has not been so easy. I found myself waking up later than normal as though I’m still on vacation; feelings of lethargy when it’s time to rise and shine have come to the fore at a time where I should be productive and should have put in hours of work; I’m lying in bed completing tasks on my computer. My whole modus operandi has been shifted.
On one of the mornings whilst I laid in attempting to do work on my computer, I felt as though I was hit with a ton of bricks. Immediately it dawned on me that my posture determines my position. I was feeling this way simply because I was in a laying position attempting to do something that requires much brain power, concentration and a fully engaged mind.
Without any further ado, I got out of bed, took a shower, went downstairs, made breakfast and on my verandah, I went in a sitting position and began working. My thinking shifted; I no longer felt lethargic; I could concentrate much more which made doing tasks much easier.
Our posture is an unconscious expression of who we are. Any change we make in this area can have a positive impact on our lives to shape our positions for the future. In 2012 Amy Cuddy did a Ted Talk encouraging us to Assume a “power posture” at least two minutes each day to improve our destiny or ‘position’. Open postures, those with our arms open, signify high power; closed postures denotes low power.
My light bulb moment forced me into research mode on the subject of posture. Here are 3 things I found and want to share:
Posture and Mood:
In an experiment, Dr. Erik Peper, San Francisco State University, tested subjects swinging their arms in an upward motion as they walked versus those who slouched. Most of the participants who walked upright reported feeling more energetic, happier, and positive. On the other hand, the ones who slouched reported opposite emotions such as feeling isolated, sleepy, sad, lonely and “zombie-like.”
Posture and Memory:
Memory recall is also affected by our posture. Subjects in a study also done by Peper, found it easier to recall situations of hopelessness, being helpless and powerless when sitting in a collapsed position and looking downward. Conversely, an upright posture improved memory in general. Maybe it is because of the increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
Posture and Confidence
Another study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University in 2009 found that sitting up straight reinforced confidence. In this study, 71 students were divided into two groups and instructed to maintain opposite postures while answering prompts in a business questionnaire. Those who held the upright posture had confidence in their thoughts,(Medical Daily).
It is clear that in order to get ahead we must assume the right posture, not only is it healthy, it puts us in the frame of mind to dominate every sphere of our lives. A good posture helps us gain control of our thoughts and emotions. The things we do on a regular basis quickly becomes habits. The habits we form determine our destiny. A good posture is necessary for our positions to be shifted to the next level. Our posture therefore determines our position.