One of the main things that contributes to stress in our modern society is poor posture, but stress also contributes to poor posture. Improving your posture immediately takes pressure off your organs being compressed and your bones being bent out of alignment, thus making your body and mind feel more relaxed. A recent study by researchers from Harvard and Columbia Universities published in journal Psychological Science also showed that postures that were expansive, rather than hunched, actually altered the participants’ hormone levels in decreasing cortisol and increasing testosterone.
Mentally and emotionally as your body improves its posture you’ll literally have more of the happy hormones floating around in your body compared to the bad ones, which will help you to feel calm and centred. When we position our bones correctly, our muscles are lifted onto the bones the way that they are supposed to. This triggers muscle memory ensuring that every muscle is the perfect length and reminds the muscle of its individual purpose. The muscles will resume working for you exactly as they are designed to do.
Try to stop work every hour and do five or six breathing exercises and strengthen your deepest breathing muscles whilst sitting at your desk; too often people sit completely hunched over a computer. First move your spine away from the back of your chair to sit on the front half of the chair. Place your feet flat on the floor directly under your knees. Look straight ahead and sit as tall and relaxed as possible. Your vertebrae will be stacking up, so the natural curves of your spine will already have improved. Staying tall and relaxed, let your body breathe in through the nose.
To get the most out of lying on your back, bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are comfortably on the ground and sink the top parts of both your upper arm bones into the floor. This naturally rolls your collarbone wide and repositions your thoracic spine. This relaxes the large upper back and neck muscles and fires up the hundreds of smaller muscles around your spine and ribcage.All of your abdominal and breathing muscles immediately activate to flatten your abs and strengthen your body front and back.
We spend a lot of time standing around – unfortunately nowadays that means we’re often looking down at our phones. This pulls the neck forward resulting in a hunchback. Always look ahead if you can. When standing still, look straight ahead. Stand as tall and relaxed as possible. This will reduce strain throughout your spine, especially your upper torso and neck.
As a result of trying these really simple moves, fixing up your posture will help you feel a lot calmer!