After watching Amy Cuddy’s TED talk titled “You body language shapes who you are,” I gained some insight on how important body language is and how it can change your body, down to hormones as well as your attitude.
Generally, when people are feeling confident, their stances are bold and wider spread while hormonally they have high testosterone levels and low cortisol levels, which are the dominance and stress hormones, respectively. Oppositely, when people are feeling scared, uncomfortable, or stressed people tend to “fold” themselves in and make their postures smaller while they have low testosterone and high cortisol levels. In the speech, Amy Cuddy challenges the audience and the viewer to evaluate their own body language and how it reflects how they are feeling.
After evaluating my own body language I found that I am frequently making my posture smaller; especially when I am in class, or in a situation that I am not entirely comfortable in. I think this is because I’ve always been someone with high anxiety, and I think that has translated to having a smaller, more balled up posture. Even more interesting, I found that there were some exceptions to having a “default folded” posture, and that was when I was in comfortable situations like when I am in my office at work or when I am at home and with friends.
The body language I express the most, the tendency to make myself “small,” isn’t the most ideal. To change my body language to a be more powerful and dominating I think I would practice correcting my posture, even when I’m more comfortable and practicing bolder poses for 2 minutes as Amy Cuddy suggested and tested. I think would especially help me in stressful situations, presentations, and interviews.