Just Suppose & Level Up – Heartmath – Power Poses – Body Language 5.22

A Unique Type of Breathing

The Heartmath Institute suggests an interesting method for managing stress.  The method is to imagine breathing through the heart.  The Heartmath Institute has studies indicating how this technique creates a singular focus on the heart and relaxes the mind.  This process of visualization could engage the mind to a calm state of mindfulness.  A secondary benefit is suggested when practiced for a period of time.  This benefit is described as heart-mind coherence.  For more information and research: Heartmath.org

Power Poses: Are They Effective?

Power Poses came on the scene from a 2010 study.  The common poses are hands on hips (Wonder Woman) and Victory Pose (arms raised up) as though just winning a competition.  There was a subsequent study done in 2019 on Power Poses that had different results.  It seems participants in the first study were told to slouch (physically contract) and then use the Power Pose.  Contracting is believed to lower confidence.  Going from a low confidence slouching posture to a more open posture would tend to increase confidence and energy. 

From the 2019 study, it appeared a comfortable neutral posture was more effective: standing straight with feet in line with the shoulders and arms at the sides.  This neutral posture seemed more effective than the Power Poses, based on the review in the 2019 study. 

So, are Power Poses ineffective? Not necessarily if one believes them to be helpful.  It might be just as effective, when the situation arises, to begin focused deeper breathing.  Then visualize your objective and repeat a phrase that encourages confidence, focus and calm.

A Little Body Language

This is a popular topic in recent years.  You’ve possibly used these gestures knowingly, or unknowingly, and they may influence your interactions.  Here are a few basic ones:

  • Nodding the head in agreement.  Only if you agree. (I did say basic)
  • Raising the eyebrows: typically a universal sign of interest, trust, and trustworthiness.
  • Tipping the head slightly to one side is also a sign of interest.
  • Smile when appropriate as it usually makes both parties feel good

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Disclaimer: The “Just Suppose Blog” shares ideas in exploring personal progress as derived from various sources.  It is intended as information only and is not intended as advice to engage in any specific physical or mental activity.  Always consider whether these ideas, concepts, techniques & activities are right for you & always confer with your health professionals.