By Jessie Lucas
Your body posture not only helps you look good, it helps you feel good too. Good posture helps you avoid injury when you exercise and actually makes you stronger. This wisdom isn’t new, either. Parents, teachers, and employers have been teaching people to use good posture for centuries. Even ancient cultures taught good posture, and people who follow their advice experience less back pain.
Keep reading to find out how to improve your posture and reap the rewards.
What is Good Body Posture?
Most members of the animal kingdom walk around on four legs, and that makes a lot of sense. Moving on four legs makes you more stable and helps you get around faster. Some animals are so stable that they can even sleep standing up!
Because people walk on two legs, we are a lot less stable than many other animals. This means we have to be more careful about our posture. By exploring the relationship between good posture and mood, you can make important changes. These improvements may strengthen your mental and emotional health so you can lead a more rewarding and satisfying life.
I find it interesting to look at body language from a different point of view. How you move affects your body’s moods. By reading your own body language, and changing how you move, you can greatly impact your emotional state. This can protect you from chronic negative moods, build a healthy self-perception, and even improve your view on life and the world.
Your body language not only says a lot about your mood, it also molds your physical structure into alignments that can hurt or heal. Understanding these influences can help you reduce stress and strain on your muscles and joints and relieve pain.
You are likely familiar with basic body language cues. You can tell a lot about how someone feels by how they walk. If they are dragging their feet or slumped down, they are probably sad or upset. If you see someone else who has some pep in their step, their chest is lifted with their shoulders back and cheeks turned up, they are probably happy or confident. Their mood is affecting their posture.
Benefits of Good Posture
The physical pains you feel are often related to some misalignment somewhere else in your body. Trigger points in your connective tissues can cause pain that radiates out and affects many parts that are otherwise healthy. It’s like when you snag a sweater — it pulls the threads not only where the snag is, but distantly in the fabric as well. Finding and resolving these trigger points can bring immense relief.
Start looking beyond your local areas of pain and search for these connections. A physical or sports therapist can help. Sometimes, your answer can be as simple as getting the proper equipment. For example, I like to use the Nulaxy laptop stand to make my workspace more ergonomic and help me maintain good posture.
Once you identify your problem areas, you can create new movement habits that will release and realign your problem areas. This will help you add the strength necessary to maintain your new uplifted posture.
I love my early morning workout because it elevates my mood and gives me the strength and energy to have the best possible day. When I was going through my divorce, I felt broken and empty. I happened to be working on my personal training certification and exploring new techniques. One morning when I was lifting weights, a practice that was new to me at the time, I had an amazing experience. I had my feet planted on the ground, my torso upright and aligned, and dumbbells in hand. As the weights rose from the ground, I caught my own gaze in the mirror. I heard a voice in my head say, “I FEEL STRONG.” This wasn’t my little baby biceps feeling strong. This was a new sense of inner strength influenced by what my body was experiencing in the moment.
What is Self-Awareness
You can lift yourself out of the chronic moods keeping you down when you learn how to improve posture, and it may also help you recover from physical pain. To do this takes self-awareness. You need to be kind to yourself.
If you always feel like you need to hide and protect your heart, you may have developed a slouchy posture to become a little smaller and not have the heart so exposed. This can be exacerbated by too much sitting at the computer, TV, or when you’re driving. This is a kind of emotional pain, whether it is conscious or not.
When your body gets locked into these shapes, it can foster certain chronic moods or feelings. This can create physical pain. You can help correct your emotional problems by realigning your body shapes to create better balance in your muscle groups. Proper posture will not only restore balance, it will reduce tension and compression in your joints. It can also improve the functioning of organs that may have become compressed.
Breathing and proper circulation become easier when you have good posture. This will provide more oxygen to your body, improving cellular function. Over time, these improvements can reduce your chances of serious illness and help you recover from injuries.
You can also use movement to break bad habits. With some guidance and body awareness, you can start to locate and unlock the physical patterns that cause you pain. Relieving the physical problems often gives you access to any emotional pain that is related to your physical pains.
When you can approach your physical and emotional problems together, you can unlock a powerful opportunity to change not just your physical posture, but your emotional posture as well. I have seen this lead to radical life transformations and healing.
Learn How to Improve Posture
The pain and effects of bad posture are hard to calculate. Good posture improves your quality of life in every regard. A small improvement can have a very large impact on how you feel all day.
The magic of posture-improving exercises is that you don’t have to be perfect or spend a lot of time. Just a few minutes a day will create remarkable improvement, and over time, your form and strength will improve. The sooner you start, the better.
How’s your posture? I recommend you pay more attention to how you sit, stand, and walk. Take a few minutes right now to examine your posture and make some changes. Sit up straighter, keep your legs uncrossed, and take a few deep breaths. Collect some exercises that focus on improving posture. Give it a week, and discover how much better you can feel.
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