A body-mind consideration: What posture reveals about personality

Most people think of posture as something that simply affects the way we look. But posture is much more than that. It can say a lot about our personality, our mood, and even our health.


For example, did you know that how you sit can actually increase or decrease your risk of depression? That's because the way we sit can have a major impact on our emotions and thoughts. Further, it's not just depression that can be affected. Posture can also play a role in our confidence and stress levels, and even our immune system function.

So if you're looking to improve your mood, your health, or your overall well-being, start paying attention to your posture. It might be the key to unlocking your happiest and healthiest self!

What is posture?

When you think of posture, what comes to mind? For most people, posture is about keeping the spine straight and the body erect. It's about looking poised and in control.  But did you know that posture can also reveal a lot about your personality? 

Studies have shown that our mood and emotions are physically stored in our body, and the way we stand, sit, or move can directly influence how we’re feeling.

For example, if you tend to slouch or hunch over when you’re feeling down, you may be subconsciously trying to protect yourself from any further harm. On the other hand, if you stand tall and confident in a “power pose” when facing a challenge, it can boost your confidence and put you in control of the situation.

Moods and emotions are powerful forces that can shape our lives in profound ways. If you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed or out of sorts, take a moment to check in with your body. You might be surprised at what it will reveal!

Impact of posture on mood and personality

When it comes to posture, what you don't know can hurt you. Poor posture can not only lead to pain in the neck, shoulders, and back, but can also have a negative impact on your mood and personality.

Also, you may have noticed that if you become overwhelmed by thoughts and emotions, your body is the first to respond. This can manifest in a number of ways, from slouching, to hunched shoulders, to a physical sense of heaviness or tension throughout the body. For example, did you know that people who slouch tend to be more introverted and shy? And that those who have a good posture are often seen as more confident and assertive?

There is a lot of scientific evidence to support the idea that our posture can affect our thoughts and emotions. It's well known through research that our body language can influence the way we feel. Perhaps the next time you're feeling low, try standing up tall and smiling! You might just be surprised at how much better you feel.

Power poses: How they can influence confidence

You might have heard of "power poses" before - those stances that are meant to boost confidence. Well, it turns out that there is science behind them!

Studies have shown that power poses can actually increase testosterone levels and decrease cortisol levels. This means that you'll feel more in control and more confident after adopting a power pose. Certain postures can lead to improved emotional well-being and moods of empowerment and courage.

If in the moment you’re looking to feel more powerful and in control, try adopting a power pose before an important meeting or presentation. You might just be surprised by the results!

Posture, anxiety and depression: Is there a connection?

Have you ever noticed how different your posture is when you’re feeling down? It’s a common sign of depression or anxiety when people hunch their shoulders, and many studies have been conducted on the link between poor posture and negative emotions. Overall it’s been found that many of those who suffer from depression tend to have slumped shoulders, while people with anxiety often sit tensed or with their arms crossed in front of them.

The good news is that changing your posture can in turn influence how you feel. If you practise your power posing as discussed and deliberately expand your posture - think Superman or Wonder Woman! This has been proven to help reduce stress and increase confidence. But beware of the flip side, hunching over or withdrawing physically can create negative emotional states that you want to avoid.

The good news is that even something as simple as going for a walk (which involves movement) can increase positive moods, decrease negative thoughts, and make us feel more relaxed. If you ever find yourself in a slump, try to take note of your body position - it just might be the key to improving your mood!

Sitting and the effect on health

Now that we know how posture can affect your mood, let’s think about what happens when we sit - for too long! We know that sitting is bad for our health, but did you know that it can also have a negative effect on our emotional wellbeing?

Studies have shown that too much sitting can increase stress levels and leave us feeling more anxious and depressed. That’s because when we sit, our bodies become tense and the hormones responsible for keeping us calm are inhibited. Further, our breathing becomes more shallow which also has an overall effect on our biology. As a result, in that state, we can become overwhelmed by our thoughts and feelings.

It’s important to note that if you’re feeling down or anxious while at your computer, try sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your chin lifted – even if it’s just for a few minutes. You might just find yourself feeling more grounded in yourself, more confident in your abilities, and better equipped to handle whatever life throws at you - at the very least another video meeting!

If you’ve been sedentary for too long, get up and move! The power of movement can have a calming effect on your body - and potentially your mind as well. Our common-nature sense wants us to get out into nature, take a walk in the park, or just stand up and stretch. And of course, it certainly doesn’t hurt to throw in a smile!

Your take away

At this point, you should be well aware of the power of posture and its influence on your mood. 

So the next time you’re feeling down or anxious, try standing up straight and taking some deep breaths. Let nature help you heal with nature sense -move for your health and connect with the outdoors. Start to notice the story in your body because our thoughts and emotions live there too!

Posture can be used as a tool for self-expression. Experiment with different poses to see which best resonates with your current mental or emotional state. By understanding your body language, you can learn to better understand yourself and build your self-confidence.

Finally, don’t forget that everyone has a unique posture. Use your posture to develop your individual uniqueness and to express who you are. Let your body language reflect your identity, your beliefs, and the message you want to communicate. Posture is a powerful form of expression, so use it proudly and boldly!

Actionable tips that you can use to improve your posture:

  • Make sure to pay attention to your posture throughout the day.
  • Stand with your feet apart and your shoulders back as if a straight thread aligns you from the top of your head to the base of your spine.
  • When sitting make sure your feet flat are on the floor with your back straight.
  • Engage your core to ensure your spine is properly aligned.
  • Start stretching regularly to improve your flexibility.
  • Practise meditating or mindfulness while relaxing any tight muscles in your body.
  • Listen to your body and take regular breaks to stretch.
  • Take time to breathe deeply during your day.
  • Exercise regularly, especially activities such as yoga and Pilates which help to improve body posture.
  • Set up your workspace chair and desk correctly to ensure you’re not slouching.
  • Avoid hunching or slouching while using your mobile or on the phone.

Note: If you’re in pain, consult a doctor or physical therapist to determine the cause and the best exercises to help you improve your posture.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, W10
Written by Fiona Austin
London, W10

I specialise in Anxiety related issues. This can be anything from relationships to work, something from your past or something happening now like social, stress, burnout or health concerns or a fear. It can be a one-off anxiety, like starting a new job, getting married or divorced or just something new going on in your life.

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