The Power Pose

Our non-verbal communication reveals our true feelings and provides insight as to how we perceive any given situation, which is why being aware of your body language is critical. The power pose, where a person is completely opened up, is one of the most common high-power poses, and is used both in the animal kingdom and across society. Here are some of the ways you can reap the benefits by incorporating the power pose into your life.


How to do the power pose:

Ideally, you should open yourself to take up as much space as possible. There are multiple high-power positions you can take on; make sure and hold the pose for 2 minutes in order to feel the benefits. Throw your hands in the air with arms wide apart; lean back with your arms crossed behind your head and arms up on a table; lean forward and place hands in table while standing; or lean back and throw your arm on a chair next to you with your shoulders rolled back.



Alter feelings and behavior

–        Increase levels of testosterone, the “dominance” hormone

–        Decrease cortisol, the “stress” hormone

–        Create more positive feelings of how we feel about ourselves

–        Boost confidence

–        Increase comfort levels

–        Evoke passion

–        Increase enthusiasm

–        Remain calm during stressful situations

–        Increase overall performance

–        Reduce anxiety

–        Increase focus

–        Induse feelings of power


Increase people’s perception of your self in terms of:

–        Trustworthiness

–        Credibility

–        Confidence

–        Belief

–        Assurance

–        Comfort

–        Control

–        Authenticity

–        Engagement


Cuddy has recently extended her research on the effects of power posing, and preliminary findings suggest that its effects seem to begin as soon as we wake up. Cuddy has been examining the differences between subjects who sleep in a power pose (sprawled out) versus those who sleep curled up. Early results show that people who awake in an extended power pose feel brighter and more optimistic than the other 40% who slept in the fetal position. Next time you awake, if you are curled up, open yourself to take up as much space as possible, and soon you will feel more in control and ready to take on your day.


Watch Amy Cuddy’s TEDTalk on how your body language shapes who you are here

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