Adjust your posture to improve your mood

What happens with the body will resonate in the mind and influence our emotions. This is why we have to look at children holistically and consider all of these together.

How does your child’s posture affect their mood?
Looking down closes the front of the body in a protective manner, similar to the foetal position. As we close ourselves up, we start to disconnect with the world around us, feeling isolated from other people. As the feeling of isolation increases, we lose hope and start to withdraw even further. A chain reaction follows where we fall deeper into a feeling of hopelessness (depression). Looking down will also create misalignment of the various body parts, using more energy to prevent us from toppling over and causing our bodies to tire easily. Research confirms that walking slouched can lead to depression while altering the body to a more upright position can improve mood and energy levels as well as confidence.

Not only does posture influence emotions and energy levels, it alters the chemical composition in a person’s body. People that display high-power poses have elevated testosterone levels (hormone linked to adaptive response to challenges) and a reduction of cortisol (stress hormone), resulting in feelings of power.

A closed posture where the body is collapsed, shoulders hunched forward and head facing down would have the opposite effect. Testosterone levels will decrease, cortisol levels increase and you will struggle to move out of your emotional brain. As anxiety increase, a feeling of hopelessness will escalate as will a feeling of depression. This will have a direct influence on your child’s performance and confidence at school.

You might want to read about these exercises that will warm up your brain before a test.

Posture affects thinking
Altering your body to create an open posture where the body is stretched out, spine aligned and by tilting your head slightly back will enable you to access your cognitive brain. These postural changes could potentially improve a child’s general health and well-being. That is why it is important to make sure that your child has a proper posture.

If you repetitively move the same way, you are embedding a neurological network for emotional well-being. Next time when your child feels overwhelmed, down, stressed or hopeless, change their posture.

Click here to see some exercises that will help adjust your posture.

This article was written by Sandra Smit for the Mind Moves Institute.