As you may know, I talk about TEDTalks basically all the time. Pretty sure if you cut me I bleed inspirational/innovative speakers. I love that shit. I’m going to discuss some of my favorite ones, because…YES!
The first TEDTalk I want to discuss is about body language, you can watch it here. Amy Cuddy is a fucking great speaker, and she made me leak from my eye faucets the first time I watched it. I have also shared/showed this TEDTalk with more people than any other, probably because it can pertain to just about any human being on this planet.
Cuddy holds a PhD in Social Psychology and has done extensive research, over several years, on the topic of nonverbal expressions of power.
Cuddy covers a variety of power dynamics that your body language controls, specifically the release of particular hormones in correlation with “power” or “submissive” body positions.
Cuddy’s research also uncovered that naturally non-alpha/submissive people can achieve the same release of hormones and behavioral affects by “faking it.” What she explains is that a person whose body language and behavior are more submissive can actually change to become more powerful or dominant by forcing themselves to assume powerful positions – since these poses will still release dominate hormones. When I first heard this I was like “oh, shit!” Naturally, I immediately started to incorporate these power poses into my every day activities – since my anxiety already releases substantial amounts of cortisol, I feel like any little bit can help!
My favorite discovery from this TEDTalk is the “Pride” pose, which I have come to refer to as the “VICTORY” pose! Studies have shown that even the visually impaired take on the pride pose in times of accomplishment or joy, true story. This is a natural and universal body position that just so happens to decrease cortisol production and increase the release of testosterone. I’ll let Epke Zonderland show you here:
Epke the “flying Dutchman,” for those who don’t know, is a gold medalist on the horizontal bar and recently has been honored via a wax replica of himself. He was also my desk top background for several months, because he
is hella nice to look at is great athletic inspiration.
I have been incorporating the pride/victory pose in daily life, similarly as I practice positive thought reinforcement in the mornings. I just pop my arms up and hold that shit for two minutes, then go about my merry way. I even did this last semester prior to taking my maternal and newborn nursing exams! I feel like I wasn’t aware of what my body language cues were doing prior to listening to Cuddy’s talk. I would always be in slouched positions, and I think that I still continue to do so out of habit. Similarly I was all about the “taking as little space as possible” with my body language without even understanding why, but it correlates with my anxious feelings as well. SCIENCE! I love it. I’ve forced myself to assume the “wonder woman pose” whenever I am standing now (you can see it in the top picture), and I must say it makes me feel GLOOOOORIOUS.
Have you seen this talk? What was your favorite part? What kind of positions do you naturally assume and are you aware of your own body language? Yeah, that’s right, I’m engaging in a conversation. Mad? Feel free to answer back.