Dealing with stress? Got a big presentation coming up? Got a little presentation coming up? Or even just need a little confidence boost? If you need a quick pick me up, strike a pose! More specifically, strike a power pose for 2 minutes! In her 2012 TED talk, Amy Cuddy discusses how body language can change our brains. While there is a lot of GREAT information in those 21 minutes, here’s a quick nugget that can quickly and easily help you boost your mood and gain confidence: stand like Wonder Woman for 120 seconds.
This simple pose with your hands on your hips and your elbows as far away from your body as possible will increase your levels of testosterone (the drug that boosts confidence) and decrease your levels of cortisol (the drug that induces stress) by about 25%. The trick is to do it for 2 minutes, or 120 seconds. It’s most effective if you can count down the time in your head (as opposed to setting a timer on your phone) because the act of counting will help distract you and also help regulate your heartbeat and breathing. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. I was skeptical too, but then I had to defend my master’s thesis to a notoriously difficult committee with an audience of about 25 people (including my boss, a few coworkers, and some clients). This combination stressed me out more than just a little bit. So, I took a deep breath, remembered to stand like Wonder Woman, and went to hide in the bathroom. Once the door closed behind me, I stood still, with my fists on my hips, and counted to 120. Afterward, I definitely felt better (who cares if it might have just been a placebo effect?) and wasn’t (as) nervous about defending my thesis.
This little pose also helps in the moment. If you don’t have 120 seconds to get away, put your hands on your hips where you are. If you’re nervous and desperate enough to need this little trick, then you also probably need to air out your armpits. Putting your hands on your hips will help you dry out AND increase your confidence.
Next time you have a potentially stressful situation coming up (e.g., a presentation, date, or meeting your significant other’s parents) or you’re in a stressful situation, put your hands on your hips. If you can, count to 120 before facing the world. If not, then get what you can out of this simple pose and hold it as long as you can.
Good luck! Have you tried this before? If so, has it worked for you? If you haven’t done this, take a moment to think about what you have going on this next week. Any presentations? Meetings? Potentially difficult conversations with your significant other or boss? Mentally prepare yourself and think about doing the Wonder Woman pose for 120 seconds before you need the quick confidence boost. Then, please remember to come back and let us know how it went!
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