Carry Yourself With Confidence
When I think of a woman who personifies confidence by how she carries herself, I think of Helen Reddy. When I need to tap into my inner fierce, I channel Helen. Sometimes I even sing “I Am Woman”, and incorporate some dance moves too. What may outwardly appear a little mad, works every time. Now all it takes is just imagining Helen Reddy, and I feel an instant surge of confidence and empowerment. I invoke this feeling of confidence whenever I need it –. walking, standing, sitting, when I am on my own, in company and even at home.
There is a lot to be said for how we carry ourselves day-to-day. For most of us, good posture isn’t second nature. To start practising good posture, we need to begin with an understanding of what good posture is. Once you’ve got the basics right (we’ll help you with that), you just have to remind or trigger yourself until the good habits stick.
Good posture can instantly transform how you feel about yourself and how you project yourself to the world. Not only can you quickly improve your mood, but you are also serving your body in ways that have long-term health benefits.
How to Hold Yourself
- Maintain even weight distribution on both feet
- Your knees should be facing forward
- Hips are balanced and front facing
- Let your arms fall naturally by your side, with even elbows
- Brace your abdominal muscles
- Roll your shoulders up and then back down to ensure they are even. You should have a feeling of openness across your collarbones
- Check your chin is parallel to the ground
- Keep your spine in neutral alignment – don’t over-flex or arch your back. (the mirror check is handy to make sure your head, neck and chin are in correct alignment
- When Sitting similar rules apply. Keep your chin parallel to the ground, shoulders straight, and your hips and knees facing forward
Tip – Think neutral side-on appearance.
Physical and Psychological Benefits
When you apply the above rules daily, while standing, walking and sitting, you help to increase your confidence and energy levels, and over time will experience long-term health benefits.
- With correct spinal alignment, you invigorate yourself and help to counter any feelings of fatigue
- Helps to prevent backache and other chronic muscle pain
- With correct spinal alignment, you help to more evenly distribute stress across your muscles and ligaments, which over time, reduces wear and tear on your joints
- Daily practice will improve your balance and overall body stability
- Experience enhanced breathing by actively opening your lungs
- You help to prevent your joints and bones from becoming set in irregular positions, with correct alignment
Bad Habits to Avoid
There are a few self-sabotaging habits you might be unwittingly practising. Be aware of the following:
- Slouching in your chair – while it may not feel overly uncomfortable, over time, it can create tension in the muscles
- Sticking your bottom out
- Leaning on one leg
- Hunching forward (also known as ‘text back’)
- Sticking your chin out
- Rounding your shoulders
- Cradling your phone (keeping it locked between your ear and shoulder)
Now that you’re doing all the right things
You might want to check your work setup isn’t hurting your posture performance. Your desk and chair must be the right height for your body.
If you find you have been stationary for too long – get up and move. Walking and stretching breaks are essential for overall health, but also help to decrease compression on your spine.
Imbalance when working out often gets overlooked, but can contribute to poor alignment. Always complete an even set of exercises on both sides of the body.
Visualise to Actualise – A Final Thought
- As well as channelling our inner Helen Reddy, try visualising the following
- A long piece of string running from the base of your spine coming out through the crown of your head
- Imagine that piece of string gently and persistently being tugged. I know this is an oldie, but it’s definitely a goody!
- Walking tall in nature and allow the beautiful trees be your inspiration
- A tall aura. This is my favourite and I swear this can add a couple of centimetres to your actual height.
My name is Claudia Hackman.