Let’s try a little exercise. Are you sitting down? Are you slouching? Caught you!
Go ahead and slouch a little more. Really slump your shoulders, let your head hang heavy, fold over your stomach. Then say out loud: “Today is going to be great.”
Now, sit up straight, open your chest wide, squeeze your shoulderblades together, and lift your chin high. Once again, say: “Today is going to be great.”
Feel the difference?
Posture affects your mood. Studies show that poor posture exacerbates anxiety, depression, fatigue, shyness, and stress.
Poor posture also has a physical effect on the body. Slouching compresses the organs and lungs, which leads to shallow breath and poor digestion (two symptoms associated with anxiety).
Poor posture stresses joints and creates muscular imbalance that can lead to chronic tension, pain, and headaches. Having a headache or feeling stiff and achey, will also lower your mood and energy levels.
Let’s re-frame that.
Good posture increases confidence, improves mood, boosts energy, and helps you feel open, outgoing, and engaged. Good posture protects your joints and prevents myofascial pain. Good posture makes life easier!
How can I improve my posture?
Awareness of what is good posture is an important first step, but it's difficult-to-impossible to achieve better posture through sheer willpower alone.
Best results come from a combination of soft tissue release and muscle strengthening.
The easiest way to improve your posture is to get a massage!
But, it's also pretty easy to improve your posture overnight.
The most difficult part of changing your posture is those first 2 weeks. Give yourself a chance to learn this new habit, and it will pay off big time in the long run.
Jesse Martel is a Licensed Massage Therapist who practices in Seattle, Washington. She has helped many people overcome neck/shoulder injuries and chronic back pain with Upgraded Myofascial Release massage. Treatment includes Aromatherapy, Myofascial Release, Cupping, Lymphatic Drainage, and Kinesiology Tape at one flat rate. Her website is SageBodyworkSeattle.com.