How often do you feel anxious, stressed, or depressed in your day? Have you ever taken note of how you are sitting? Notice the girl's posture in the picture above. She is slouched over, her shoulders rolled inward, head facing downward, and she's holding her head in a way that one would think is a position of defeat or feeling depressed. This isn't the look of someone happy or confident.
I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Erik Peper speak at a conference. He is an internationally known expert on biofeedback, technostress, and stress management. During his presentation, he discussed the various impacts our posture is having on our mental health and it was really eye-opening to consider how such a small change in position can make a huge impact on how we feel mentally and physically.
When we sit slouched over, we are compressing our diaphragm inabling us from taking a full deep breath in. This compression is contributing to shortness of breath. The rolled in shoulder makes our body seem smaller. What do we do when we are faced with danger? We crunch down, making ourselves look smaller so that we aren't seen by a predator. This position squishes vital organs for digestion as well causing common complaints like acid reflux, bloating, gas, and stomach aches.
How long do you think we spend in this slouched posture? From sitting at our computers all day and then going home to be on our phones, the average human could be spending countless waking hours crunched over.
If you suffer from anxiety, depression, and/or stress, try sitting up tall, lifting your chin high. Open up your chest and allow your shoulders and jaw to relax. It's amazing how this simple change in position can decrease "postural anxiety." Notice how you might even feel more alert and less stressed.
Sometimes it's the simplest things that can make a huge difference. Stand tall and sit confidently, my firend, and know that you are doing amazing things!