First Impressions are Lasting Impressions
When I say posture corrector, I want this article to serve you as a guide or corrector of sorts to your posture.
We could say its a posture corrector in a form of article.
Look around the room you’re sitting in right now, do you have at least one person sitting with you? If not, go ahead and imagine you do. Maybe you’re at school, work, in a gym, coffee shop, or maybe by the pool.
Regardless of where you are, take a look at who’s there with you. How are they representing themselves? What is their attitude for the situation they’re in right now?
What are they emoting? What is their stance, their bearing, their posture?
After answering those questions assess how you are interpreting that feedback. What are the chances you would approach that person and ask them out on a date, for an interview as a new hire at your company, or even just because they look like an interesting person with something interesting to say?
Now lets flip the script, take a moment to self-analyze how you are presenting at this moment, how are people seeing you? Are you sitting or standing in a way that emotes confidence or a stay-away attitude?
Can you feel the tension in your body, in your face? If you can feel it they can see it! Or are you relaxed and at ease? With that information, do you think someone would approach you to talk, to ask out, or to offer a job?
Your posture is your first and, in some cases, the last impression you leave with people.
To judge is to be human, even if it feels (and is) wrong at times, but everyone judges everyone even if they don’t realize it.
How you stand says a lot about who you are as a person, or at least it says that to everyone around you just by perception. If you are standing with pride and confidence you are going to be perceived as having pride and confidence.
If you are slouching, with slumped shoulders, an arched back, and a tired angry face the perception is that you are tired, irritated, and possibly less confident and weak.
Let’s not mince words either, one shouldn’t change who they are for other people, however if you are looking for possibility and opportunity there are ways you can be perceived as being open to that interpretation just by the language your body is speaking.
Before taking on any habit (changing or creating one) or making any sort of drastic change in you or your lifestyle it’s always good to take a few first steps.
1. Make the commitment. Acknowledging and accepting is the first step of solving any problem but always make sure you’re ready and prepared to take on the challenge, otherwise it will feel like a failure when you don’t get it the first time. Remember that it’s never too late to make yourself a better, happier, healthier person, so while you may have a “deadline” in mind, you have opportunity and time beyond that cut off date to continue or try again. Failure is relative and we create our own definition.
2. Take it slow. It isn’t all or nothing, all the time, every day – even just a few minutes of dedication count and those few minutes will build the empire you need and the empire you will have earned and deserve! The list of to-dos can be exhausting and overwhelming. To create a change you just need consistent effort towards success and progress – not the constant success itself. This will take time and it will take you constantly showing up to meet the challenge head on. Even if you don’t see the success you want, pride yourself on showing up and staying consistent in your journey… that in and of itself is success that will pour over into all other areas of your life.
3. Know what is right for you. This one is simple, listen to your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right for you specifically, don’t do it. Stop when it starts feeling wrong. There are so many fad lifestyle choices out there – not all of them are for everyone, and very few are actually for you.
4. Know when to ask for help. Sometimes a little outside help is necessary. Before we get into the details it’s important to remember that seeking out a professional when you’ve come to the end of your rope, resources, or when you’re really concerned is always an option for any medical, physical, mental, or emotional support you may need.
The doctors, physical therapist, the experts – they are all there specifically to assist you in becoming the best version of yourself.
If you’ve already decided that you can’t put in the full, time consuming, effort to manage your posture on your own, there is the quick fix of the posture brace. You can wear it under your clothes and depending on the type, it is relatively light weight and hardly noticeable.
The brace sinches around your shoulders and abdomen to create the tension in those areas allowing you to feel what it feels like to hold yourself correctly.
Overtime this will tighten the muscles that are used to being lazy and train your brain to create the habit of how you should sit or stand.
This way it will feel awkward to slouch and slump and it will automatically feel proper to stand correctly.
Actually, What Does It Feel Like?
If you’re sitting down place your feet flat on the floor, keep your legs uncrossed and your knees at a 90 degree angle above your ankles.
Your hips should also be at 90 degrees. Your back must be supported, either with a support pillow or chair to keep it from rolling forward or back. Relax your shoulders and keep your neck nice and tall, completely vertical. Get up and move often if you’re sitting for long periods of time.
A long perfect posture is just has just as bad effect on your health as consistent poor posture.
When you’re standing make sure you’re feet are shoulder width apart and you should be bearing weight on your feet evenly, even slightly forward on the balls of your feet. If you’re on your feet for long periods of time make sure to shift your weight keeping blood flowing and muscles engaged.
Don’t lock your knees and keep your arms hanging naturally. Pull your stomach in and back towards your belly button, it can feel restricting to breathe but you’ll get the hang of it – this is what keeps your stomach muscles engaged, toning, and helps to keep other muscles active so your balance is strong.
Make sure your shoulders are pressed back and your neck and head level and completely vertical.
Need a little bit more guidance? Try Wall Angels – these exercises will not only help you feel what correct posture is supposed to feel like, but will also help you improve with just a few minutes regularly.
Lets Fix It
Poor posture means higher energy expenditure, you become tired and foggy, your attitude will be poor and you will project an unapproachable air about you.
Ultimately your health will be affected and your immune system can start failing. When you slouch you use oxygen less efficiently, your blood circulation is awful, and all your innards are squished and compacted.
This means your blood isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to transport it everywhere it needs to go to make sure you and all your systems perform at max.
Reading that you should be able to identify quite a few key solutions to some of those aforementioned problem outcomes. But if you can’t think of any right off the top of your head, don’t worry… I have some options for you.
One quick fix in the moment is just to deep breath and lengthen while you’re breathing so the oxygen you’re taking in can reach everywhere it needs to go effortlessly.
Deep breathing is instinctual and will feel so good right away. The goal is to take as deep of a breath as possible, hold it at the top, then let it out slowly, and hold it at the bottom. Continue this multiple times a day for as little as a few breaths to a few minutes.
After completing just one breath you will feel your energy and your mood elevate, your digestion will improve, blood will get flowing, your brain fog will lift, and your organs will be operating better.
Let’s make it even better by stretching while you’re deep breathing. Reach your arms above your head and stretch up as far as you can. Bend side to side and rotate front and back. Twist and move your spine, flex your joints, lengthen your organs and lungs. This can all be done in a chair, lying down, or standing up.
The benefits of stretching your body and breathing deep at the same time are all of the above to the extreme. Again, complete as often as you feel the need or just when you want to feel better, which should be constantly!
Try it and then do a little self-analysing like we did before, compare how you saw yourself at the beginning of this article and how do you feel now? Do you feel like you’re automatically standing taller, breathing deeper, feeling a bit better, a little bit more elevated in mood and spirits?
Maybe before you were a little more comfortable and hunched giving off a little less confidence and stature – perhaps after these exercises someone would approach you if you thought before they probably wouldn’t?
Long Term Goals
A vital part of living a long, healthy, happy life is making certain your body is as healthy as possible. You need to eat your veggies and drink you water.
Make sure to get lots of sleep and rest when you need. Don’t over stimulate your brain but don’t let it go stagnant either. Challenge your body and your mind regularly, keep everything working and active.
A lot of the motivation that is needed keep improving something as mundane as your posture comes immensely easier by none other than the all too often dreaded – working out.
Not only will it be easier to stay motivated to change the bad habits you want to change and obtain the good habits you want but it will also be easier to maintain those habits you already want and want to keep… like sitting up straight.
Slouching is largely due to lazy muscles. Being tight and toned will bring about muscle memory and also the strength to keep your body in the position it supposed to be held in. Think about it, have you ever seen a really toned person slouching and thus looking anything other than confident and proud of themselves? No one says you have to be Mr. Schwarzenegger to fulfill the requirements of being happy, health, and stand up straight – but some effort is required.
Poor posture creates a large expenditure of energy, when energy is already hard to come by you want to keep all that you can for your gym time. Standing up straight is an easy way to do that – see the circle?
Make sure you find the time for you. Your body requires a certain level of care and if you aren’t giving it that time it needs, it will surely fail you, without a doubt.
There are no exceptions and there are no substitutes to obtaining a healthy mind and body. Working out will help to improve all of the things poor posture has brought about plus so much more.
Find an exercise routine that can fit your schedule, even the most hectic ones (remember it isn’t all or nothing type of attitude), and find something that you love, and if that changes that is okay!
That is apart of the stimulation and the challenge you need to continue to grow and progress as a human being.
The Benefit of it All
The goal is to obtain and maintain long term healthy habits. This is what posture correction is all about. You want to make it part of who you are and not have to think about it any more.
Good posture can create all of the wonderful benefits we’ve talked about and of those benefits even better ones arise, better health, happier in general, more positive outlook on life, and more success.
You will find yourself smiling more, being more confident, achieving more, being less afraid, and also rubbing off on others. Do you have kids at home? Leading by example is the best form of parenting.
How about coworkers or family members that could also use a little help? Showing them the progress of true dedication and effort just may be the motivation they need to get started.
Remember the overwhelming feeling you felt at the beginning? Your leadership you’ve obtained just by your good posture could very well be the reason someone else overcomes that feeling and starts doing more for themselves… all because you stood a little taller.