"Most communication experts now believe that almost 90% of what we say comes from nonverbal cues, which includes our body language," says Patti Wood, author of Success Signals: A Guide to Reading Body Language.
Body language may speak volumes to others, but research has discovered that body language can also change one's brain chemistry. Wouldn't it be nice if we had the ability to help our teens increase their self confidence just by their posture?
Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist that closely examines other's research and conducts her own research regarding body language. She shares that there are two body stances that will transmit a message to our brains telling us that we are secure and self-assured! How awesome is that? Would you like to know what they are? Wouldn't you also love to know that there is not an age limit on this? Because this works for adults too!
The first power pose is called The Wonder Woman Stance. Stand with feet apart and hands on hips. The amazing reason that it works: It's not that this stance is viewed by others as powerful, it's that our hormones actually alter the way we think and as a result, we feel more confident.
This would prove beneficial for your teen if they need a boost of self-belief prior to giving a talk in front of their class, talking with an upperclassman or a teacher. This works especially well for kids that feel anxious when engaging with others.
The second stance is the Winning Position. This classic positioning is characteristic of those successfully crossing the finish line. A lot of athletes subconsciously strike this pose when they claim first place. Arms are above one's shoulders in the shape of a V and the chin is slightly tilted upward.
An astonishing piece of information regarding this latter stance: Individuals that were born without sight, attain this same exact 'V' stance when they win. Hence, this is a natural reaction to feeling prideful, not a learned response.
So how does this actually work? Cuddy's research shows that the testosterone (confidence booster) levels in participants increased and the stress hormone cortisol decreased.
So the next time there is a big game, track meet or challenging event and we want to send our brain a confidence boosting signal, take some time alone and practice this winner's stance!
Patti Wood, Success Signals: A Guide to Reading Body Language.
TED Talk, Ann Cuddy http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are