Episode 170 - Strike A Pose
The Thursday Thesis - 26/9/2019
Let’s play a little game – I promise you’ll like it – it’s the fastest mind hack you’ll ever have, so let’s play!
Stand up and remember a time in your life when you knew you’d triumphed – you made a plan and did the work, and you won that major prize...
Remember how that felt?
Stand the way you stood, breathe the way you breathed, hear what you heard...hold it for 30 seconds
Notice how your feelings change...
Chances are that you are in what is known as the “Victory Pose”, also known as “Pride” - a
universal human behaviour which is seen in all cultures around the world – even among people who have been blind from birth. You’ve seen it in pictures of winning athletes, children playing, politicians celebrating winning an election - it’s the arms thrown up and outward into a V shape, torso erect, chin lifted and eyes looking up.
Researcher Amy Cuddy has measured what happens to your body when you adopt this posture, and it’s amazing. Just two minutes of Victory Pose can spike your testosterone levels by up to 20% whilst sinking your cortisol levels by 25% at the same time. Testosterone is the dominance hormone, so more of this is good: Cortisol is the stress hormone, and less of this is good.
More of the good stuff, less of the bad – how cool is that?
Now, if the Victory pose is too extravagant for you, try the “Wonder Woman” pose for size: stand erect, shoulders wide and put your hands on your hips (no, we’re not doing The Timewarp!). This is a high-power, high-status stance which produces similar effects to the Victory pose.
Had enough of feeling good?
Let’s play at being depressed... just let your head sag forward, gather your arms toward your centre and slump your shoulders as you begin to look down...
Notice how your feelings change...
Cuddy’s work shows a reduction in testosterone of up to 10% in just two minutes of this low-power posture, whilst bad cortisol levels jump up by as much as 25%.
Can it really be that easy to influence your biochemistry?
Test it for yourself: whilst you’re in this weak and miserable state, just try to feel good...notice you can’t do it.
Now jump back into the Victory pose and hold it for 30 seconds...hold it and try to feel bad... notice you can’t do it?
Can it be that easy?
You just proved it works, didn’t you – why do you want anything more complicated?
There’s a conceit amongst “Smart People” that simple ideas are not good enough; that for an idea or technique to be intellectually valid it has to be complicated. It’s the same kind of nonsense we tell ourselves all the time, usually about things only being of value if they are hard to do – like work, or learning to play guitar for instance.
So we have a choice: do simple stuff that works, don’t waste your time looking for a more difficult solution that does the same thing.
To paraphrase the 14th Century English philosopher, William of Ockham, “All else being equal, the simplest solution is usually the best solution”.
Want to lose weight - Just stop eating.
Want to save money – stop buying crap you don’t need, with money you don’t have.
So if changing your mood is as simple as moving your meat-suit, when do you want to start feeling more positive, more powerful, less stressed and more confident?
How about Now?
© Neil Cowmeadow 2019
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The Thursday Thesis is a fun way to share ideas and experiences from life as a Guitar Teacher, Certified NLP Practitioner and Life-Coach, Retailer, Composer, Player, Technician, Accountant, Scientist and Writer... and as the father of a wonderful son.
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