3 Ways to Improve Your Mood Now!
Tired and grumpy, and it’s not even Monday? Leading posture & wellness expert Dr. Steven Weiniger thinks your postural habits may be to blame.
“Posture is not just important in how you look; it’s also important in how you look at life,” he says. “Think of all the sayings that correlate the way you look to how you feel – feeling down, eyes downcast, keep your chin up, hold your head high – your posture reflects your mood.”
On a scientific level, poor posture negatively impacts your body’s natural processes, from a neurological, muscular, and hormonal point of view. Living slumped can cause a range of problems from chronic pain and numbness from nerve compression, to gastrointestinal issues, to breathing difficulties. And, when you’re not feeling your best physically, it takes a big toll emotionally.
“There’s been a number of studies done that show that posture and attitude are tightly linked, and if you can strengthen your posture, you will not only look better, but feel better. When you consider that poor posture compresses the lungs, and the role breathing plays in anxiety, you can also see the posture anxiety connection.”
If you’re ready to start feeling better, Dr. Weiniger has some helpful posture tips to feel more confident and energetic right now (Hint: They don’t involve the Keurig).
1. Commute with Good Posture. You may be spending upwards of 4 hours a day in the car, and your posture may not be helping your road rage. “Make your chair more vertical and adjust your rear view mirror a little higher, forcing you to keep your sitting posture tall while you drive,” suggests Weiniger.
2. Move more during the day. Things like taking the stairs versus the elevator is a good start, but Dr. Weiniger wants you to add to the challenge. “Take an extra moment to focus on your posture as you go up the stairs – you may be surprised at how much better you’ll be able to breathe at the top!”
3. Take a break! “Stop what you’re doing at work every 30-45 minutes, get out of your chair, stand tall, and focus on your alignment and breathing,” he says. During your StrongPosture break, as he calls it, focus on bringing your shoulders up, back and down, keeping your pelvis tucked, and head held tall and pulled back over your shoulders. Then, take 5 deep belly breaths.