How Your Body Language Can Improve Your Self-Confidence

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/05/2014 | 12:45 PM EST

How you communicate nonverbally tells a lot about how you feel about yourself

Everybody knows that you can tell a lot about a person from their body language, but did you know that changing your body language can improve the way you feel about yourself?


Known as nonverbal communication, body language influences not only how people perceive us, but it also shapes the way we think about ourselves. There are very clear body language cues that differentiates between someone who feels powerful (confidence) and those who feel powerless (not so confident).


Dominant, more confident people tend to stand upright, while those who may be a little more self-conscious or insecure will typically ball up or fold their arms when in public. Thankfully, just because you have a proclivity to give off a lack of confidence through your body language, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the option of changing that.


Experts say that there are a few “high-power” poses one can assume for as little as two minutes that’ll build your confidence by raising your levels of testosterone, which is the hormone that is linked to power and dominance, and lowering your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. High testosterone and low cortisol are a great balance to boosting your self-confidence.


While it may seem weird or uncomfortable at first, research shows that poses like leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open for just a few short minutes can do wonders for your confidence. It works best when you do so when you’re feeling tense or when you want to feel more confident. Such poses increase feelings of power and lead to higher tolerance for risk. This is especially useful right before a job interview, social event or speaking engagement.


There are other ways you can influence your state of confidence like smiling, which stimulates your sense of well-being, not to mention it signals to other people that you’re approachable and trustworthy.


Everyone isn’t naturally assertive and confident, but it doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. As social psychologist Amy Cuddy once said during a TED talk session, “Fake it until you become it.”


(Photo: Londoneye/Getty Images)

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