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Posture: Increase testosterone, decrease cortisol

by 1633 · October 08, 2012 at 01:18 AM

Posture affects testosterone and cortisol levels, says this study.

"simply holding one's body in expansive, "high-power" poses for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol" -- Power Posing: Fake It Until You Make It

That's what I call a paleo hack!



Question: What are some related studies and/or experiences?

  • example: smiling and physiology/phsychology

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6 Replies

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722 · February 27, 2011 at 06:39 AM

Good topic. This study relates to the field of embodied cognition, whereby researchers have found links between physical state of the body and mental attitudes. Recent studies have found that:

Handing someone something that's warm (e.g. coffee) causes them to think of you as having a "warm" personality.

Holding something heavy while making a decision causes you believe that the decision you're making is "weighty."

Forcing someone to smile by having them hold a pencil in their mouth improves their mood.

Crossing your arms makes you more resistant to outside influence.

Physically stepping backwards a step seems to help you reevaluate things ("take a step back") mentally.

Feeling guilt can cause you to want to wash your hands.

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2439 · February 28, 2011 at 04:57 AM

IMO, those high power poses are also welcoming challengers so be prepared for that. I worked in finance the last 6 years and my old associate used to do this. I really really felt an urge to fight him every time he did it. When a peer tries to "alpha male" around another male they should be prepared for the other male to react back.

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10 · March 26, 2011 at 07:40 AM

This is why yoga can have such dramatic effects on the body, way beyond it's value as mere exercise. I've known a few yoga teachers (all Ashtanga practitioners) who ended up with v high testosterone levels and almost excessive sex drives. Some yoga postures seem to be particularly powerful for dealing with depression and anxiety.

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1979 · February 26, 2011 at 03:08 PM

My own experience bears this out. If I arrange my face into a little smile, like the "archaic smile" found in ancient Greek sculptures, I feel my mood lift in just a few minutes. Ditto with posture...when I hold myself errect and proud, I soon start to feel more confident and self assured.

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0 · October 08, 2012 at 01:18 AM

The psy.plymouth.ac.uk/research/ece/publications link given above is dead. For some reason, a search of it at that site redirects to Cambridge University Embodied Cognition & Emotion Laboratory here: http://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/cece/research

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482 · March 26, 2011 at 01:22 PM

The VERY first thing I noticed when eating the paleo diet was that my back hurt all the time....what was happening was that my posture was in a correction phase.

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