Don't Slouch

Mom was Right

"Don't slouch," and, "Stand up straight," were admonishments most of us heard on plenty of occasions growing up and some of us even felt Mom's helpful hand on our spine urging us on to a more graceful carriage. We didn't like it, but we tried to comply—at least until out of her sight. But as grownups ourselves, we know she was right.

Taking up Space

We've all noticed a slumping teen and tsked to ourselves, wondering why his mother doesn't tell him how awful he looks. And maybe some of us have seen someone with exceptional posture and this is a beautiful sight to behold. A person's posture tells us volumes about who he is as well as the state of his self-image. Someone who is stooped over seems miserable, perhaps ashamed of taking up space on earth, whereas a straight carriage implies grace, strength, and self-confidence. Now, let's say you have two job applicants to consider, one who slumps, and one who stands tall and proud. Which candidate is going to win you over?

The astute analyst of body language is going to notice that a very tall person is stooped over due to shame over his height, or that a large-breasted girl hunches over her schoolbooks to hide her flourishing bust line. These tactics don't work very well; our eyes are drawn toward the precise feature the poor-postured person endeavors to hide.

Mom knew this, and she also knew that good posture is the secret to good health as well. Posture speaks to the body's alignment with the force of gravity. As we move through our days, standing, walking, sitting, and even lying down, gravity is always there, pulling at our muscles, ligaments, and joints. If we maintain correct posture, we help distribute the force of gravity throughout our body with proper balance, so that no one aspect of our bodies is stressed.

Now try bending down and taking a deep breath. Not so easy, is it? It's simple: if you keep yourself upright, you'll be breathing better. And more oxygen equals better circulation and organ function, for instance, the digestion. With all that good circulation, your skin is going to glow!

Besides, good posture makes you look trim and slim, taking off an estimated 3-5 pounds off your frame. Your clothes look better on you, and you look younger, too.

It's interesting to note that standing taller has a psychological effect on us as well. We just feel more confident when we stand with a strong and confident stance. Try correcting your posture when you're feeling down. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel. The reaction is immediate.

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