Is good posture worth a year’s supply of prozac?


Posture vs: Prozac

In this article, I am comparing the effects of improved posture on relieving a mild to moderately depressed mood, a condition that may otherwise be medically managed by pharmaceuticals such as Prozac. This is for reader's information and not intended as a guide to treatment.

 

Respectfully submitted for your evaluation.


As you are sitting now at your computer station, allow yourself to slump in your chair…if you aren’t already.

X-ray image of person slumping at a computer station
Computer Posture

Give it a minute or so to give it time to sink in. Answer a few more emails if you wish.

As you are now sitting slumped, take notice of how you feel in your chest….try taking a deep breath. You will likely be feeling constricted and the deep breath will be less than satisfying.

Notice the feeling in your shoulders, the heaviness in your arms.. .. perhaps tension or fatigue in the back of your neck.... that load in your neck and shoulders get transferred to the lower back and adds to further muscle fatigue.

Notice the tone in your facial expression…. Jaw, eyes….
Face of a person sitting slumped at the computer
Inspired?

Try to smile while you are physically slumping - you might be able to form a grimace.. but you aren't really smiling... are you?

Take notice of how you feel inside yourself. What is your personal energy like? Do you feel much like doing another hour of work or perhaps a desire to go sit slouch on the couch?

If you typically adopt this slumped posture, you may be feeling a headache developing in the back of the head or around the head or behind the eyes. How about the pain in the shoulder… if you are living in a lot of stress you will likely have knots at the inner corner of the shoulder blade… Gritting your teeth yet?

Keep slumping….

How would your employer view you as you sit in the slumped position? Are you the candidate for a special project that may lead to a promotion? Do you even feel like you deserve or even want a promotion just now?

Allowing the feelings time to sink in… Keep slumping….

Image of woman slumping
The world mirrors what you show it.
Consider how your life might be if this were your normal posture? The world mirrors back to you what you show it. Imagine you come across your co-worker or son/daughter in the same position. What impression would run through your mind….is this the person who makes things happen?

What are the postures characteristic of boredom, apathy, indifference, fear? 

Take time to explore the nuances of the slumped posture…. Take another deep breath…

Consider in a group of people how they stand .... Is it similar to a pack of dogs – the alpha has its tail up…. the more submissive the lower the tail. What does their posture say about each person? What does your posture say about you? 




When you are ready…

Sitting tall
Sitting tall.
Pull yourself up so that your back is straighter… head over the shoulders 

Take a deep breath…. What feels better?

Notice the tone of your facial expression.

Is there less fatigue or strain in your neck and shoulders?

Do you seem to feel a little clearer in your head?

What do you notice about your inner energy level?

Do you feel as much of a need to go slump somewhere else – or is your attitude more – Bring it on!

Are you the person who can take on an assignment and ace it! What about that promotion?


I expect that you will be feeling a sense of competence that wasn’t there a few minutes ago.

Could this, in time, change one’s life?


What variable changed? How much did it cost you? If you could get a pill that would do this for you… how much would you pay for it? 

What are the side effects of improving posture compared with medication? While better posture may not make the world a better place, would it allow you to stand up to it better?

You may wish to repeat the experiment while standing.

Confident woman
Confidence!


Mind-body. Body-mind.

Does this comply with our discussions on somatic - emotions – perception? What is driving which? 

Negative emotional affect will drive poor posture. 

Put yourself into a depressed mood and feel what your body wants to do? If you perceive that the world is crapping on you… how will you feel emotionally and physically?

Try it in the car and note how you feel before and after slumping.

You may notice the same effect by allowing your facial tone to drop. 

Notice that when you let your facial tone sag …it pulls the emotions with it…. 

Or adopting a brighter facial tone and noting the emotional tone. 

Try feeling sad inside and hold a feeling of contentment in your face…. Likely hard to do.

Insiders tip…. Notice the facial and physical posture of someone…. Mimic how they appear (discretely, please). You will likely start feeling the same way and thinking at the same emotional level as your subject. Be the life of the party…. Amaze your friends… get inside their head.

In a group setting, allow yourself to gently slump and take note of the social interaction. 

Then gently pull yourself up taller – do some people look you in the eye more? Is it more natural for you to look others in the eye than it was when you were slumping? Are some people intimidated or threatened by your …presence? You have changed the non-verbal signals of hierarchy within the group and there may be some adjustments. Mostly happening at a sub-conscious emotional level.

(Al Bernstein gives a very good description of how the sub-conscious emotional ‘animal’ brain influences our behaviour in Dinosaur Brains. Powerful stuff….)

Ever notice in a corporate situation that the execs stand taller than the managers?

Summary: It is hard to feel down when you are standing tall.

Improve your posture - improve your life.



For further discussion please contact me at www.drwaynecoghlan.com or drwaynecoghlan@gmail.com


Ascent and descent of Man
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