Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, we teach this message using the skills of willing hand and half smile. There is a plethora of research out there on these topics (look up Paul Ekman). I love the evaluation that Amy Cuddy asks the audience to make in the first few minutes of the TED Talk: take a moment to observe your current body posture! And then step into the experiment…open your palms up toward the sky, lift your chin, puff up your chest and see what happens with your mood!