Level Up: Make a statement with your body language
Being powerful is a wonderful thing. You’re more assertive, more confident, more optimistic and more likely to take risks
by Alberta Venture Staff
|The Good Life||Level Up||Tech Envy||Fashion Statement|
Illustration Ben Rude
If there was a pill out there that gave you those qualities, you’d probably pay a good deal of money for it. Here’s the bad news: no such pill exists. But here’s the good: you can get the same outcome for free just by spending two minutes posing in front of a mirror.
At least, that was one of the takeaways from Amy Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk on the relationship between body language and one’s sense of self. “We know that our minds change our bodies,” she said. “Is it also true that our bodies change our minds?” The answer, it seems, is that it can. A study she conducted showed that two minutes of so-called “high-power” posing produced a 20 per cent increase in testosterone levels (a good thing) and a 25 per cent decrease in cortisol levels (also a good thing). “Low power” positions, in contrast, spiked cortisol levels by 15 per cent and saw testosterone levels drop by 10 per cent. “So two minutes lead to these hormonal changes that configure your brain to be assertive, confident and comfortable, or really stress-reactive, and feeling sort of shut down,” Cuddy said.
So, the next time you’re facing a stressful situation, be it an evaluation, a client meeting or a presentation, just find a bathroom, lock the door and pump it up. “Configure your brain to cope the best in that situation,” she said. “Get your testosterone up. Get your cortisol down. Don’t leave that situation thinking, ‘I didn’t show them who I am.’ Leave thinking, ‘I really feel like I got to say and show who I am.’”
Your wallet may not be as morbidly obese as George Costanza’s, but chances are it’s not in the best shape, either. And the chief culprit are those loyalty and reward cards you rarely, if ever, use. But like Costanza, you’re reluctant to throw them out. We get it. And so did the makers of Key Ring, an app that scans the barcodes of your reward cards and stores them in one handy digital folder. Since launching in 2009, it’s evolved into a comprehensive shopping app that offers deals, but the basic functionality is reason enough to download it.