I recently finished reading about the science of PRESENCE in Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy's new book 'Presence'...If your parents ever told you 'Sit up straight'...the science now confirms that their advice was spot on and affects much more than just your appearance.
One 2015 University of Auckland health psychology study concluded that adopting an upright posture in the face of stress can significantly impact self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Furthermore, sitting upright during an interview/ presentation situation was found to reduce self-focus and perceived threat.
So 'Sit up straight' and boost your performance and resilience to stress. (Health Psychology 34, p. 632-64)
I’ve found in my work with clients, however, that the advice ‘sit up straight’ or ‘stand up straight’ can cause more tension. I recommend imagining that you are a powerful being of NATURE..such as a tree, a mountain, the SUN...by identifying with and embodying images of these powerful symbols, you automatically improve your inner and outer stature which positively affects your mood and confidence.
I'd like to hear your comment about what you do to increase your confidence before a major event or what occasions create particular challenges to your confidence.