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Your body language shapes who you are - Amy Cuddy

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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.

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The analysis of the relationship between mind and body dates back to the Greeks, but it is with René Descartes in the 17th century that we owe the first systematic account of the mind/body relationship. Centuries later, the American philosopher-psychologist William James published Principles of Psychology, arguably the most important text in the discipline, in which he advocated for the development of cognitive psychology of consciousness. The self-help industry is mired in ideas about positive thinking that are at best ineffective and at worst destructive. If you want to be more confident or successful, says Richard Wiseman, the best thing to do is act the part.These simple reality checks can help managers see past social categories and recognize individuals’ true talents, thus avoiding the high cost of mistaken judgments. Occupational back pain is a disorder that commonly affects the working population, resulting in disability, health-care utilization, and a heavy socioeconomic burden. Although the etiology of occupational pain remains largely unsolved, anecdotal evidence exists for the contribution of personality and posture to long-term pain management, pointing to a direct contribution of the mind-body axis. In the current study, we have conducted an extensive evaluation into the relationships between posture and personality.We all grow up learning about how to deal with each other based on facial expressions. And yet, that might not at all be the best way to judge other people’s emotions.It's well known that good communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, be it personal or professional. It's important to recognize, though, that it's our nonverbal communication—our facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice—that speak the loudest. The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication, or body language, is a powerful tool that can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, and build better relationships. Body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating. If you wish to communicate well, then it makes sense to understand how you can (and cannot) use your body to say what you mean.When we talk about dominance or submissiveness we talk about the amount of influence over others. How strong do we feel compared to the rest of the group? How comfortable we feel to take command and make the decisions? Are we the alpha males (females)? Or are we the followers? Or maybe we're at bottom of the ladder? All these signs are visible through the way we talk and walk.
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Lesson Creator
New York, NY
Can you think of a situation in your life where the methods she describes could change the outcome for the better or worse?
06/07/2013 • 
 47 Responses
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