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Do Slumped Shoulders Make You More Stressed?

24 March 2022

With intense workloads and long shifts sitting at our desks, it is easy to forget about our posture and gradually slip into a slumped position.

Unfortunately, most of us don't know much about what our correct stance should be, and how poor posture is impacting our mental health.

Poor and unbalanced posture can develop into a health problem in the future. Adopting the correct posture while standing or sitting helps our skeletal system to straighten, and plays an important role in our psychological self-confidence and ability to deal with stress.

If you look carefully at people who are full of self-confidence and have attained this awareness, you will see that they usually take care to stand with their chest out, stomach in, and shoulders back.

This is the correct posture that best supports the structure of the human body. Slumped shoulders and a hunched sitting position are often seen in anxious and stressed people. Our body posture appears as a reflection of the emotional state we are in, and conveys to others that lack self-confidence.

People experiencing depression or anxiety often stand level with an improperly aligned spine. This returns as a disadvantage to your mood and can even affect your brain chemistry in extreme cases.

How Our Brain Perceives Bad Posture

Bad posture causes the secretion of stress hormones in our body and accordingly, our anxiety level increases. When our shoulders drop forward or we sit hunched, the neurons in our brain perceive the communication as though there is a threat present, and sends warning signals to the entire nervous system as a result.

When the shoulders and head are physically bent downwards, this position stimulates our brain activity and it involuntarily goes into protection and survival mode, and form of ‘fight’ or ‘flight’.

The part of your brain that carries your primitive genetics remains underneath our further evolved, more logical prefrontal cortex.

The Amigdala, the oldest part of our brain that is in charge of our emotions, is easily triggered by many factors, but it takes a large part of its information from the physicality of our bodies.

Does Good Posture Make You Happier?

Our thoughts reflect our emotions and vice versa, but so too do our bodies affect our emotional states. You can understand a little bit of how a person is feeling by looking at their posture. You cannot expect an upright posture and a confident gait from a person who feels helpless in grief.

Because the mind and the body are in a symbiotic relationship, good posture is more about how you look at life than how you look physically. How you stand defines yourself, your self-confidence, and confidence in your life and position.

In short, a good posture can make you both happier and more motivated. You can try this immediately by lifting your shoulders back and raising your chest a little. Try this seated or standing, and you will instantly feel the difference.

Can Posture Affect Anxiety and Depression?

A correct posture increases our self-confidence and self-confidence plays a key role in coping with disorders such as depression and anxiety.

A study conducted at Harvard University revealed that correct posture has an important role in relieving depression or anxiety disorders. Posture therapy is frequently used in tandem with other treatments of mental disorders, aiming to increase the self-confidence of the individual and encourage them to look at life more positively.

Although posture may be considered a small thing, it is a practically useful step that will help you lift your mood and overcome any crisis of confidence.

It should not be forgotten that it is the small particles that create wholes. Having a good posture is not something that will happen overnight. This takes discipline and time. But if you practice good posture regularly, you will soon start to notice improvements in your mood and life outcomes.

Posture and Physical Health

Do you know what kind of physical problems postural disorders can cause? Bad posture is the culprit behind many neck, back, hip, and spinal cord problems that people commonly experience.

People who sit in the wrong kind of seat, or are slumped over for hours on end are at risk of developing serious physical problems in the future. You may have noticed that most people have a slightly hunched posture. Humpback is a posture disorder that starts as a habit and has become so excessive that by old age a lump begins to form where the spine has curved.

One can also experience stomach cramps and poor digestion due to slumping shoulders, which has a determinantal impact on our emotional health as well s the physical.

Our stomachs contain their own nervous system that is rivaled only by that of the brain, and squashing all these sensitive nerves can leave you feeling uneasy and anxious for what is seemingly no reason at all.

Correcting your posture has emotional benefits as well as physical. Slumped shoulders act as a physical cue to our brains to develop a defensive emotional state, which uses up our valuable energy resources, leaving you feeling drained, fatigued, anxious, and depressed.

Correcting this issue is simple. Stand straight with your shoulders back takes the pressure of your body and mind and helps your brain reset itself and assume and more dominant and confident attitude.