Let’s do a quick experiment:

Stop and take note of your body posture right now? Are you hunched over the computer or sitting straight? Are your legs or arms crossed? Are you tense or relaxed?

I have discussed in length the need to be more mindful in our daily life. I have written meditations on the subject and continue to promote mindfulness as a way to center yourself in the moment – away from the ego and thoughts of fear and fantasy; past and future. This quality of mindfulness seems to be isolated to our mind and thoughts. What about physical mindfulness? What about our body language?

I have always been good at reading a person’s energy and emotions by simply observing. You can learn a lot about a person by how they carry themselves in the public and what comes out of their mouth. A lot of my intuition can come from other people’s body language as well. I was watching a TED video of Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist from Harvard discussing the social/psychological phenomenon of body language.  She states that body language is basically nonverbal communication.  One’s body language can reveal a lot about a person from self-esteem to ego, from happiness and celebration to sadness and depression.  When we are confident we are open and free and when we lack confidence we tend to be restricted, clingy and confined.

What is my body language telling you and what is your body language telling me? How many votes have been won or lost in political debates due to posture? How many jobs interviews have gone good or bad based on body language?

So, body language affects how others see us, but what about how we see ourselves? Amy Cuddy explains how posture and body language can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain; and might even have an impact on our chances for success. Further, research has shown that standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident can contribute to more happiness and confidence. Interesting huh?

In conclusion, being mindful of your thoughts and emotions is important. Being mindful of your posture and body language might be equally important.  According to Amy Cuddy’s research on body language, we now understand that through mindfulness of body language and physical posture; we can change other people’s perceptions as well as our own body chemistry. We know posture and body language is connected to our confidence and energy levels – so it is not much of a stretch to see how body language is related to happiness and wellness in the present and future.

I guess body language is one more thing to be mindful of…


John C. Bader