Keep Your Head Up

Amy Cuddy gave a TEDtalk a while back about body language, and I noticed recently I was guilty of holding what she calls a “low-power position.”  My resting head position is down – when I’m not talking, when I’m walking, and sometimes when I drift off.  I don’t intentionally do this, it’s just a natural resting position for me.  There are, however, a few problems with this – 1) it’s not good for your posture, 2) it’s not perceived well, and most importantly, 3) it affects your confidence.

I wanted to change this. As a result, I embarked on a week-long experiment to make an improvement. Whenever I was walking, talking, or idle, I kept my head firmly up, no matter what. I of course expected to inherit better posture, however, I encountered an unexpected result – I was forced to engage. This wasn’t the case before – when I used to put my head down, I would unknowingly remove myself from the situation. In retrospect, some of these situations I may have subconsciously avoided –  silence, heated arguments, or even boredom. This past week, however, I was forced to be present through each moment.  Keeping my head up forced me to walk through those situations, as opposed to walking around them.

While this was a small experiment, I’ve gained a lot from a little. I’ve learned to partake in life more by simply not removing myself from situations.  Discomfort sometimes arose, however, this passed and I was left with a moment I was actually a part of.

Comments

  1. Body language is a super interesting topic – so much of our communication happens subverbally. Do you think there’s some sort of active tool you could have used to help this? Like (crazy example) what if you had a piece of string tied to your hair that prevented you from looking down? Or a much more reasonable equivalent that would warn you if you were getting into a bad position, do you think that would have improved or detracted from the experience?

  2. Hey Niels! Hm, maybe a neck brace would help, or maybe even a necklace with a sensor that would detect if your neck starts to curve. There’s a similar product that detects if you have poor posture – http://www.lumoback.com/

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