As children we learn to move by watching those around us. Frequently I hear people say “ I walk just like my mother “ or “ I stand just like my father”. Yes we do. However it is not heredity. It is a learned behavior which can be changed.
We reveal our emotions in our posture. Many studies have been done on why one person will be targeted by predators and not another walking down the same street. Unequivocally it is how we carry ourselves. Additionally, changing our posture can change our mood or outlook in life, or the day.
Hunching and looking down we don’t take on the world. It’s too much for us. We may not consciously realize it but we are avoiding those around us.
Pat came to me with shoulder pain. He couldn’t sleep it hurt so much. He was about 5’11” with a significant curvature in both upper and lower spine. I explained that the shoulder pain was due to the position it was in from to the curve of the spine. We began to straighten and strengthen the spine. On week 3 the shoulder was better. On week 4 he brought in a picture of his father which looked just like him. I couldn’t tell the difference. Pat thought his posture was hereditary and could not be changed. As we worked I explained that there would come a day when his new posture would make him feel self-conscious. Standing tall is a different emotional and social statement. It can make men feel as if they will be perceived as aggressive. It may make women feel as if they are showing off or sexually aggressive. All of these are not true. Standing tall makes others feel as if you are comfortable with yourself. Capable. Sure enough the day came when he was going into a meeting and he hesitated. He said he walked around outside so worried about his new height he almost couldn’t go in. But he did. He was now 6’2.5” tall. Things changed in the next 6 months. He was given a raise and promoted twice. His employers saw him differently.