Living Life Hunched Over Destroys More Than Your Posture

Here’s a fun fact: most of our communication is non-verbal.

Most experts agree that 70 to 90 percent of our communication isn’t done with our vocal cords. I had trouble wrapping my head around that fact, at first. But really, the more you think about it, the more that shocking percentage makes sense.

Next time you’re talking to someone one-on-one, pay attention to how closely you zone in on that person’s face/body language. It’s actually pretty significant. We can transmit entire paragraphs without speaking a word, especially with friends we’re close to. How cool is that?

However, our ability to communicate without noise also has its drawbacks.

The nice thing about verbal communication is that, for the most part, it’s not subconscious. For the most part, we only speak intentionally (although a lego cleverly positioned on the floor may break that mold).

The same cannot be said about body language, especially posture.

We’ve all seen this person, at one point or another. You’ll be walking down the street, and out of the corner of your eye, you catch a glimpse. Turning your head, you see them. They’re draped in an oversized hoodie, eyes downcast. Their shoulders are hunched forward as if they’re carrying the weight of the word. Any attempt to create eye contact is shied away from. Obviously, the precise details don’t matter, but the overall vibe is unmistakable.

And that vibe is rife with self-doubt, a lack of self-confidence, and I’ve-been-hurt energy.

How can we get all that just from a glance? Simple. It’s how this person carries themself.

So what? Some people aren’t confident, so they act differently, what does that have to do with me?

Well, there’s one more twisted thing about body language. When your face and posture are positioned to convey a certain message to those around you, whether intentional or not, you also internalize it. That can be incredibly powerful (and dangerous).

If you choose to possess the posture of the street-sulker, you’ll invariably fall into that mindset. If you constantly look downward, your thoughts will follow.

If you’re like me, reading that should scare you. I have a bad habit of tending to hunch my shoulders forward, due to insecurities about my weight. And it honestly didn’t fix how I felt about myself, all it did was make it worse. It wasn’t really something that I even realized I did until I took some real-time to analyze how I stood, especially in public, and I’d encourage you to do the same.

Pay attention to how you hold yourself because just as much as poor posture can negatively affect your mental state, a confident and upright posture does the exact opposite. If you choose to carry yourself intentionally upright, “faking” confidence even when you don’t feel it, you might be surprised by how you begin to ACTUALLY feel better.

This isn’t a cure-all option, and it doesn’t work overnight. But it’s working for me, and it might just work for you too.

And, as always, my friends, Choose Joy.

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Ben Schoel

Ben Schoel

A curious and adventurous mind, always ready to push boundaries and forge the new trail.