by Dr. Nicole
Did you know there’s a trick that can make you feel better, increase your self-esteem, and boost your energy level in just minutes? Best of all, it’s completely free! Do a quick assessment of your posture. Be honest! Are you sitting up straight, or slouching? Do you find yourself in a good mood, or are you feeling down? If you are slouching, it may be contributing to your poor mood and can even prolong it. Many of you have heard me talk about how important good posture is to physically wellness. It ensures our bodies are using the right muscles for the job and puts less stress on our joints, but you may not have known that it can affect your mood too. This may seem like a stretch, but studies show that our thoughts are very much connected to our physical actions. Think of the person you care most about. Did the corners of your mouth turn up? This is a perfect example of how your thoughts can manifest physically, and you better believe the process can go the other way too! One study showed that people with poor posture experience more pain than those with good posture. It also found that the poor posture can worsen your mood and lead to more feelings of helplessness. Another study found that it is easier to think of a happy memory when standing up straight and smiling.
Good posture improves self-esteem and mood. I’ll think you’ll agree that these are both things that even the happiest person could handle more of. Let’s start with what exactly “good posture” is. Your ear should be directly over the middle of your shoulder, which should be positioned over the middle of your hip in a straight line on down to your ankle. Unfortunately, most people have forward head posture. The first thing you can do to correct this is bringing your shoulders back, along with your head. Visualize a balloon tied to the top of your head, pulling you up. Use that sensation to exercise good posture. If you’re doing it correctly, you’ll feel the difference.
Another way to boost your mood during these long winter months is by adding more vitamin D to your diet. You might have already known that there were benefits to bone health, but D can also improve your mood, especially winter blues, which can be triggered by vitamin D deficiency. If you are low on vitamin D, adding it to your daily regimen can also decrease incidence of colds and the flu by up 50%! This February, vitamin D is 20% off when you purchase it in our office. Stop by and pick some up today!
Human beings, unlike other animals, are lucky enough to be able to step back from our emotions and recognize how and why they are happening. Becoming aware of our moods is the first step in controlling them. When you find yourself in a poor mood, check your posture. Stand up straight, get up and move around, or even do some stretches to get yourself back on track. You’ll thank yourself for it!