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Mood, Stress & Posture

Updated: May 1

Have you ever stopped to take a look at your posture when you’re stressed, sad, or anxious? It’s likely you’ll be slumped over with shoulders curved forward, and head looking down. Or if you’re stressed, you might be holding extra tension in your neck, head and shoulders.

Man sitting in yoga pose - sitting upright & good posture is a simple but effective tool to combat stress, sadness and anxiety – not to mention the physical benefits

Bad posture, and in particular a slumped forward position, has numerous physical and mental side effects. It can cause back, neck and shoulder pain, impair circulation, lung function and digestion, and constrict nerves over time. Beyond just the physical, bad posture can seriously affect our mood and outlook.

It works in reverse

We know that depression, anxiety and stress are more likely to result in poor posture. On the flipside, research has shown that a slumped forward posture actually increases depression, anxiety and stress. This is one piece of evidence that our body-mind relationship works both ways.

A number of studies have demonstrated how poor posture exacerbates negative emotions and low self-esteem. Moreover, the additional stress that poor posture puts on your spine can make you feel heavy and achy, which leads to being tired and irritable.

Sitting upright

Sitting upright is more powerful than you might think. Good posture is linked to increased self-esteem, positive mood, and improved cognition.

So, adopting good posture is a simple but effective tool helping to combat stress, sadness and anxiety – not to mention the physical benefits it provides.

There are many exercises for improving posture, and Pilates is a proven technique – something to think about if you have a slump in your mood, and your shoulders!

Moving and getting the blood flowing, being in nature, supportive uplifting environments these are all important elements too.


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