How Good Posture Can Contribute to Happiness

July 5, 2014


Happiness comes and goes but did you know that you can be a happier person just by adjusting your posture? There is good science behind this assumption. A person who tends to slump in his chair or slouch while walking is actually putting extra pressure on his internal organs, particularly the heart and lungs. The result is that much needed oxygen is being cut off from these important bodily organs. And when you lack oxygen you don’t feel very good. Thus, you may feel rather down if you tend to encourage bad posture.

If you keep bad posture on a regular basis, it won’t be surprising if you become more downhearted. The lack of oxygen can affect your mood. Even if you are not battling depression like some patients do, eventually you might wonder why you feel bad all the time. This might lead you to conclude that you are suffering from depression when in reality your mood would automatically lift just by straightening your spine.

Stretching contributes to a good posture (creative commons)

Stretching contributes to a good posture (creative commons)

Once slouching becomes a habit you will find it hard to change it. And when you slouch consistently, the lack of oxygen can affect your brain as well. It is not farfetched to think that slouching can result in an oxygen-starved brain which can affect your ability to work, play and function on a daily basis. Eventually your body will be in a slouching position on a regular basis and this may also affect the spine itself in a structural way. You would even find it difficult to straighten your spine completely once slouching has become a way of life for you.

Improve your posture while sleeping (creative commons)

Improve your posture while sleeping (creative commons)

If you want good posture you may need to do some exercises to keep your core stable. The core is that series of muscles below your ribcage and ending at your pubic bone. It is important to have a strong core (meaning strong abdominals, obliques and lower back muscles) to be able to keep your spine straight even while relaxing. Take note that there are three sets of muscles to consider. A lot of people have very tight back muscles and weak abs and obliques which can lead to lower back pain. All three muscle groups have to be exercised and stretched on a consistent basis to promote core strength. When you have a strong core, keeping a straight back becomes easier – so much so that you won’t even notice that it has become effortless and second nature.


2 Responses to “How Good Posture Can Contribute to Happiness”

  1. Maureen Coffey Says:

    It’s not just the posture – similar results can be achieved by attending to one’s breathing. But the most astonishing results I found come with deliberately giving one’s own face a more optimistic, smiling, relaxed composure. I remember a three-year-old boy in a kindergarten who whenever he got furious (and he could throw terrible tantrums!) put his chin almost on his chest and looked like a bull ready to charge. On the other hand, when he was happy and relaxed he would normally hold his head upright. After a while I did a little experiment. Whenever he looked like he was “ready to charge” I “accidentally” looked up at the ceiling or a spot far away and above. He would instinctively follow my gaze and immediately his anger was gone. When I then would address him in a light-hearted way to also give his thoughts another direction, all his anger was blown away completely!



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