portrait of a young woman standing with arms akimbo in a parkEver wish you could feel more assertive, powerful and confident, for instance, before a big meeting or job interview? You can! All it takes is adopting a “Wonder Woman” pose–where you’re standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips–for two minutes straight.
According to research led by Amy J.C. Cuddy, Ph.D., a social psychologist at Harvard Business School, this body posture sends an “I’m powerful” message to the brain, which in turn prompts a 20 percent rise in testosterone (a hormone that boosts feelings of power) and a 25 percent drop in cortisol (a hormone that ratchets up stress). The result: You feel more in control and less stressed.
You can watch an edited-down 6-minute video of Dr. Cuddy explaining why it works–and what other poses prompt higher confidence, too–from a TED talk here. For the full 20-minute version, click here.