Wondering how to be happy? There’s a trick that makes it super easy: Stop slouching!
A new study shows that slouching can actually make you more depressed: The researchers had volunteers either walk while slouching down a hallway or skip down the same corridor–and all of the skippers were a lot more cheery when all was said and done. One researcher explained, “Even our language reflects this connection between proper posture and emotional affect—someone weak is called spineless and someone proud has backbone.” We see what she did there!
So what’s the quick fix on how to be happy, posture-wise? Pros suggest pretending there’s a headlight shining from the center of your chest on your breastbone–and to make sure it always shines straight forward. Keep your head centered over your shoulders and imagine a string pulling your head toward the sky–without moving your chin.
Improving your posture isn’t just how to be happy–it’s also how to improve how people see you. (For the record, we think you’re great all the time.) People–that includes your crush, your supervisor at your internship, the track coach you’re trying to get in good with–view you as more vital (read: attractive, healthy, desirable, and productive) when you stand up straight.
Sitting and standing up straight also makes you look leaner, whereas slouching can create a belly pooch that isn’t even there normally, and poor posture can also actually increase stress. Slouching can increase the hormone cortisol in your system, which makes your breathing weird–which creates stress … Which releases cortisol and messes with your breathing even more. How to be happy in that situation? Every so often–when your bus is stuck at a red light, the moments just before the bell in class, just before dinner or bed–take deep breaths that make your tummy expand.
We bet you feel better already!
Are you surprised that posture is part of how to be happy? Do you have good posture? What other tips and tricks do you have on how to be happy? Tell us in the comments!