Your teacher was right, sitting up straight affects your performance. We all know that our body responds to the way we think, feel, and act. How we carry ourselves when we walk or move reflects how we feel inside. For instance, when we feel down, we often frown, hunch shoulders and face downwards. When we’re anxious, we may tap our feet or shift our eyes, and when happy we tend to smile.

Walking Styles

It’s no wonder many assume it’s the mind that controls the body, not the other way around. But, did you realise that the relationship between your mind and body runs both ways? Interestingly, whilst your mind definitely influences your body, your body posture and physiology also trigger thoughts and emotions in your mind.

This leads us to the reversed concept that William James, founder of modern-day psychology, proposed; “We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.” Another common example of this same idea is that if you act confidently, even when you’re not, you may begin to feel confident. ‘Fake it till you make it’.

But how does this relate to how we sit? And did our primary or elementary school teacher know about it?

We're Happy because we laugh - William James
Sitting Styles

Several studies on students’ sitting positions have found that students who sat slouched forward, more crunched up or hunched over themselves tend to notice more feelings of “hopelessness, helplessness, powerlessness, and negativity”, especially about themselves.

While those who “sat up straight” were more likely to focus on empowering, positive feelings about themselves. They were better able to think, and were more likely to trust their own thoughts, opinions, and abilities. They had more energy and a greater feeling of control, as well as resiliency. They also displayed an ability to tolerate pain and emotional distress. And were more creative and were more expressive.

So if you find yourself slouching for hours at a badly placed home computer, it may not only lead to a high number of headaches, and neck and shoulder pain, which in itself is unpleasant enough right? It also may significantly contribute to lower energy levels and a rise of depression.

Our simple advice to you is this: Be kind to yourself, take frequent breaks, sit straight in an ergonomically sound position and you might just find that you have more energy, focus, creativity, higher trust in yourself and even better able to express yourself.

Wow! Who would have thought it would be as simple as taking our teachers’ advice to simply sit up straight?

We're Happy because we laugh - William James

Let us guide you along your wellbeing journey. BlossomingMe is a holistic health service located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore.

Our specialised Remedial Massage Therapist and Osteopath offer a fully integrated approach which assesses and addresses the specific issues in your body.

With a clear understanding of your goals, we treat both mind and body to help you live your best life.