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  • Happiness Coach Reveals Hack To Shake Off 'Nega Vibes'

    It's called power pose, and this self-care trick is backed by Science.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Happiness Coach Reveals Hack To Shake Off 'Nega Vibes'
  • Remember how your kids would mimic their superheroes, one hand on their hips while the other up in the air? Then they would run around the house with their capes flying behind their backs? What they are doing is a kind of power pose that adults should learn to adapt in their lives.  

    Power pose: A self-care hack

    We may not give it much thought, but our body posture has the power to shake off stress and negative vibes, lift our moods, and make us more confident about ourselves. This was a hot topic in Smart Parenting’s Happiness Class hosted by Smart Parenting Dad Squad influencer Edroy Lim with guests 'Chief Happiness Officer' Michelle Tambunting, and Smart Parenting Mom Squad influencers Grace Donato and Debbie Villanueva
    The ‘power’ of Power Poses

    Michelle Lichauco-Tambunting, a mom to a child with special needs, obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, U.S., and her master’s degree in education from Harvard University. She co-founded the Young Creative Minds Preschool, as well as Happiness Class PH.

    “Power poses … can help us, not just as parents but as people, in everything that we do,” opens Michelle who discussed the ‘power’ of power poses based on a study done by social psychologist Amy Cuddy at Harvard.

    The science behind power poses

    In the study by Amy Cuddy, participants were asked to sit in either a high-power pose (expansive posture) or low-power pose (leaning inward, legs crossed) for two minutes. The results of her study showed that those who sat in the high-power pose felt more powerful and performed better in mock interviews than those who had not, and that power posing actually changed one’s body chemistry.


    “[When one does power posing] testosterone levels increased,” says Michelle. Testosterone is the hormone in our body that has everything to do with confidence, with aggressiveness, and with being sure of yourself.”

    She adds that power poses also help bring down cortisol levels, which is our stress hormone. “So, there is not only a behavioral basis for [power poses] but a scientific basis as well.”  

    In Cuddy’s study, testosterone increased by 20% and cortisol decreased by 25%.

    Practicing power poses

    In demonstrating Cuddy’s point, Michelle had the whole Happiness Class guests and listeners stand up, jog in place for a few seconds, and end the jog with a power pose of their choice.

    “To be honest, may good vibes na pumasok nung ginagawa natin 'to,” Edroy reacts to the exercise. Grace, on the other hand, says she felt the same kind of energy she would get after an exercise, while Debbie says she felt more confident.

    Michelle validates their reactions by saying that Power Poses or body movements can actually reinforce feelings.

    “Anything that really encourages you to open and expand is a power pose. But, anything where your hands are crossed or when you're maybe touching your neck signifies less confidence or fear,” Michelle expounds. 

    The group observes that power poses do work in many situations such as doing presentations at the workplace, competing during a game, and even when animals hunt for their prey.

    Michelle shares that she has adopted Cuddy’s power pose because it works in her home, particularly for her 10-year old son with autism. After some poses, she says, her son is more focused.

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    “I realized that if they keep their core straight, it's easier for them to focus.”

    Power poses bring you ‘in the moment’

    Michelle elaborates that many of us tend to underestimate the power of our bodies and it helps to be more conscious of our body language and stance because these contribute to our wellbeing. 

    Here she enumerates the different  Power Poses or what Cuddy categorizes as ‘High Power body language’ that contribute to confidence and positivity. The common thread that runs in these poses is that the chest is always outward:

    1. Courage Pose

    This pose can be done when leaning back on a chair with both hands at the back of your head, chest open, as if thinking or reflecting on some idea.


    2. Wonder Woman pose

    Like the classic superhero series and comics, this is a pose where you stand tall, your back is straight, chest is outward and both hands are on the waist. It applies for women as well as men.


    3. Statue of Liberty pose

    One hand on the waste and the other is up in the air.


    4. Bold and confident pose

    Legs are slightly apart, one hand is on the hips and the other is down and relaxed.


    5. Victory Pose

    Legs are apart and both hands are up in the air in a “Y” stance as if showing triumph or winning. 

    Any of these poses can be practiced at home and be part of a secret body language with your family, shares Michelle. “Can you imagine if you had a secret language at home, let's say between you and your spouse, or you and your children, where whenever you were faced with something, you can say "O ano 'yung power pose natin?".

    She adds, “Paglaki [ng mga bata], they will remember.”

    She also points out that adults should make power poses a part of their lives and unlearn the fact that doing it is embarrassing “We're so worried about what other people will say, 'di ba? Ang mga bata hindi, e. They will use their bodies, they'll express themselves with their bodies,” she says. 


    “When you're doing the power poses, you [can be] in the moment. You are taking care of yourself through your body. And then, everything just flows after that,” Michelle concludes. 

    Watch the full happiness class on power poses here:

    Watch other self-care sessions here.

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