The Importance of Body Language, by Amy Cuddy

A person’s body language speaks volumes about what he or she is. Needless to say, most of us take pride in judging others, based on their body language. In this TED Talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains the importance of body language and how it is instrumental in influencing our judgments.

Emotions shape body language. For instance, an athlete celebrating his victory by stretching his arms wide with feet up in the air and a raised chin and closed eyes is a classic example of a commanding posture that exudes power.  Or, a candidate for an interview sitting with slouched shoulders and darting eyes makes it apparent with his posture that he is nervous. This concept is further backed up with an interesting correlation between body language and the key hormones, testosterone (dominant hormone) and cortisol (stress hormone), that influence the mind and hence, the body. People in a position of power are essentially assertive, confident and decisive because of high testosterone and low cortisol levels. It is here, Cuddy asserts, that as much as your mind can change your body, so can your postures change your mind, thereby altering the hormonal surges appropriately. “Fake it until you become it” is what she preaches to assist in improving the body language. For instance, standing in a ramrod posture when you are anything but confident, can actually instill confidence in you.

Do watch this video where Cuddy helps us realize the importance of body language over mind with her personal experience.

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