Before you ask… no, we are not advocating that you do that yoga pose on top of the nearest mountain!
That looks far too dangerous- great photo though.
Instead, following on from the results of our happiness advantage experiment, we’ve decided to do something that helps the family start the morning off in the best possible way. We like stuff that is quick, easy and fun so this week we are going to practice the early morning power pose.
This will be a challenge as the kids can sometimes be a bit ‘hit or miss‘ first thing in the morning.
what is the early morning power pose?
We’ve been inspired by this article about the early morning power pose.
This is the brainchild of Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy and her work on nonverbal communication, or as we used to call it: body language.
If you’ve not seen her Ted talk, we would highly recommend watching it (below). In it she talks about the connection between your physiology (how you hold your body) and your emotional state, thoughts and behaviour, which is something that we are very interested in.
Not sure about the power of body language? Try this.
Stand up straight. Lift and pin your shoulders back, look up slightly and stare into the middle distance.
Hold that pose for 30 seconds… now, how do you feel?
My guess is that you don’t feel sad!
Instead you probably feel, strong, powerful, confident.
That’s the power of physiology- you can use your body to influence how you feel and the early morning power pose is designed to move you into a happy and confident state.
why is it important?
It’s important for a number of reasons:
Physiology- how you position your body has a direct effect on how you feel, which in turn has a direct effect on your thoughts and your behaviour. In other words, we can teach our children to use their body to help them to be more in control of their actions.
Being able to understand how to use their physiology will give them a competitive advantage over those who don’t know this.
In a world where technology and automation are replacing jobs fast, the jobs that AREN’T being replaced, involve softer more human type skills involving communication. Therefore, being a master of physiology (nonverbal communication) will help your kids to stay economically relevant… this is a start.
Common to almost all high performers is that they have a morning routine, that primes them to maximise their day. We are going to do this first thing, so we help our kids to start their day off positively, hopefully helping them to create a habit that will be useful for life.
how do you do it?
Cuddy says that before you even get out of bed, you should stretch your arms as wide as possible in a V shape. She says that people who wake up like this are ‘super annoyingly happy‘.
Sounds like it’s worth a go, right?
the power pose challenge
Every morning for the following week, we will do the power pose for 30 seconds as a family.
I’m going to struggle to get two 9-year-olds to do this in bed on their own, so we will do this as soon as we sit down for breakfast.
To make sure it gets done, I’m going to:
tell the kids upfront
make a deal- if i forget to do it (and they remind me) I give them a Euro each, if they don’t do it, they have to give me a Euro.
In terms of measurement, I’m going to ask them on a scale of 1-10 how happy they feel each morning as they head to school.
I’m also going to make brief notes as to the family interaction over the breakfast table/ how quickly they get dressed…
That’s it for this week, we hope that you have a great, happy, confident weekend.
Dominic and Lindsay
Also, we have no affiliation with any of the sites or products mentioned in the post today.
You can buy Amy Cuddy’s new book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges here. (affiliate link)
30 Apr 2017 - experiment