Your posture says a lot about you. It reveals your energetic state, if you’re feeling tired and groggy or awake and motivated. It reveals parts of your emotional state, like if you’re feeling closed off, stuck in your head, or anti-social, or highly self-accepting, confident, and outgoing. It gives insights into how you feel about yourself. Your posture as well as your energy levels also reveal your past history in how well you’ve taken care of yourself in terms of exercise and nutrition. Your posture shows a lot.
Throughout the day your energy and your level of mental awareness rises and falls in waves. And depending on what kind of foods you eat, if you exercise, and your mental health, the rising and falling of your energy levels will either be very volatile and dramatic, or a peaceful and gradual transition like the ocean waves. Your posture changes alongside that cycle of personal energy. At the end of a long day that to you felt stressful and burdensome, you’re much more likely to be mindlessly slouching on the couch than to be fully awake and present and bettering yourself. The problem lies in that many people aren’t just unconsciously slouching at the end of a hard day, they’re doing it every day from beginning to end. These people are perpetually living at a low level of awareness.
It Begins With Finding Passion, Purpose, and Meaning in Your Life
If you thought that the only way to find an amazing and attractive significant other was to be rich, incredibly good-looking, or famous you wouldn’t put any true effort into yourself. If you believed that the only way to rise out of the 9-5 rat race, actually make something of yourself, become a success, and leave your mark on the world was through luck, connections, or playing dirty and cheating the system, then yes, it would make total sense why you would be apathetic, not take care of your body and health, not strive for personal betterment, not put in any extra work besides the bare minimum, and why you would embrace unconsciousness and laziness over striving for excellence. It makes total sense.
But when we begin from an understanding that we only have one go at this opportunity called life, when we can see with clarity how rare and unlikely it is for us to be here, that we were lucky enough to be born in the most peaceful, most advanced, and freest times in human history, that we are living through unprecedented times, that is it is easier than ever to create value for and connect with the global market, that we have unimaginable levels of knowledge and information at our fingertips, and that we were lucky enough to be given a life, consciousness, a personality, a body, and an opportunity to spend this very brief, very short amount of time on Earth in a way that we choose and that makes us happy, it is easy to get out of bed early and to strive for excellence, fulfillment, happiness, health, self-love, and being our best self.
By the fact of being a living, breathing, and experiencing being with a unique personality, you’re already awesome and a total badass. All you have to do is accept yourself, own who you are, and strive towards bettering yourself.
Breathing Properly and Deeply Affects Everything Else
Increased energy results in increased awareness which results in better posture and better life choices. The reason so many people have low energy is because they do not breathe fully, deeply, and properly. Their poor posture – caused by low energy – reuslts in poor oxygen intake and further low energy, because poor posture disrupts proper breathing, which then results in a perpetual cycle of low energy, poor posture, and low awareness.
If you have habitually bad posture it’s likely because of years of reinforcing bad posture to the point of muscle memory, resulting in very tight and closed off areas of the body. The two ways to improve your posture and to improve your breathing are:
1. Long and frequent stretches of the muscles that close off your breathing and strengthening the muscles used to hold good posture.
2. Spending time breathing deeply and slowly into your belly with good posture.
Here are several great stretches to improve posture. Stretch out the muscles of your chest, the front of your shoulders, your latissimus dorsi, the sides of your neck, loosen up your shoulder blades, and stretch out your hip flexors, obliques, and the insides of your thighs. Strengthen your rear delts, glutes, and upper back.
Here is an explanation of how to stop chest breathing and how to begin “diaphragmatic breathing,” where you breathe fully into your belly. I’ve also found Elliott Hulses’s deep breathing exercises and philosophy behind opening up the body to be very profound and useful.