Massage therapists know that effective bodywork can aid posture, and self-care for therapists themselves includes maintaining good body mechanics and posture. New research shows that posture can effect mental and emotional states.

Researchers found that people who were told to sit up straight were more likely to believe thoughts they wrote down while in that posture concerning whether they were qualified for a job, according to a press release from Ohio State University. On the other hand, those who were slumped over their desks were less likely to accept these written-down feelings about their own qualifications.

The results show how our body posture can affect not only what others think about us, but also how we think about ourselves, said Richard Petty, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the university.

“Most of us were taught that sitting up straight gives a good impression to other people,” Petty said. “But it turns out that our posture can also affect how we think about ourselves. If you sit up straight, you end up convincing yourself by the posture you’re in.”

“People assume their confidence is coming from their own thoughts. They don’t realize their posture is affecting how much they believe in what they’re thinking,” he added.

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