While gathering resources for an upcoming workshop about managing student stress, I came across a New York Times article by David Hochman, “Amy Cuddy Takes a Stand”, a follow up to viral Ted Talk, “Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are.” The research presented reveals high power poses like the "Wonder Woman” (hands on hips, legs wide) or sitting back with your feet up and fingers laced behind your head increase levels of testosterone and lowers levels of cortisol when compared to low power poses like holding your neck or crossing your legs tightly at the ankles. Higher levels of testosterone lead to increased feelings of confidence while lower levels of cortisol lead to decreased anxiety and an improved ability to deal with stress.
If power poses are helping adults be more successful at job interviews, then why not encourage our students to strike a power pose before a test or other potentially stressful situation? Stressors in the classroom take many different forms and teachers are charged with equipping students with different coping strategies. Incorporating power poses into your classroom procedures is an easy and fun way your students can increase their confidence and lower their stress levels. Read on, learn more about power poses and get started in your classroom.