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Can good posture improve your mood? An expert explains

HELLO! spoke to Pilates pro Catie Miller about how our posture can impact our mood

World Happiness Day
Woman in jeans and black top sitting on a chair and laughing
Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
18 March 2024
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Despite being well aware that my desk-based job and penchant for scrolling on my phone is wreaking havoc on my posture, I've never felt inclined to do anything about it.

But when Barre Series founder Catie Miller explained that my poor posture could be impacting my mood, I sat up and listened.

"Improved posture can absolutely boost our mood," Catie told me. "Better posture results in improved sleep, a release of endorphins, a reduction of stress hormones, boosted self-confidence and enhanced social interaction, all of which contribute to a better mood and provide us with purpose, ambition and support to navigate life's ups and downs."

Woman stretching in black workout wear
Catie says posture is key to self-esteem

I found myself sitting up straighter at my desk just hearing that from Catie, who added: "Posture is more than just physical alignment. It's a holistic approach to wellbeing that impacts every aspect of our lives. Good posture not only contributes to physical health but also has a significant impact on self-esteem."

Catie says that good posture is the ultimate self-esteem booster, explaining: "When we stand tall with proper alignment, we exude confidence and assertiveness, positively influencing how others perceive us and how we feel about ourselves.

"Posture is integral in increasing confidence by enhancing physical appearance, boosting energy levels, improving mental clarity, supporting digestive health and fostering a sense of achievement," Catie continues, before adding that proper posture also decreases stress – something we could all do with!

"Improving posture not only decreases tension but also contributes to overall physical wellbeing," she says. "With better muscle balance and joint alignment, the body experiences reduced strain during daily activities, increasing comfort, mobility and joy."

Woman in black top and jeans© SUSHEEL SCHROEDER
Catie Miller say posture can boost our mood

How to improve your posture today

So how can we improve our posture after a lifetime of slouching? Catie recommends low-impact exercises such as Pilates and barre. "These practices are instrumental in achieving optimal posture," she says.

"Through targeted exercises that strengthen core muscles, improve flexibility and promote body awareness, these practices help correct postural imbalances and develop the muscles necessary to support a healthy posture.

RELATED: I tried Reformer Pilates to see why A-listers love it - here's what I found 

"Additionally, the mind-body connection cultivated in barre and Pilates encourages mindfulness and mental focus, further enhancing posture and self-esteem. When our bodies feel strong and energised, we exude a sense of vibrancy and enthusiasm, positively impacting our confidence in tackling daily challenges."

These chilled yet effective workouts can improve our mood, too, according to Catie. "Mindfulness and mental focus, a clear mind and reduced stress are all benefits from Pilates and barre.

READ: Try this PT-approved hack for fitting in a workout - even when you don't have time 

"Improved mental clarity enhances our ability to make decisions and communicate effectively, contributing to a greater sense of self."

I don't know about you, but I'll be seeking out a Pilates class this evening!

Visit HELLO!'s Happiness Hub for expert advice on living an optimistic life.

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