Posture is the key to your personality. Your manner of standing or sitting is a symbol of your confidence, social intelligence, interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. Posture makes an impression on the audience even before you communicate your message verbally. Perhaps this is the reason why posture training is embedded in the training programmes of defence personnel, management trainees, diplomats, administrative officers, etc.
Posture is the natural style of carrying your body. Style gradually becomes a habit. Once you are habituated to certain ways of holding your back-bone while sitting, standing , walking or even while participating in meetings and conferences you slip into a comfort zone. This comfort zone gives you a sense of security which in turn gives ease of conduct. Security is something we humans cannot afford to compromise with and so we enclose ourselves in secure spaces. It becomes difficult to break these webs of security once they become a habit. So how can you save yourself from this comfort syndrome?
” Comfort body Syndrome ” can be described as the natural posture a person evolves in response to external threats or challenges which we better know as fight or flight response. Consider the first day of school of a 3 year old. Some kids are more outgoing than others and their posture is more relaxed, confident and positive Some kids on the other hand are shy and hesitant and they prefer to be drawn more inward in their personal zone. One can notice that they possess a closed posture which is defensive, inhibited and shows restlessness. This is in a way a mechanism to build walls around oneself to safeguard oneself from external threat.
It becomes difficult for others to pierce these restrictive postures and initiate a conversation. Sunken shoulders, drooping eyes, arm – folds, wrist locks, knee locks, ankle locks are some familiar postures that we come across in these children. If the children are treated with care, warmth and motivation they gradually shirk these closed postures and begin to use more positive non-verbals while communicating. If however they feel neglected, lonely or left out either by the teachers or by peers they sulk in one corner and nurse their wounds by sinking further in their comfort zones. Negligence on part of the parents, siblings or friends could also lead to the development of negative non- verbals in a child. So a child with low self- esteem is more likely to respond to his surroundings through negative body language. This negative language can manifest itself in two different ways :
a) Evolution of suppressive body language
b) Evolution of aggressive body language
Through the example discussed above we can identify the root cause of negative postures. So barring a few instances which may be attributed to natural or physical reasons, in general, we may infer that a child’s attitude towards his surroundings reflects his ability to adapt and survive in his immediate environment. The postures that he exhibits are a consious or sub- conscious manifestation of his internal environment. In other words we can explain this internal environment as the ‘ Comfort Body Zone” of an individual. This zone can contract or expand based on subsequent experiences and exposures that an individual undergoes.
Narrowing of this zone suggests that the risk taking ability is higher in such individuals as compared to those who remain confined to their safe habitats. It also indicates that the person has the potential for growth and transformation. Only a person open to change can learn and overcome the limitations.
Posture training can be effective in individuals if we are able to understand the psychological implications of people and work to connect with their inner feelings rather than simply focussing on their outer appearance. To build confidence and improve communication it is imperative to support people to overcome their fears and insecurities.