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If You Never Have Good Posture, Give Me 5 Minutes And You Will

If You Never Have Good Posture, Give Me 5 Minutes And You Will

Successful power people have something in common. It may not be something you notice explicitly, but if you really pay attention, you’ll notice that they command a room just with their presence. They will have good posture whether sitting, standing, or walking.

While having proper posture will help you command a room and feel more confident, it also has many health benefits. You’ll be less fatigued and build your core, which is a key component to a healthy life.

Do you want to project a powerful, successful image? Here are five things that take less than five minutes each that will help.

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Start a stretching regimen.

Stretching is a great way to become more flexible and have better posture. You can start with the basics by finding a great video or grabbing an article online. Focus on your calves, back, and neck. Flexibility will make you feel better and make perfect posture more comfortable and natural.

Be sure to focus on stretching your back by reaching as high as possible. Try to touch a point about two feet higher than possible, moving to your tippee-toes to do so. Stretch your calves and hamstrings by spreading your legs apart and bending at the waist, reaching to the left, right, and straight down.

Stretching your back and your legs will help give you the flexibility needed for perfect posture.

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Do yoga.

Yoga’s not just for Zen. It’s all about posture. Your core strength will improve and your posture will instantly improve. You don’t have to go to a yoga studio to get started. There are lots of great videos that can get you started with the basics. Also, know that most cable companies offer some basic yoga videos on demand, so you may have access already.

You don’t have to spend hours on this either. Even just five poses for one minute each can help your posture tremendously. And yoga isn’t just for the ladies. Men may even get more out of a quick yoga session since they usually tend to favor muscle-building rather than flexibility exercises, and increased flexibility will help you stand, sit, and walk tall.

Change a chair for a stability ball.

Many people have drastically improved their posture by switching their desk chair for a stability ball. It makes you use your core and ensures proper balance and good posture because if you don’t, you’ll fall!

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Build Your Core.

By finding creative ways to work your core throughout the day, you will strengthen the muscles needed for good posture. So how do you do it? Easy! Breathing exercises are a great way to strengthen your core and get the feeling of perfect posture. Take a deep breath, the kind that makes your ribs rise up a couple inches, and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat this as many times as feels right. It’s a great way to refocus your thoughts and gives you the core strength needed for good posture.

Practice Makes Perfect.

The number one key to good posture? Being conscious of it! Practice makes perfect. Make a conscious effort to maintain good posture as often as possible. You’ll find your muscle memory taking over and your posture improving each and every day. And practicing is easy and can be done anywhere. Next time you’re at the store, shopping for groceries, walking to your car, or even just sitting at your desk, make a conscious effort to improve your posture.

Good posture can help you improve your life. You’ll feel more confident, command a room, and be more healthy to boot! Just remember, practice makes perfect!  And the best time to get started is now.

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Featured photo credit: laverrue via flickr.com

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Kyle Robbins

Kyle is the founder of Branding Beard. He writes about communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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