Feeling Low? Sit Up

I don’t know about you but when it comes  to my mood, February and the early days of March, it’s in the pits.  Holidays are done.  The sky is eternally grey.  Boredom and malaise set in.

I can feel too blah to read and write, my two favourite things.  So I’m going to be brief, in case you feel the same way.  I found an easy two minute solutions and it works.

First the science.

Remember when you were young and bored while listening to grown-ups talk and talk and talk? Remember slumping in your chair when you just couldn’t stand it and your mother prodded you to sit up straight?  She was right.

A study was done testing whether and how sitting with good posture affected our mood.  While the conclusion might seem kind of obvious, the results were more astounding than we would guess.  The participants were divided into two groups,; 1) the slumpy group and 2) the sitter up straight group ( my words not the scientists).  The participants were measured on self-percieved mood, blood pressure, cortisol (the stress hormone) and hear rate. The conclusion –

“Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Furthermore, sitting upright increases rate of speech and reduces self-focus.”  Additionally, their blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels dropped.

After only two minutes of sitting up straight, people felt better, more positive, less self-involved.  After only two minutes of sitting up straight physiological stress factors dropped. You don’t have to do anything else, no special deep breathing (although that probably would only help) no yoga stretches (although that would just help too), just sit up.

When I do it, I feel my core engage. As my shoulders roll back and my head rises,  I feel stronger and a little bit more powerful. My breathing naturally becomes deeper less labored— when I hadn’t been aware that it was shallow.  I feel more alert and ready to take on or complete the task athandd.  Who knew?  Our Mom’s and Grandmoms did.

So, when the blues hit; when sitting at your desk seems unbearable;  when you can’t listen to your boos one more second,  don’t slump for self-comfort.  Sit tall and really feel better.

Don’t you just hate it when our Mom’s were right?

Sitting tall and feeling good,



  1. Darlene says:

    The bad news is, we all get the blues sometimes. The good news is, when we do, there is a lot we can do to lift our moods. Getting out in nature, sitting or walking in the sunlight helps me a lot, or just going down memory lane looking at childhood pictures.

  2. Lois Hoffman says:

    I do find myself reclined more in the winter. I’ll have to try it. Thanks.

    1. Beth says:

      For me it’s not just inclined but slumped too.

  3. Sitting up straight as I read this. 🙂 I like this idea of a seated “power pose”.

    1. Beth says:

      With midlife comes the secrets to power. 🙂

  4. Alana says:

    Yes, I hate it. But yes, she was right. I had figured this out on my own but I still find myself slumping. And, with a bad back, I need all the good posture I can create.

    1. Beth says:

      With a bad back, doing these exercises in small doses is really important.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Yes, mother was right.

  6. Good advice. I just tried it and it works. I think my new slump beater might be to sit up straight and have a pint of water while I’m at it. Thanks!

    1. Beth says:

      Dang I forgot to mention or even think about water. Great additional advice.

  7. Carla says:

    I am game to try this. I am very very lucky to live in Texas – – at least during the winter when it’s not sweltering 🙂 – – because I can rip off my shoes run outside and stand barefoot in the grass most of the year. It is so grounding and relaxing

    1. Beth says:

      OOOH I’m jealous. Barefooting is another big stress antidote.

  8. Sitting up straight and a little stretching does wonders!

  9. Pretty compelling!

  10. Yes, especially in the late afternoon on a dreary Monday – it does lift my mood when I lift my back and butt up off this chair.

    1. Beth says:

      Oh a late afternoon on a dreary Wednesday.

  11. BethHavey says:

    If we want to continue feeling good and looking younger, posture is the key. Thanks for this.

    1. Beth says:

      It certainly is a key antidote to many aging woes.

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