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Some people take a shower right when they wake up. Others go straight for the coffee pot. But according to one Harvard psychologist, the first thing everyone should do each and every morning is to stretch. But not just any stretch: Before you even get out of bed, lengthen your arms and legs and make your body as big as you can.
The idea behind this is that by making yourself as big as possible, you’re assuming a power pose, which can help encourage confidence, according to Business Insider.
“When you pretend to be more powerful, you are more likely to actually feel more powerful,” Amy Cuddy, the Harvard researcher, is quoted as saying in the Business Insider video.
Cuddy’s research shows that higher levels of testosterone lead to increased feelings of confidence, and certain “high power poses,” which tend to be more open and relaxed, can help increase testosterone levels in the body. These poses also help decrease the stress hormone cortisol, which can help you manage high-pressure situations.
Cuddy is the author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self To Your Biggest Challenges, which explores how tweaking our body language, behavior and mindset can lead to transformation. Her uber-popular TED talk on the same subject has been viewed more than 35 million times.
Making yourself feel big in the morning can help balance out your hormones and get you started on your day feeling confident, energized and ready to tackle challenges. If starting your day on the right foot just requires some simple stretching, you can count us in.