In my last blog article, I wrote about how you can ease the pain of a stressful day by watching a cat video. But if you’re having a bad day and you’re not into cats, don’t despair! You do have other options! For instance, according to researchers, you can reduce your feelings of stress and boost your confidence by striking a power pose.

Power poses involve sitting or standing in an open, expansive way. One of the most famous has been dubbed the “Wonder Woman pose,” and involves standing with your feet apart, shoulders back, and hands on your hips. (It’s actually a pose that seems to be popular with both male and female superheroes. I’ve noticed that Superman tends to stand like this too.)

Researchers have found that people who spent two minutes in power poses experienced an increase in testosterone and a decrease in cortisol (a stress hormone). They also reported feeling more powerful, relaxed, and willing to take on difficult or risky situations.

So the next time you’re having a hard day, go ahead and strike a power pose. After two minutes, you might feel much better!


Carney, D. R., Cuddy, A. J. C., & Yap, A. (2010). Power posing: Brief nonverbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance. Association for Psychological Science, 21(10). Retrieved from