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The How To Issue

How to Unleash Your Body's Inner Alpha Dog: Dana Carney


Power, dominance, and status are displayed through specific behaviors. When chimpanzees prepare for battle, they puff up their chests and try to appear bigger even if no other chimps are paying attention. When people feel powerful, their limbs are more open and their body language is more expansive. They literally take up more space. Postures aren’t just an expression of how we feel. They can also inform the brain by changing our physiology. If you hold an open and expansive pose for a few minutes before an important situation, it can increase the dominance hormone testosterone and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Before facing a nerve-racking interview or speech, try these postures to start a physiological, psychological, and emotional cascade that will let your body better endure stress and increase your powers of persuasion. — As told to Karen Weise 

Photograph by Kareem Black for Bloomberg Businessweek; Groomer: Valissa Yoe; Casting: Wulf Casting
Carney is an assistant professor at University of California's Haas School of Business.

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