Did your grandmother ever threaten to strap a broom to your back if you didn't stand up straight? Turns out, she was offering some good advice (maybe not the nicest solution, but Grandma's gotta do what she's gotta do, right?).
Bad posture can not only cause you to look unprofessional, sloppy, and unattractive, it may also cause health problems like fatigue, sore muscles, and can even trigger a headache or migraine if you are susceptible to them.
Here are a few tricks and tips to help you practice better posture:
1) Posture 101: shoulders down and back
If you're a total slouch, you may have forgotten how to stand up straight without it feeling awkward. Remember, spine straight, stomach in, shoulders back, chest out, chin up. Yes, all of it at the same time. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds.
2) Accept that it will be uncomfortable
It's easy to give up on a new habit after you've done it for a day and you're tired of it. Standing up straight with your shoulders back will be uncomfortable for a while before you get used to it. Accept the challenge and stick to standing and sitting up straight.
3) Note how your feel when you've got good posture
Do you feel stronger? More confident? More alert? Good. You should! Your body language not only has a lot to do with how you feel (no more neck pain!), but also will make you come off as more self-confident and powerful.
4) Don't forget your core
Good posture isn't all about your back and shoulders. Like everything, it comes from the core! Do yourself a dual favor by flexing your stomach muscles slightly (just enough to feel it, but not enough to torture yourself) while sitting and standing.