Walking into a bar or crowded dinner party can be intimidating. Being surrounded by a bunch of people you're unfamiliar with or trying to impress the smokeshow at the bar is no easy task...for most of us.
If you aren't as smooth as Ryan Gosling (and let's face it, you're probably not), you can still help yourself create a mental and visual confidence by simply adjusting the way you hold your drink and carry yourself in a room.
While many people focus on trying to say the right things to come off as confident, basic body language can go a long way in showing your confidence and making you feel confident, too. It all starts with eye contact and creating a posture that shows you're open to conversation and secure enough to hold one.
When you order your drink at the bar, hold it at waist level rather than up near your chest. This will automatically force you to push out your chest and open your shoulders, creating a more powerful stance. Notice in the photos below that most people hold their drinks at chest-level, which doesn't give off that same air of confidence.
What you're going for is a more relaxed position. Leaning back a little and opening up your stance makes you appear more inviting. This gentleman is a lot closer to getting it right.
Even if you're nervous or feel intimidated, faking a power stance can actually trick your mind into thinking you're feeling powerful and confident. You want to come off as relaxed as possible—hunching forward and folding your arms across your body projects nervousness.
Sounds fishy, right? Next time you're feeling down, try forcing yourself to smile continuously. After some time, you will actually start to feel better. That's your brain making alterations to your mood based off of your physical cues.
In an experiment by social psychologists Amy Cuddy and Dana Carney, two groups of people were placed in either a high- or low-power pose. Take a look at the increase and decrease in testosterone levels simply from sitting in those respective positions for as little as two minutes.
If you think this is all just BS, don't take my word for it—there are thousands of studies and tons of research showing how big a difference body language can make. For more detailed information from someone who really knows what she's talking about, be sure to check out Cuddy's TED Talk on body language and power posing below.
Her talk goes in-depth on our non-verbal gestures and body language. From folding your hands to crossing your arms, all of these gestures create non-verbal cues to everyone around you. You can perform all sorts of power stances before a sports game, test, job interview or any other situation you may be nervous about to increase your confidence, and maybe your performance, too.
So next time you're at a bar or event, hold that beer low and puff your chest out. The ladies will take notice, and so will your brain. As Cuddy says, your body really can change your mind.
Know of any other brain or body hacks like this? Let us know in the comments section.