Health Tips by Barmer: Body language – 7 tips to reduce stress and boost your self-confidence at work
Our body language and posture influence the impression we make at work – and how we feel. We use body language such as gestures and vocal timbre to convey self-confidence and competence. Stress, nerves and pressure to perform, on the other hand, can affect our body language: we rush, our voice trembles – anyone who is under pressure will be familiar with this. But we can do something about it: through positive thinking and regular physical and breathing exer- cises, we can improve our stress resistance and appear more self-confident. And if we feel good at work, we will be more produc- tive and less prone to stress.
“First of all, we have to be aware of our inner stress,” explains Andrea Jakob-Pannier, social education worker and psychologist at BARMER. “Depending on the situation and conditions, different techniques
or strategies can help each person, depending on how great their personal resilience is, in other words to what extent they have learned to cope with challenging situations,” Jakob-Pannier explains. “So try out the following tips and see which ones help you with stress and nerves and what you feel comfortable with,” the psycho- logist advises.
7 tips to boost your self-confidence in your job
- An active start to the day: If you are well rested, you will be more resistant to stress. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and exercise in the fresh air. To start your day, gather your thoughts, calm your mind and keep an eye on time management.
- A feel-good atmosphere in the workplace: Help to create a good working atmosphere among your colleagues. A friendly word here, an appreciative gesture there – this creates trust, and you will feel more secure right away. This lowers the level of stress for everyone.
- Presenting more confidently: Are you nervous before a meeting or presentation? Loosen up your body beforehand, shake your arms and legs, circle your shoulders: backwards, forwards, then in opposite directions. Stand up straight when you speak, with both feet planted firmly on the floor, proud chest, look straight ahead.
- Improving your appearance in online meetings: Here, facial expressions count, as well as the background, your hairstyle and accessories, the style and colour of your clothes – all this influ- ences how we appear and the impression we make on the people we are presenting to. Also, make sure there is plenty of light, use your hands and look directly into the camera. Think about time management beforehand and present your content succinctly and precisely.
- For a strong voice: Do you have to give a presentation? This is how you can prepare your voice: Drink plenty of water or tea so that your vocal cords do not dry out. Vibrate your lips, like a snorting horse, moving your tongue loosely at the same time. Laugh. Furrow your brow. Move your head and neck in all direc- tions. Hum from your lowest to your highest note and back again.
- Breathe to calm your mind: Stressful day? First take a deep breath. Sit up straight with your legs at a 90-degree angle, put your hands on your thighs, pull in your abdomen, stick out your chest, hold your neck and head straight. Close your eyes and breathe deeply through your nose into your abdomen, counting slowly to four. Hold your breath for a moment, then let the air out again, slowly counting to four. Feel free to open the window while you do this.
- Positive thinking to counteract stress: Create moments of relaxa- tion in your day-to-day working life. Take five-minute breaks more often. Meditate, listen to your favourite song or go to a beautiful place in your mind: a beach, grandma’s wingback chair, a picnic blanket? Perhaps there’s a nice event coming up that you’re looking forward to? Positive thoughts give us strength.