How Good Posture Can Boost Your Confidence When You Need it Most


Purveyors of self-help are constantly reminding us to be aware of our body language when meeting someone new. Recent scientific research suggests that our posture doesn’t just affect how others see us, though—it also alters how we see ourselves.

As Quartz reports, a new study published in the journal NeuroRegulation found that college students felt more comfortable and confident in their ability to answer simple math problems when they sat up straight. Of the 125 participants, 56 percent reported that it was easier to solve subtraction problems in their head while seated in an upright position as opposed to being slumped over.

This was particularly true for people who indicated in a questionnaire that they doubted their mathematic ability, according to lead author Erik Peper, a professor of health education at San Francisco State University. "For people who are anxious about math, posture makes a giant difference," Peper said in a statement. "The slumped-over position shuts them down and their brains do not work as well. They cannot think as clearly."

Researchers say this is because slumping is a “defensive posture” that can trigger negative memories—something that people with anxieties may already be sensitive to. Students’ posture affected how they felt about the math activity rather than the performance itself, but good posture could help people relax while taking tests or participating in other anxiety-inducing activities, like interviews.

Good posture could also potentially give athletes, musicians, public speakers, and other performers a confidence boost. In addition, good posture is associated with a number of other health benefits, and has been proven to be better for your muscles, joints, and ligaments. Bad posture, on the other hand, has been linked to tension headaches, back pain, reduced lung capacity, arthritic joints, digestive problems, and a slew of other ailments.

So the next time you’re feeling anxious or insecure, sit up straight and hold your head up high. There may be something to the “fake it 'til you make it” approach after all.

[h/t Quartz

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]