SCIENCE
10/15/2014 08:20 am ET Updated May 15, 2015

The Simple Trick That Can Boost Your Confidence Immediately

Smile, don't slouch. And don't cross your arms. Your parents probably taught you to use certain body language to appear friendly and polite.

But new research shows that your body language does much more than change the way other people see you -- it can change how you see yourself. Psychologists describe this phenomenon as "embodied cognition."

Just watch the latest video in our Talk Nerdy To Me series above to learn more.

Dr. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard Business School, brought embodied cognition to the forefront in a powerful TED talk in 2012, which was viewed by more than four million people on YouTube. In the talk, she opens up about cutting-edge research on "power posing" -- the idea that your posture can influence your confidence.

"The work that Amy Cuddy discusses is that certain body movements/postures produce changes at the physiological level, like changes in hormones," body language expert Dr. Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk, a research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, told The Huffington Post in an email. "For example, people process sentences to be more angrily toned when they are asked to read the sentence with their eyebrows furrowed."

And that's not the only example of bizarre embodiment. Research shows that your arms, your smile, and even your hand gestures influence your mind, mood, and behavior.

Just keep reading and/or check out the video above for six scientific findings that shed light on how you can use your own body to your benefit. And, leave your thoughts about the power of embodied cognition in the comments below.

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