Can a Chair Shape Your Thinking?

psychology of furniture Jan 06, 2021

Studies have shown that how your body sits in a chair triggers your brain to think and your body to feel in a certain way. It triggers memories from our past and possibilities for our future. It elicits feelings that have been anchored into our experiences. 

“An upcoming field of psychology, known as Embodied Cognition, claims that the connection between our body and the world around us don’t just influence us but are intimately woven into the way that we think. Studies in this field show that those who sit in a hard chair are less likely to compromise than those sitting in a soft chair, and those holding warm drinks found others to be more caring and generous than those holding cold drinks. This research indicates that body language is a two-way street leading to both the external and internal world.” - Marianna Kilburn

According to Erik Peper, Professor of Psychology at San Francisco State University, a recent study revealed that those in the upright position likely had an easier time thinking of “empowering, positive” traits about themselves to write down while those in the slouched over position probably had an easier time recalling “hopeless, helpless, powerless, and negative” feelings.

Other studies have shown that posture can trigger our brain to shape our thinking. By sitting up straight, we can change the way we think.

Notice how you think when you’re reclined in a recliner versus sitting up in an office chair. In fact, to write this email, I had to move from the soft over-stuffed sofa to the dining table so that I could “think.” 

FUN ACTIVITY: Your mission is to match the chair you need when you want to shape your thinking and change your emotional state.

Who knew that your furniture had that much power, right? 

LifeSpace AH-HA:  Your furniture actually does have the power to shape your thinking, your state of mind and your emotions.