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12 Things That Happen When You Start To Keep Calm

12 Things That Happen When You Start To Keep Calm

Sally was a frazzled, exhausted, overweight insomniac. Turning 50 was not quite what she expected. Menopause had caused her hormones to go on strike resulting in severe night sweats, hot flushes and weight gain. Sally was tired of her crazy life and begged me for advice to find peace and calm in her tumultuous life.

If left unchecked, this type of stress that goes on for a long period is a triple whammy for weight gain–it increases your appetite, it makes you hold onto the fat, and it interferes with your willpower to implement a healthy lifestyle.

Bringing calm into your life is easier than you think. You do not have to meditate for an hour each day or attend an expensive resort. It does take a little effort on your behalf but the results will be amazing if you incorporate a few minor changes.

Let’s focus on what will happen when you approach life’s challenges and keep calm:

1. You will lose weight

Stress is a contributing factor to menopause weight gain, as well as weight gain at any other time in our lives. In the days when our ancestors’ stress was due to fighting or in the midst of famine, their bodies adapted by learning to store fat supplies for the long haul. Nowadays, many people are chronically stressed by life crises and work-life demands, therefore are prone to getting an extra layer of “visceral fat” in the belly area.

When you keep calm, you will begin to lose that excess weight.

2. You will stop craving food

When you are chronically stressed, you crave “comfort foods,” such as a bag of potato chips or a tub of ice cream. These foods tend to be easy to eat, highly processed, and high in fat, sugar, or salt. Stress interferes with your brain’s reward system, causing you to crave easy to grab comfort foods.

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When you keep calm you will be more relaxed and therefore not as likely to crave foods.

3. You will decrease inflammation in the body

Chronic stress leads to high levels of inflammation in the body. Researchers found that chronic stress changes gene activity of immune cells before they enter the bloodstream so that they’re ready to fight infection or trauma–even when there is no infection or trauma to fight. This leads to increased inflammation.

If you have any ailment due to inflammation such as arthritis, heart disease and early signs of aging, when you keep calm you will keep these symptoms at bay.

4. You will enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep

When the body finds peace and calm you will find it a breeze to not only fall asleep, but also stay asleep throughout the night.

No more waking up in the middle of the night. No more worries keeping you awake at night.

When you keep calm, you will wake up refreshed and relaxed.

5. You will have happy children

At a recent school event for my 12-year-old son, I was stressing out. It was an event where my son, who had built a solar car, and was competing against other schools.

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Be careful of the car! Don’t do this; don’t do that.

My son was getting stressed and I was making a fool of myself. I removed myself from the situation. I entrusted my son with his teachers, who know just how to work with teenage boys. I went off and found a coffee shop and chilled out.

An hour later I returned to a happy child who thanked me for trusting him and leaving him to work on his solar car.

When you keep calm, your family will be more relaxed around you.

6. You will find relief from muscle spasms

When you are stressed, your body needs magnesium to help relax the muscles. If you are constantly stressed, magnesium levels can become very low and can result in muscle spasms.

When you keep calm, you will find the muscle spams will decrease or disappear altogether.

7. You will have regular bowel motions

Following on from point number 6, decreased magnesium can lead to constipation. When you have regular bowel motions this has an add on effect with every point covered in this article.

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When you keep calm, you will achieve regular bowel motions and will be a much happier person to be with as a result.

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    8. You will be a happier person

    Once Sally made a few adjustments in her frazzled life, she became a happier person. As corny as it might sound, happy people attract happy people into their lives, creating an even happier environment.

    When you start to keep calm, you will be a happier person, which is great for you and for your family and friends.

    9. You will achieve more in your day

    When you are calm your mind will be able to process instructions in an organised manner.

    Sally noticed that once she was not so frazzled, she was able to decrease the time spent each morning showering, attending to her make-up and fixing her hair. When she was frazzled, the lipstick would not go on correctly and had to be adjusted or the shampoo bottle would explode at the wrong time, leaving a mess to be cleaned up.

    When she was calm, Sally found that mishaps were not as common.

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    When you find calm, you will achieve more in your day.

    10. You will have find your headaches disappear

    Headaches are frequently caused by anxiety. Anxiety puts a considerable amount of stress on the body, and can lead to headaches.

    When you keep calm, you put less stress in the brain. If you are prone to headaches these will decrease or disappear altogether.

    11. You will be able to handle your alcohol better

    When the liver is under stress, it is not able to filter alcohol to its optimum capacity. When you find calm in your life your liver will be better equipped to do its job properly. This is of particular concern for women when they reach menopause. Hormonal nightmare and stress is a potent combination leading to a decreased liver functioning.

    When you find calm, so will your liver.

    12. You will radiate confidence

    Say no more. A confident person is the envy of all.

    When you find peace in your life, you will radiate confidence and those around you will want to know your secret.

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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