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5 Surprising Things Would Happen When You Start To Take Control Of Your Sunday Sadness

5 Surprising Things Would Happen When You Start To Take Control Of Your Sunday Sadness

Sunday morning’s glorious sleepiness embraces you with the provocative aroma of fresh brewed coffee, pancakes shyly rising in their buttery pan and the delightful sizzling of bacon. The stage is set for a perfect Sunday, full of promise and never asking for anything in return. This wondrous moment is nothing less than pure joy.

Then 4 p.m. approaches and BOOM … your mood plummets and everything feels bleak and hopeless (a legit thing – ask the experts). But you have the power to dramatically turn your day around when you decide to take control of your Sundays.

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1. You’ll Create A Future Overflowing With Happy Sundays.

Choose to do your unpleasant chores or obligations on Saturday. This is when your energy and mood are naturally more positive. You will open Sunday up for unencumbered fun, when your psyche is most in need of it. Even better, accomplish those Sunday chores during the week. This will considerably free you up. Food shop online and have it delivered after work, do small loads of laundry here and there during the week, run your errands before or after work. If you have no choice but to do your chores on a Sunday, set a timer and do them and be done. Agonizing over what you have to do, interferes with your peace of mind and the quality of your Sunday.

2. You’ll Develop Skills Of A Forward Thinker.

On Friday, before the workday ends, plan your Monday schedule. Keep it as light and friendly as possible, gently reintroducing yourself to the beginning of the week. Who wrote the book on Mondays having to be a dreaded day? Rewrite that book. Changing a formed habit is sometimes all it takes to make a big difference, to make all the difference. Plan a treat for every Monday. Something to look forward to, something just for you. Make Mondays memorable.

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3. You’ll Discover The Ideal Day For Pampering.

Sunday is the perfect day to dedicate to showering yourself with love and attention. You’ve taken care of business during the week, today is your day. By the end of Sunday, you’ll be refreshed and more than ready and willing to take on the challenges of the week. When late afternoon arrives, it’s especially important to do something fun. Turn up some music and joyously dance around your house, call a funny/inspiring friend, watch a movie that motivates and inspires you. Anything that says fun to you.

4. You’ll Become A Master At Setting Yourself Up For A More Positive Week.

When you make the choice to have a positive attitude on Sunday afternoons, you feel empowered. Think about your Sunday routine and decide what it would take to disempower the Sunday blues. Maybe all it would take is writing your feelings down as soon as you begin feeling blue. Keep writing and do not stop until every last drop of negativity is out of your system. How about lending a hand to those who are in need, or join a fun group that meets on Sunday afternoons. When you choose to take the power back, this wonderful feeling spills over into the rest of your week. You are no longer a victim. You will perform better at work, be more relaxed and feel healthier.

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5. You’ll Be Able To Answer The Question “What Is My Purpose In Life”.

Once you do that, there’s no reason to feel sad on Sunday afternoon. Your life isn’t about the nine to five of Monday through Friday, it’s about something more meaningful. Setting up a life that you don’t need to escape from is your goal when the Sunday blues are threatening to overtake your night. Use this time wisely, determine what triggers this blue feeling and instead of sitting there dwelling, strategize. What is it that bothers you about Mondays? Do you work for an unbearable boss, is the traveling getting you down or do you just hate what you do? You are not getting the Sunday night blues because it’s the end of the weekend. You are getting the Sunday night blues, because you hate your job. This will not be solved in a day, but this is the ideal time to come up with realistic ways to solve this problem. Each Sunday, write down easy, achievable goals, and begin achieving them, slowly, steadily. The Sunday blues will melt away as you transform your life.

Featured photo credit: shutterstock_287858642 via media.lifehack.org

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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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