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7 Things To Remember If You Don’t Want To Die With Any Regrets

7 Things To Remember If You Don’t Want To Die With Any Regrets

There are many statements and pieces of advice that can be said about what it is to live so fully that you won’t have any regret when you die. There is one element that encompasses a full life, and that’s following your truths. It’s being true to yourself about what you want and not deviating from those desires. This is solely what negates the sting of regret. Think hard about these tips so that one day, when it’s time for you to leave this earth, you won’t have any regret when you die.

Don’t Ever Leave Without Saying I Love You

Honestly, this is really important. My mom died last year and I can still feel the amount of love she had for me in her last “I love you.” I, of course, told her I loved, her but it was almost a distracted comment at the time. She knew it would be our last goodbye and last “I love you,” so with the power she had left, she said it with so much passion that it still makes me feel warm today.

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Don’t Take Those You Love For Granted

You will probably notice this throughout your life. A relationship ends and you remember all the reasons you loved them. Your children fly the coup and you fondly remember the house filled with laughter. When you reach the end of your life, you will probably contemplate a lot about people that meant something to you. Every time you have a beautiful memory, it might be tainted with the fact you weren’t really giving that person your full attention. Look into the eyes of the people you love, listen to them, feel their presence in your life. Don’t take one minute of it for granted, as love really is the primary purpose of our existence.

Beat To Your Own Drum

That’s right. Be weird, be silly. Be whatever makes you happy. Date a hippy, date a stock broker. Whatever it is that makes you feel happy, do that. Life should be yours, it should be fulfilling. This is a biggie to prevent regret when you die. Doing what was always a part of your true nature. It may not make you rich or famous, but those things won’t really matter when you live out your personal dreams.

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Do Good Things

Have you ever had the opportunity to be compassionate towards someone and walked away instead? I remember seeing a girl I sort-of knew from high school and she was crying. I really felt compelled to put my arms around her and give her a hug but I was too shy. This happened well over ten years ago and I still remember that moment. I should have tried to make her feel better, let her know that someone cared at that exact moment. Don’t let moments like these pass you by. We were put here to care for one another when necessary.

Do Charitable Deeds

When you are coming to the end of your life, you’ll likely wish you could have done more in this world. There is no truer legacy than leaving others less fortunate with something. Those people will never forget you, and it’s likely you changed their life in bigger ways than you realize. While it’s not about being remembered, it’s in us as humans to reach out to others and be helpful.

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Live YOUR Dreams

This is a big one. In past generations, there was little option to live out your own dreams. Society had a black and white idea on what a man should be and what a woman should be. It’s simply not the case anymore, so cut out the voices from generations before you and really live out your true dreams. No matter how silly or irrational it seems to others, this is your life alone. This brings you immeasurable joy in your life and you likely did it even though you were afraid.

Be Bold

Magic happens out of your comfort zone, and what you desire in life could be challenged by your own fears. My advice is to do the things that you’re afraid to do. Even if there’s no reward at the end of the rainbow, realizing that your fear was unfounded brings boldness. I guess that’s why we feel the adrenaline when we see videos of adrenaline junkies. While I’m not suggesting that you jump out of a plane, face your fears with the same gusto. When you are at the end of your life, that’s one less thing to regret when you die. You confronted what you were most afraid of and you won.

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Loraine Couturier

Content creation and marketing

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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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