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5 Things You May Want to Know About Yourself

5 Things You May Want to Know About Yourself

Life is all about going along for the ride. This has never been a cakewalk for anyone. While some people respond to life’s adversities with optimism and hope, there are others who are not as blessed to experience or advocate the same perspective. Self-control and patience play an inadvertently important role during the toughest phases of our lives. And yes, it is quite easy to formulate a plan and preach along the lines. A lot depends on how an individual takes in what is learned and adapting it for betterment.

You may be wondering as to how one can tune their minds on a manual mode in the difficult circumstances. Some of us talk to the therapists, while the rest read up online for inspiration. If you are in the league of the latter, here is an explanation coming your way, precisely explaining the truth that you may want to know about yourself. This is very important, as looking into your inner abilities paves the way to tackle those outer obstacles. The five most important things that you need to know about yourself as a part of human race are:

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1. You are a survivor

Yes. The human race is all about surviving. Human beings are the most superior of all the living beings, we have been made with an impeccable capacity to fight, adapt and exist. Surviving great mishaps and problems is really not a challenge for us. We just get slow and demotivated, driven by the external factors.

The truth is, you have every bearing to stand up during the test of time to fight it out and get to the end destination. Be it a personal tragedy, financial difficulty, or a mental conflict, you have been equipped with an invisible shield to use and protect yourself from the adversities. It is all up to you as to how to put this power into full use.

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2. You have been pre-programmed to succeed 

Remember the period of evolution when the man came out of monkeys? Think through the process. We have been inherently programmed to evolve and emerge. Evolving oneself is not just about changing habitat and the surroundings. It is also about rising above tough situations and proving to be bigger than that.

Remember that it is your most real self to adapt, reboot and relive. The process may take varied time length for different people. But the process is inevitable. You will ultimately stand up to take charge of the situation. You have been born with it.

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3. You will make your own rules

Take a look at the rules that have been set in place for the totality of civilization. They are nothing but man-made arrangements for ideal conditions. The same holds good for your individual struggle. The fact that you have landed in a particular situation will be largely due to the way you would have behaved or reacted to it.

4. You will get better, not bitter!

There is a saying – you can either become better or bitter with difficulties. Be assured that your mind will first look at the ‘better’ options and not bitter. You have to grab the moment and instill some pep talk that keeps you driving towards bettering yourself after a hurdle. Now, this ability is not easily acquired for most of us.

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But remember that it is not impossible to do so. Programming your mind for better tomorrow sows the seeds of progress in the sub conscious. Better thoughts that lead to better actions and even better results. You have it in you to get better by the day, and not otherwise.

5. Look into the mirror – that is your final competition

There is no better contender in life than your own self. It is important to battle out with your negative feelings and emerge positive. This is a bit of work that can be done with self-motivation and constant affirmations. You are your end game and the rest is all a big fiction that goes on around. Look into the mirror; that is your ultimate contest.

Win over your own inner demons, and the outer devils will be easily taken care of. Most times, it is all happening in your mind, and that is where you can change the plot. Make sure you follow this simple Mantra to enrich your inner soul and mind-set.

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Lisa smith

Writer, Author & Designer

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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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