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Psychology Discovers 10 Signs That Show You Actually Enjoy Your Unhappiness

Psychology Discovers 10 Signs That Show You Actually Enjoy Your Unhappiness

Happiness is what human beings seek, but why is it that some of us seem to enjoy unhappiness? According to David Sack, M.D., board certified in Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry:

“Happiness is complicated. Some people find happiness even in situations that would challenge the most optimistic person; some are unhappy despite having it all.”

A study by Eduardo Andrade and Joel B. Cohen analyzed why people enjoy horror movies. The study concluded that some people are “happy to be unhappy.” The researchers found that these people are able to feel both positive and negative emotions at the same time. While they enjoy the relief that comes after a threat is removed, they also enjoy being scared.

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Here are 10 signs that show you enjoy your unhappiness according to psychologists:

1. You are not able to enjoy success

You don’t feel a sense of achievement even after accomplishing your goals. Even if you do achieve some goals, the enjoyment does not seem to last very long.

2. You find reasons to be miserable

There is no big problem in life right now. You just got a new job, moved to a new house, and found an awesome partner in life. Here is how your discussion with him looks like on a Saturday night, “I can’t believe how bad my old job treated me. They never gave me the credit I deserved. It makes me sad.” In short, you find reasons to be unhappy even when everything in life is going fine.

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3. You compete to see who has it the hardest

When you are having discussions about your life with friends and colleagues, you find yourself always focusing on the negatives, as if to prove to your friends that you have it the worst. “You worked 10 hours yesterday, well I worked 11” or “That’s rough, but you should hear about my night”.

4. You have a hard time getting over things

Someone made an uncalled for remark about your past and you cannot get over it. It disturbs your mental peace to a point where it affects your sleep for days.

5. You feel powerless

You feel that you are trapped in your emotions and that no matter how hard you try, you cannot break free. You feel like your emotions are controlling you rather than the other way around.

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6. You play the victim

You always feel like you are a victim of circumstances. You think that other people or situations are the cause of your unhappiness rather than thinking, “Maybe some of the choices I made could have been responsible for how I feel right now.”

7.You have unfulfilling relationships

You find yourself stuck in unfulfilling or love-hate types of relationships. You feel like you cannot get out and you always end up involved in these poisonous kinds of relationships.

8. You indulge in addictive behaviors

You resort to alcohol or drugs to cope up with pain or find yourself resorting to compulsive behaviors such as binge eating to get away from a situation that is bothering you.

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9. You don’t feel like taking care of yourself

You stop caring for yourself. You don’t feel like eating healthy food, exercising, doing fun activities (such as going out with friends), or getting proper sleep.

10. You are constantly dissatisfied

You feel that dissatisfaction in life never goes away. Even if everything in life seems to be going smooth, there is a constant feeling of dissatisfaction that lingers.

Conclusion

So what can you do if you find that you have some of these signs? Well, recognizing them is the first step. Psychologists say we must accept who we are in order to change. As long as we fully recognise and accept our current status as it is, then we will find ourselves naturally moving towards a positive direction. The next step is saying, “I think I can”, to quote The Little Engine That Could. When we weed out the negative thoughts and inject positivity into our mind, changes can begin.

For others, there is help. Treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy can ensure a path to happiness in life. Make that choice today.

You can also refer to the original article here.

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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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