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Want to Lift Yourself Up? Instant Mood Boosters

Want to Lift Yourself Up? Instant Mood Boosters

What if I told you that you could instantly change your life and the lives of those around you by simply paying attention to the universe and embracing opportunities to spread good energy? Don’t believe me? I challenge you to give it a try!

Acts of kindness and spreading good energy will absolutely bring you immense joy and happiness and will lift your spirits and change your mood instantly. An act of kindness given freely with absolutely no expectation for anything in return can truly change another person’s day as well as your own. Here are 10 simple ways that you can spread good energy and lift your mood instantly. In helping someone, you will experience mood boosters for yourself.

1. Pay attention

The universe is constantly presenting us with opportunities to be kind. Are you paying attention to these mood boosters? From assisting someone with carrying groceries, to standing back and opening doors, to allowing someone to go before you in a queue, there are events occurring around you and in front of you that will offer you the opportunity to lift yourself up as well as someone else. In today’s busy world, practicing courtesy has gone by the wayside. Start paying attention to who is around you. Expand your energy out and shower kindness to the people you encounter over the course of your day. A single act of kindness sends out a blast of positive energy that spreads further than you could ever imagine.

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2. Pay it forward

Practice random acts of kindness as often as you can.

For example –
Pay for a stranger’s coffee if you have spare change.
Cook a meal for someone who is struggling and needs a hand.
Send someone a beautiful hand written letter – YES handwritten! The art of hand writing a beautiful letter has been replaced with emailing and texting so take the time to create a personal letter to let someone know how important they are to you.
Wash someone’s car.
Clean someone’s house.
Tidy up someone’s garden.
Buy someone flowers.

I could keep going with this list as there are just so many ways to pay it forward. Giving your time, your energy or a small gift can lift someone’s spirits and warm someone’s heart as well as your own.

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3. Be compassionate

Practice compassion with everyone. When someone is struggling, if you really listen to them and offer words of support and encouragement, you will naturally shine light in what is often a dark place. Having a positive, compassionate, and forgiving outlook will recharge your soul and provide you with mood boosters.

4. Reconnect

Take the time to really connect with your community. When you step outside and start engaging with the people around you, sharing their stories and embracing what they are contributing to the world, you will create all sorts of positive emotions. Take the time as well to reconnect with old friends who you have lost touch with and make sure you check up on people who may be experiencing hard times. I can assure you, the energy exchanged between you and someone else when you reconnect is powerful.

5. Volunteer

Volunteering is an investment into your community as well as the people who live in it. Investing pretty much always offers a return right? So imagine the return you will get when you volunteer your time and energy and focus on having a positive impact on someone else’s life instead of your own.

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6. Listen

Make someone else feel valued by listening. When you next meet with someone, turn off your mobile phone and put it away. Give them your undivided attention. Be mindful, present, and engaged and really take in the whole conversation without the distractions.

7. Create your own movement

Inspire people around you to follow your lead. Maybe there is an opportunity for you to create a community event or activity that could change lives for the better. Recruit like-minded people and find a way to share some positive action in your community. Nothing is more uplifting than throwing yourself into a project that is based on giving from the heart.

8. Give genuine compliments and smile

Take the time to give a genuine compliment to someone in your circle. Expressing a real, heartfelt compliment to someone connects and creates a bond of pure uplifting energy between you and the recipient. And while you are at it, smile more. Smiling instantly changes your mood. It is like flicking the on switch to feeling happy. Smiling has all sorts of positive effects on your body and when you smile at another person, that feel good energy is nothing short of contagious.

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9. Shine your light

Spread good energy and don’t be afraid to really be yourself. Have you ever met someone who “lights up a room”? They energize everyone around them with their positive attitude. You can choose to uplift and inspire people and in return you will be rewarded with even more positive energy and fuel for your soul.  Remember, you do not need anyone’s approval to be yourself. Now more than ever we need more unique, authentic, people willing to shine their light on the world.

10. Repeat the above list daily

Keep your eyes and your heart open and embrace the opportunity to uplift someone else.

We can all make a difference and share more joy and more positive energy with the world. For every act of kindness you do, you give out an abundance of warm, uplifting energy to the universe. There is no act too small or too big. Even the simplest of gestures can affect many lives for the better. The healing powers of kindness are plentiful and I implore you to open up your heart and give generously to be kind and courteous. It will lift your spirits, change your life, and the lives of so many around you.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Jo Ettles

Jo Ettles is a published self help author, international writer, speaker and extremely gifted intuitive life coach.

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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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