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What Does Your Walk Say About You?

What Does Your Walk Say About You?

Whether you like it or not, first impressions count. Whether this applies to the way in which you perceive a business or the individuals that you meet during the course of the typical day, it is estimated that we form initial impressions of people and things within a period of just seven seconds.

If you flip this, however, it is also fair to assume that people form initial impressions of you based on a number of physical tells. Your walk can be particularly revealing to others, as body language experts believe that this offers a telling if inexact insight into your mood, outlook and standing as an individual.

With this in mind, let’s consider five things that your walk says about you and how they are likely to be perceived by others:

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1. Your walk tells others whether you are lying or not

Let’s start with a bang, as while it is widely accepted that our walk reflects specific moods and attitudes, fewer people are aware that it can also help others to infer whether we are lying or not. According to a study conducted by American psychologists Paul Ekman and W.V. Friesen, those who are lying can be exposed by tell-tale muscle movement in the legs and feet as the human gait (which is established early in life) cannot be easily controlled.

So while liars focus solely on controlling their facial expressions as they interact, their gait and lower body movements offer an insight into their whether or not they are being truthful.

Happy brunette in white sun dress skipping on the sand

    2. Your walk reveals whether you have a positive or negative outlook

    If you walk with a long, purposeful stride and an exaggerated swing of the arms, you give the immediate impression of being a high-energy individual with a positive outlook. Individuals who walk with such a gait also tend to exude confidence. They also have an extremely positive self-image and considerable belief in themselves.

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    Studies have also shown that those who display such a gait have an aggressive approach to tackling problems, as they face challenges head-on and with tenacity. Conversely, people with a negative outlook have a minimal arm-swing and a relatively agitated gait. They are also more likely to look down rather than upwards.

    3. Your walk offers an insight into feelings of fear and vulnerability

    Occasionally you may come across an individual whose gait seems lethargic, and this tends to indicate low energy levels and lack of confidence to the untrained eye. Such a walk can also be indicative of feelings of inadequacy, however, unless the individual in question is unwell or has a pre-existing medical condition.

    It may also embody fear, as this type of gait indicates that an individual feels insecure in themselves and anxious about what lies ahead in the future. Studies have also shown that individuals who walk with their arms folded may be showing signs of vulnerability, especially if this physical tell is combined with a shuffling gait.

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      4. Your walk tells others that you may be an extrovert

      On a more positive note, we have all seen (and probably admired) people who walk with an exaggerated front-foot stride, a swagger of the hips and carefree movement. This can provoke a mixed response, but it is reflective of an extroverted personality who enjoys basking in the limelight and attracting all kinds of attention.

      This is particularly true in the case of males, as while the average individual likes to impress their mate by investing three months’ wages in a diamond engagement ring, extroverted men will strive to make an impression with an aggressive, macho stride. These individuals are particularly hard to miss, although they must also be prepared to encounter the wrong kind of attention on their travels.

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        5. Your walk informs others about your status and level of self-esteem

        The brisk, forceful stride is not to be confused with the exaggerated gaits mentioned previously, as power walkers tend to shift with the minimum of fuss and restricted arm movements. This is the walk of the so-called go-getter, who moves with speed and gives the impression of not wanting to waste time.

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        This type of walk is easily misunderstood, as it can reveal different insights when combined with additional gestures and movements. Those who power walk while refusing to make eye contact with others may be moving quickly in a bid to divert attention away from themselves, for example, while the presence of a dropped head or hunched shoulders hint at low self-esteem (or potentially a lack of status).

        With these points in mind, what do you think your walk says about you? We would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave us your comments below.

        Featured photo credit: David via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on October 14, 2020

        Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

        Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

        Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

        “Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

        It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

        You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

        Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

        Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

        Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

        1. Make a Gratitude List

        In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

        Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

        Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

        What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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        The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

        Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

        2. Write in a Journal

        Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

        All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

        Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

        However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

        3. Meditate

        Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

        Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

        Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

        Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

        Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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        Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

        Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

        4. Do Child’s Pose

        Yoga Outlet says:

        “Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

        When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

        It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

        To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

        Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

           

          Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

          5. Try Positive Self-Talk

          Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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          When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

          Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

          When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

          When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

          Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

          6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

          Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

          You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

          It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

          Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

          If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

          7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

          “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

          If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

          You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

          When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

          If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

          Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

          Final Thoughts

          If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

          Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

          You can invest in yourself via self-care.

          You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

          More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

          Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

          Reference

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