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Maybe You’re An Old Soul If You Can Relate To These 11 Signs

Maybe You’re An Old Soul If You Can Relate To These 11 Signs

Do you sometimes feel like you’ve lived other lives? Maybe dreams or distant memories of faraway lands and languages?

Your body remembers your past lives too, in its aches and illnesses, your mind remembers them through fears and phobias that are a response to past life painful deaths, and your soul remembers them through the wisdom and talents you’ve acquired over those lifetimes.

The more lives you’ve lived, the more experiences you’ve had, and the more lessons you’ve learned. And even though your personal experiences might be different and unique from everyone else’s, there are some common factors that older souls share.

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See if you can relate to these 11 signs:

1. You crave solitude

Are you one of those people who don’t mind being alone? In fact, prefers it? You might notice that there’s a sweetness in solitude that social people don’t understand. Although you enjoy deeper connections, you need solitude and silence to nurture you when you feel disconnected. In your solitude is where you seek connection to the universal soul, and also your deepest self.

2. You’re spiritual, but not necessarily religious

If you’re someone who doesn’t depend on religion for direction, if you’re not afraid to ask the big questions, and letting the answers come up for you, you probably can relate to the “spiritual but not religious” phrase. You seek out activities, people and books that allow you to explore those bigger questions, and not rely on religion to provide you answers. You may be more drawn toward contemplative faiths than traditional practices.

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3. You try to look at the bigger picture

You have an expanded perspective of the universe, and your place in it. You’re aware that human beings have a role to play in the energy cycle of the planet, and you participate in activities that support it, like recycling, making energy-saving choices, or planting more trees rather than taking them down.

4. You generally feel older than your age group

Have you always gravitated towards an older age group than your own, even when you were a child? Do you find it easier to have conversations with people who talk about deeper topics, like philosophy, culture, or consciousness? And do you find yourself giving advice to others in your group who come to you for help?

5. You appreciate history

Although you’re not a hoarder, you’re not so quick to toss out old things to replace them with shiny stuff. You appreciate the story in an antique, you like to learn from history, and you prefer old music and literature. You rely on your own taste, rather than follow trendsetters.

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6. You feel like you don’t fit in with the society

Older souls often find themselves misunderstood. You might have strong opinions, but they’re generally in support of connecting people, rather than creating discord – building bridges versus building walls; and this might be misconstrued as weak or meek. Because you don’t dance to the popular tune, you might feel like you don’t fit in with the general society around you.

7. You are / were sometimes teased for being “too serious”

You realize that life is important, and that your time on the planet is precious. To ensure that you take advantage of this gift, you use your time to focus on self development and spiritual pursuits, that people around you might consider too intense or too serious. They might not understand the urgency you feel within.

8. Your typical activities are introspective and intellectual

You’re generally drawn to introspective activities such as art, literature, or music, rather than aggressive sports like boxing or hunting. You tend to gravitate toward activities that take you deeper within yourself, to understand your mind and soul, as opposed to outward expressions of power and dominance.

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9. You have a deja vu feeling of “been there, done that”

Have you noticed that a lot of skills come naturally to you? You might be naturally dexterous, you might have easy aptitude for drawing or learning, or you might find that you’re quick to pick up on hidden energies. Things that many people struggle to learn might be easy for you to grasp.

10. You’re sensitive toward other helpless, vulnerable beings

Empathy is a gift you’re given as you grow older in soul age. You ache when others cry, you feel their pain when others suffer, and you reach out to those who need a hand. It comes naturally to you, and you don’t think twice about giving away your possessions when someone needs something. You’re one of those people who loves to give more than they receive.

11. You have a strong sense of purpose for your life

You have an overwhelming inner longing for meaning and purpose. You are a seeker, and you want to learn the meaning of life and to know the purpose for your being. You know deep within that you’re here on the planet for a reason and you want this journey of life to be meaningful.

If you can relate to the 11 signs above, you might be an old soul! At a time when those who talk the loudest, those who can buy their way, and those who step on others to raise themselves up seem to be getting all the attention, what the world needs is YOU – your quiet inner strength, your empathy, and your wisdom. You can change the world by being yourself, by becoming more of who you are, and by discovering your place and purpose on the planet.

Featured photo credit: Marauder via albumarium.com

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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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