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Stop Adding Stuff To Your Life, It’s Time To Declutter Your Soul Now

Stop Adding Stuff To Your Life, It’s Time To Declutter Your Soul Now

We live in a society that always tells us to get more.

You may be doing this unconsciously, because you’ve always been living this way and that’s your environment.

You’re buying more stuff, which you then need to take care of and fix. You make more friends, but that doesn’t mean you spend time with quality people who lift you up. You consume a lot of information daily, but most of it has nothing to do with your life and goals, and only brings you stress and worries. You add more tasks to your to-do list all the time, but most often you’re just keeping yourself busy, and still not getting the important things done.

Such life is complex. And this complexity makes us overthink, doesn’t let us fall asleep fast, makes us anxious because we are in a rush all the time and try to stay up-to-date.

It’s time to stop doing that.

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Simpler is better. Less is what you need more of and it’s the power of eliminating the unnecessary that will let you find more meaning in your days and more happiness in your soul.

Here are some little changes you can make to your lifestyle today that will help you declutter:

1. Analyze how you spend your time and remove unproductive activities.

Keep track of how you spend your time over the course of a few days. Write down everything you do. Then, review these and see what doesn’t give you any results, doesn’t make you happy or help you improve in any way. It’s just pointless to keep doing it.

You may be amazed at how many unproductive things you’re doing daily, without even realizing. That’s why you’ll need to track and review this weekly, to make sure you don’t fall into that trap again.

Soon, you’ll see less events in your calendar, less tasks on your to-do list and more time for the important things.

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2. Get rid of belongings you don’t use.

Now let’s move onto the belongings you have.

Be honest with yourself and say what you haven’t used in the last 6 months or so. It doesn’t really matter how precious you think it is, it only takes up space.

If you don’t take control of such possessions, you’ll end up living in the prison of your past, feeling nostalgic every time you look at these objects, and not having the chance to let go. So be ruthless. Give away stuff, sell it, and throw away the rest.

You’re better off without all that burden. Your future self will thank you for doing that, plus it’s a big step of your spiritual journey. You’ll now have more peace of mind, will feel freer than ever and ready to actually go after your goals in life.

3. Keep negativity away.

It’s time to clear your mind now. Negative thoughts don’t have any place there, especially if you want to change yourself and turn your whole life around.

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Start small. Notice the negativity in your mind and soul, recognize it, observe it and try to see what causes it. You may journal your thoughts to see some occurring themes. Maybe you’re negative after communicating with someone from your surroundings, or every day after doing a certain thing, or else.

Then, you’ll simply need to remove that or stop doing it to overcome that mental habit.

After that you can start taking charge of what goes in your mind. When you see a negative thought popping up, stop, say no and replace it with a positive one instead.

4. Keep things organized.

Find a place for everything in your home and office and keep it there. When you take it, put it back there.

A simple habit like that is the foundation of your personal organization skills. It will save you a lot of time and worries, you won’t forget where things are and will see a decluttered room and desk every time you enter.

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5. Stop saying yes to everything.

Our time is limited. We only have 24 hours in a day. And if we want to work on the things we believe in, but to also have time to rest, have fun and be with our loved ones, we’ll need to prioritize. Stop accepting every proposal you get, don’t start new projects every week, don’t set many goals at once and avoid working on more than one thing at a time.

All this will improve your performance and help you exceed in life, as you’ll only be working on the things that actually matter. You’ll also be happier and will prevent burnout. Adding stuff is never the answer. To get back to your path in life, to see clearly where you’re going and to start having fun and be calm again, you’ll need to remove anything that’s not essential.

Keep only what’s important to you. There’s no time for the rest.

What else can you eliminate today to declutter your soul?

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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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