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4 Ways Pets Ensures A Healthy Family

4 Ways Pets Ensures A Healthy Family

A family is definitely the pivotal importance for everyone. It’s the support system many depend on and many struggles to keep it pretty and shiny. They wake up every morning, take the subway and head to our work, which they may or may not love just to be able to provide for our family. They strive to provide comfort, stability, and happiness both physically and emotionally for our family hence we continuously look for avenues to make this ambition a reality.

A happy family is a healthy family, is something many of our ancestors believe. Therefore, we always ensure that our family members are healthy in any necessary way possible. However while many families prefer technology, they’ve forgotten the simplest method in keeping a healthy family is with pets.

Pets have been men’s best friends since the era of dinosaurs. Here are a few reasons how and why pets ensure your family members health and happiness.

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1. They’re great exercise partners.

Pets are great incentives for workouts; however, it most definitely depends on the pet and the training that’s given to the pet. However if you’re a proud owner of a cat or dog then rest assured with the right training they can become your ultimate motivation for a great training partner.

They’re great partners for hiking and making workouts exciting, where you’re able to explore safely and rely on a trustworthy partner. Furthermore, as an outdoor animal, their instincts are tuned to the roughness of nature and the adventure it upholds. Hence, this gives you an opportunity for an excellent cardiac workout as well as a chance to embrace nature. Therefore, drag your furry friend along for a wild ride.

2. Great psychological companions.

Health consists of both physiological and psychological functions. Animals are known for their capability of understanding and observing situations. Instinctually they’re the closest towards human thinking and emotions; therefore, they tend to be able to relate us. They understand our needs and they are able to give us psychological comfort.

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For many year psychologists have used pets to cure bipolarity, depression, OCD, anxieties, and PTSD syndromes. The support, the comfort, and the reliance a pet provides allow their owners to find relief. Eventually, this provides a chance to ensure a healthier mind and lifestyle.

3. Keeps your children immune deficiency up.

Children are your main purpose of creating a safe cocoon. However, in our digitalized world, your children are easily influenced into playing video games or being continuously at home. While many assume it isn’t a huge problem, it increases the risk of immune deficiency and vitamin deficiency.

If one’s familiar with the theory, the children who are exposed to the dirt and nature at a young age develop a higher immune system and sufficient Vitamin D because of having enough exposure to sunlight. These children develop a stronger body and higher tolerance towards extremities.

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Having a pet allows your children to be exposed to nature, dirt and the sun at a very young age. This develops their tolerance and increases their visibility. Hence having pets actually takes your children away from the digitalized world, away from obesity and finally encouraging them with nature.

4. Increases the need for proper hygiene.

Proper hygiene has become an important focal point in any household. Keeping a clean household prevents your family from contracting any form of diseases or viruses .Furthermore, it also allows your family into having a happy and confident environment for continuous progress and growth.

However having a pet increases the responsibility to constantly keep the hygiene in check. It increases the importance as well as your consciousness to keep not only the pet clean but also your whole house and surroundings. If you’re a family with young children, this gives your children the early education and importance of hygiene.

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Eventually, it encourages both cleanliness and health as a priority in your family.

So, if you’re considering taking a pet then think no more, walk down to your nearest adoption center and pick your first pet. Even though pets bring spiritual comfort but they too bring various health benefits as well as lifestyle benefits to a family. After all, that’s what we all strive for.

Featured photo credit: Shenkeri via facebook.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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