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3 Things To Remember If Your Pet Enjoys Adventures

3 Things To Remember If Your Pet Enjoys Adventures

As you scroll down your Facebook feed, you find various cat or dog videos that make you giggle on the inside. It cheers you up watching those animals running around and creating their own mayhem. You’ve always wanted a pet or you’ve noticed that your friends seem much happier when they’ve got a pet. You’d love a pet who enjoys the outdoors and is active, but at the same time you love animals that are pretty and elegant.

The biggest question is: what are your responsibilities when you have a pet that’s the best of both worlds?

Recently, I got a bright, fluffy and red Persian cat who encompassed all of these qualities. Two days after taking it for a hike to the forest, I came back to find her hair tangled with twigs and leaves within her beautiful coat. Here are a few of the points I’ve picked up that will help you as a new pet owner.

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1. Understand Your Pet Needs As Much Grooming As You Do.

Have you tried to avoid grooming yourself for days? In other words, would you be able to resist a shower after running around in the forest or the city all day? I assume that a nice bath isn’t only calming for your soul but creates wonders for your skin. Hygiene and grooming are as important for pets as they are for us. Not paying importance to this need for grooming is a form of negligence towards your pets.

To avoid this, you first need to know your pet and its breed. Second, knowing what’s needed for its grooming and hygiene is important. If you have a long-haired or a rather curly haired pet, make sure to brush them regularly. If you’re taking them on one of your nature walks, then be sure to brush them and wash them as soon as you’re back. Avoid leaving dirt in their fur, as it may cause the hair to be severely tangled, which may require the hair to be shaved.

Some pet owners assume that bathing their pet isn’t necessary. However, the truth is that regular washing of your dog or cat is necessary to avoid attracting any form of parasite or developing skin diseases.

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2. Creating A Bond Of Trust With Your Pet Is Important.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a bond like that between a teacher and student, mother and a daughter, or husband and wife, they say the key to a lasting relationship is trust. The possibility to allow someone to approach you at your most vulnerable state is what the word “trust” entails. Therefore, this formation of trust is the first step in any relationship.

How is this different in our relationship with our pets then?

For an adventurous and outgoing pet, you need to build a bridge of trust, commitment, and love. As we all are aware of, pets are very instinctive animals, they “smell” your fear, love, temper, sadness, and happiness. Therefore, it is impossible for one to trick their pet into falling for them — unlike humans, their strongest sense is emotions.

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Hence, before going on any adventure, build a connection with your pet. Allow it to be part of your life as much as you would want to be to part of its life. Show your pet compassion and love and allow your pet to do the same. Once you’ve reached the pivotal point of separation anxiety, you know that you and your pet have officially built a bridge.

3. Always Watch Your Pet’s Diet.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that our bodies are our temples and we have to constantly watch what we put in them. Diet is the most important part of every living being on this planet. A perfect diet ensures our health and our energy throughout our lifetime and helps us avoid the hospital in the long run. This same concept applies to our pets as well — a perfect diet allows your pet to have the energy it needs to be active throughout the day.

If you’ve got a pet that loves the outdoors, loves playing and being an explorer, then you’ve got to keep an eye on its diet. Some pet owners, out of love, tend to overfeed their pets. In the long run, this is unhealthy. This is because our pets aren’t built to sustain more food than their bodies can handle. Therefore, overfeeding them will lead straight to obesity.

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This eventually restricts their freedom and their will to be constantly active due to a severe lack of energy. To avoid this situation, check with your veterinarian on what kinds of food you should feed your pet and follow the feeding table accordingly. This ensures that your pet will be constantly happy and active throughout its lifetime.

In a nutshell, if your pet loves adventure and has the spirit of an explorer, then let it embrace that freedom. Take the time to have an adventure together and enjoy life. I for one can guarantee that you won’t regret it .

Featured photo credit: Dog Travel via flipkey.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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