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Start Your Day Off Perfectly with Positive Mind

Start Your Day Off Perfectly with Positive Mind

How do we start off our day so that it is enjoyable, exciting, fun, and loving? Thoughts! Yes, the thoughts we think carry an energy and ultimately create emotions and feelings within our bodies. The thoughts we think can make us happy or sad, energized or exhausted, loving or angry. Thoughts literally create our moods. Our moods then attract more of how we feel and thus what we experience during the day.

How do we begin to get a handle on all those thoughts we think all day long?

One of the fastest ways, is to begin in the morning with positive, loving, and grateful thoughts. When our bodies awaken each morning, often, we just start our day without much conscious thought about how we are feeling and what our intentions are for the day. What if, instead, we took a few minutes to consciously think about the day ahead of us. A day that we can create positively by using the power of our mind and the thoughts we are emitting.

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One of the fastest ways to begin this process is being appreciative and grateful for all the world has to offer. Often, there are things in our lives that are not the way we want them to be and that can create challenges and frustrations. With a slight change in perception and approach, over time, a change in how we see our challenges can develop. We can become grateful for all the good things in our lives and hold a new perspective of issues we are facing.

Morning is a wonderful time to create a new approach on how to see the world. It is like New Year’s Eve each morning and the ability to think anew. Repetitive approaches of finding gratitude in the smallest of ways will eventually create changes within the everyday duties, obligations, and responsibilities that each of us have to complete.

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Challenge to Listen to This Morning Meditation

Hay House is one of the most successful New Thought organizations in the world. It was founded by Louise Hay back in the 1980’s. In the attached video below produced by Hay House, Louise’s soft and gentle voice guides our thoughts to areas of gratitude and grace. She guides the listener to identify gratitude in so many parts of our lives that we often overlook, such as, turning on a faucet and having hot water easily pour out.

How often do we think about being grateful for that ease and convenience? As you listen to the guidance below, relax, think about how many of these things each of us have taken for granted, and then make a choice to become more conscious of being aware of all the good, all the conveniences, and all of the joy that is in our lives right now.

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The best way to make a permanent change within your mind it to repeat something for approximately 21-30 days. So, take the challenge to listen to this morning meditation by Louise Hay for the next 3-4 weeks. Journal how you are feeling during the day as you begin this process. Watch over the next few weeks and identify areas of improvement in your life.

How is the result?

Do you feel happier? Do the things and people in your life seem less irritating? Are you more conscious of small things, such as a warm shower or a sunny day? Are you able to see a rainy day as a gift rather than a burden? Shifting the thoughts you think about, as you move through the parts of your day, to find what you can appreciate in it, will allow the heavier thoughts of anger, frustration, annoyance, and even revenge to float away like clouds in the sky.

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Each of us control our own thoughts and learning that you have the power of thinking what you want, allows you to reframe events in your life to make the best out of everything that is happening to you, around you, and even in you. You are the power in your life and the thoughts you think will help you to use that power to create your own magical day.

Enjoy your life and know that you are in control of the thoughts you think. Those thoughts ultimately determine your emotions and how you feel and ultimately your life. Go forth and enjoy your day!

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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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