Advertising
Advertising

12 Uncomfortable Feelings That Tell You’re On The Right Track

12 Uncomfortable Feelings That Tell You’re On The Right Track

No matter what stage you are at in your life, it is important that you feel you are on the right track to achieve your individual goals. The problem is that many of us experience feelings of fear and discomfort as we grow and evolve as individuals, and there is a tendency to mistake these emotions for symptoms of unhappiness or discontentment.

As a result of this, we may instinctively pull back from the precipice and attempt to deal with issues that simply do not exist, rather than embracing these unsettling emotions and understanding that they are the mere embodiment of change. Once we achieve the latter, we can continue to pursue our goals with tenacity and success.

12 Uncomfortable Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions that Indicate you are on the right track

To help understand this in greater detail, let’s take a look at the feelings and emotions that are clear indicators of positive change and personal progression. These include: –

1. Realising that you are the only Person responsible for your Life and Happiness

As you make strides to improve yourself and your lifestyle, you will quickly come to the realisation that you and you alone are responsible for your future happiness. This type of emotional autonomy is extremely daunting, while it can also create an incredible amount of pressure that weighs heavily on your shoulders. Despite this, learning to embrace this feeling as a symbol of growth is the first step towards future attainment.

Advertising

2. Feeling Lost and Directionless

Often, the sense of feeling lost or directionless is mistaken for a symbol of depression, but in fact the opposite may be true. Instead, it indicates that you are becoming more present in your life, as you begin to consider alternative narratives and opportunities outside of the premeditated restrictions that you have previously placed on yourself. So although this makes you feel as though you are directionless, you are actively reconsidering the future paths are open to you in the future.

3. Experiencing disrupted and Unpredictable sleeping patterns

As you begin to consider these brand new narratives, you will find that your mind may become overly busy and cluttered. This can trigger disrupted and largely unpredictable sleeping patterns, which will either see you experience a shortage or an excess of sleep, as your mind constantly races with thoughts and opportunities.

I found this prior to embarking on an an internship in Thailand back in 2012, as countries economy and income levels boomed. Preoccupied with the opportunities and experiences that awaited me, I struggled to sleep at all and realised that this was typical when taking risks in life and pushing the boundaries of personal development.

4. Enjoying Intense and Vivid Dreams

Similarly, the sleep that you do enjoy will be distinguished by intense and vivid dreaming, the details of which you can almost always recall in detail. Given that these dreams are often the manifestation of your subconscious thoughts, this would suggest that your mind is overwhelmed by compelling and often contrasting narratives. The intensity of your dreams often reflect the depth or the nature of your thoughts, so while this can be unsettling it is usually and indication that you on the precipice of change or evolution.

Advertising

5. Struggling to focus or concentrate

Once again, this sensation is often attributed to feelings of being lost or out of touch with those around you, but it may actually relate to the deployment of alternative brain functions. As we begin to act on intuition and engage the creative and emotional aspects of our mind, for example, we utilise the right hemisphere of our brains accordingly. This can interrupt left brain functions such as focusing and remembering small details, creating muddled thinking and significant confusion.

Rather than being a cause for concern, however, this is an indication of an opening and expanding mind.

6. Having Random and Irrational Feelings

This is commonly believed to be an indicator of angst and instability, but this is not necessarily the case. Irrational outbursts of anger or sadness simply reflects the fact that you have feelings that need to be recognised, so that you can subsequently overcome them and the emotional barriers that they relate to. In fact, the outbursts usually occur because you are grappling with these feelings rather than allowing them to enter your conscious and taking the necessary steps to resolving them. In this respect, these feelings are little more than signs that you identifying and working through issues.

7. Burdening an Intense desire to be alone

When we have the desire to isolate ourselves from others, we tend to do so in the belief that we are feeling depressed. Being disenchanted with socialising and the idea of absorbing other people’s problems is merely an indication that you are entering a period of self-reflection, however, as you re-calibrate your mind and begin to internalise your focus. This is something to be welcomed, as it means that you addressing your own problems and empowering your mind for the challenges that lie ahead.

Advertising

8. Feeling as though you are reliving your childhood issues

If you have experienced emotional struggles or issues during your childhood, the chances are that you these will continue to reoccur until they are dealt with. While this type of mental and behavioural cycle is often considered to be a negative thing, it simply means that you are becoming increasingly conscious of the triggers that impact on your thoughts, actions and emotions. As a result, such feelings will ultimately make it easy to identify issues and resolve them for the better.

9. Being fearful when you step outside of your Comfort Zone

Whenever we are about to undertake a new and exciting challenge, you are bound to be struck by an unmistakable sense of fear and uncertainty. These strike at the very core of your belief and self-confidence, forcing some to seek flight in the belief that they are not capable of meeting the challenge head-on. This is simply an instinctive reaction to stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing the unfamiliar; however, while it is also a clear indication that you are opening your mind and on the right track.

10. Being Unsure of who you really are

We all have times where we become unsure of ourselves, particularly during times of change or hardship. Rather than being an indication that you are suffering from a decline in confidence or self-esteem, this simply an indication that you are evolving as an individual and undergoing the type of self-improvement that is integral to growth. Quite simply, the person that you know and recognise is changing, while any past illusions about who you feel as though you should be are being debunked. Although this can be an uncomfortable process, this type of uncertainty is logical as your values, belief systems and goals change over time.

11. Recognising how far you have to go in your Journey

There is an old Chinese proverb which suggests that even when you are are 90% of the way along a particular path, you are no more than halfway towards your desired destination. This captures the difficulty of taming the final 10%, and it is embodied in the sense fear that you experience as you encounter significant growth and progression.

Advertising

So when you recognise how far you still have to go to achieve your goals and become a little disheartened, this is actually a reflection of how far you have already come as an individual. Suddenly, you can see where you are headed in life, as you edge closer to realising your dreams and becoming the person you want to be.

12. Being empowered to speak up for and defend yourself

As you grow, you may also develop an intense desire to defend yourself and speak up to those who question you. This innate sense of anger evolves as you achieve more in life and become a more assured individual, as the idea of being walked over or disrespected becomes increasingly unpalatable. So rather than allowing other, more dominant voices to constantly overwhelm your will, you stand your ground and showcase far great conviction in your own beliefs and values.

More by this author

6 Ways To Wake Up Early Without Feeling Tired 10 Reasons A Long-Distance Relationship Will Work 12 iPhone 6 Tricks You Probably Don’t Know But Should We Are Often Confused Empathy With Sympathy but What’s The Difference Actually? To Make Wise Decisions, Ask Yourself These Questions Every Time

Trending in Communication

1 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 2 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 3 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 4 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next