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8 Reasons People Who Like Spending Time Alone Are Smarter and Stronger

8 Reasons People Who Like Spending Time Alone Are Smarter and Stronger

Today’s society encourages us to spend as much time as possible with other people; even when we are alone, we are texting, emailing, phoning, and Skyping each other. We are always expected to be doing something or going somewhere, but there are actually lots of benefits to spending time alone.

Solitude isn’t very popular in our constantly connected world, and often people who spend time alone are assumed to be lonely or sad. However, this is rarely the case; lots people enjoy spending time alone because it benefits them psychologically. Spending time alone is actually good for us, and it gives us the chance to relax and recharge.

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1. Spending Time Alone Will Make You More Confident

Unconfident people often rely on others to help with decisions, but spending time alone encourages you to make decisions for yourself. When you are alone, you can ignore other people’s opinions and ideas so that you can really focus on your own thoughts. You get the opportunity to weigh up all of the pros and cons so that you make the best possible decision, which helps to inspire confidence within ourselves.

2. Spending Time Alone Will Boost Your Productivity

When we are around other people, we often become distracted from our goals and priorities. When we are alone, we get the chance to really think about what matters to us, from work to family to money. This helps us to decide our goals and it also motivates us to work towards achieving our goals.

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3. Spending Time Alone Helps You to be Creative

Everyone is creative in different ways, but when we are around other people, we are more likely to do what the rest of the group is doing. When we are alone, outside influences are removed and we can do exactly as we please. Some people enjoy drawing or painting, and others might enjoy cooking, reading, writing, or making music. There are lots of different ways to be creative, and when we are alone we get the chance to explore our individual interests and abilities.

4. Spending Time Alone Will Clear Your Mind

Our society is filled with information and we often overload on the endless stream of information coming from work, social media, and our friends and family. Sometimes it is essential to take a break from the stream of information so that we can think about our lives and assess everything that is happening. Spending time alone allows us to clear our minds, which makes us happier and more relaxed.

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5. Spending Time Alone Will Help You to Solve Problems

The best solutions often come to us when we are alone and reflecting on our problems. Spending time alone helps us to work through a problem as we get the chance to really think about it. We can think about what caused the problem, as well as all the different ways we can do to solve the problem. We also get the opportunity to think about what we really want, which helps us to think of effective solutions.

6. Spending Time Alone Will Help You to Get Things Done

Most people have a list of things that they need to do, but it is difficult to tick anything off the list when you are always with people. When you are alone, you get uninterrupted time to work on your to-do list, and we often achieve a lot more when we are alone as there are no distractions. Even if it isn’t fun to work through the list, you will feel happy and productive when you finish working.

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7. Spending Time Alone Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Lots of people today suffer from stress and anxiety, and spending time alone helps us to de-stress and relax. When we are alone we don’t have to listen to other people’s problems or issues; we can just relax and do as we please.

8. Spending Time Alone Encourages You to be More Independent

One of the main benefits to spending time alone is that it inspires us to be more independent. When we are alone we can focus on personal progress, problem solving, and enjoying ourselves, which all encourage independence and self-love.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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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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