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How Autumn Can Be A Perfect Time For Travelling .

How Autumn Can Be A Perfect Time For Travelling .

Autumn; is a time where we consider our boots, our best friend and our coats as our knight in shiny armor. We keep that thick layer of hair on our legs as a polar bear’s fur coat and against all odds we indulge in tons of hot chocolate. We assume cozying up and hiding in our blankets is the best way to prepare ourselves for Autumn.

Sometimes, we might even assume gatherings should be done in bars and not outdoors. We pack our sleeping bags and toss away our climbing gear till the dawn of the next Summer. That’s where this beautiful season is utterly misunderstood, it’s misunderstood because this season is generally the perfect time to pack your backpacks with the perfect gear and board the next flight, train or car to another destination.

Why is it that this season possesses a stronger attraction to traveling compared to other seasons?

1. Cheap Flights, Trains and Everything in Between.

During summer you may have noticed that everything from flight tickets, to train tickets increase at an alarming rate. To plan a vacation in Summer, you either must have your mind made up during the winter or have the bank balance to afford it during the summer. For those budget travelers, escaping from one continent to the other during the summer is an expensive gamble.

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However, as soon as the hype of summer has settled and the world goes back to its normal phase, the prices drops significantly. The hype of vacations and holidays are over hence hotels, hostels, flights and everything else in between reaches an almost 35% drop in prices. This is because the tourist seasons are off and there’s no more competition for space and time, instead that becomes an abundance.

In Summer the market decides if you have room to stay in for the night or a flight to get out of the city in the morning. However, during Autumn, you’ll be the decider on where and how your cash is spent. Instead of compromising you would have the liberty to choose.

Isn’t the freedom of choice amazing for travelers?

2. Nature is Much More Mesmerizing in Autumn.

If you’re a traveler who travels despite any season, you will soon realize the only thing pretty about summer is its warm beaches. Nature often is overcrowded with bobbing heads and the journey to anywhere is a grueling combat with heat. You feel lethargic after a whole day of walking due to the heat and humidity.

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However, during the Autumn, nature announces itself in colors one can’t quite find in Photoshop. In Switzerland, at the slopes of Gruyere, you’ll find how nature can’t take your breath away. The colors of autumn can hold you to your grounds, offering you a perfect gift of romance, appreciation and love. Go on a camping trip to Gruyere, despite its expensive market; camping in Switzerland is definitely affordable.

Grab yourself some amazing blocks of cheese, chocolates and enjoy the amazing delights of Autumn. Simplicity is something that you can definitely anticipate in this season. When the world turns off its alarming stress and just enjoy the sound of nature, that’s what traveling in Autumn brings.

Wouldn’t you like to enjoy the silence sometimes?

3. It’s A Perfect Time to Avoid Claustrophobia.

The one thing I personally despise about traveling is the situation where people from all around the world gather at one particular destination for the sake of taking pictures. The overwhelming number of people, crowding a certain street gives me the feeling of being trapped in a box. The one incident that jaunts, my memory would be in Split, Croatia where people from all around the world decided to crowd that tiny island.

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Even though the architecture and the atmosphere were amazing, I wasn’t able to enjoy my time there to the fullest. The crowd and suffocation created a claustrophobic atmosphere. The Autumn, however, sings a different tune; the amount of tourist reduces itself to a significant amount. When there are only a handful of travelers around the beautiful island of Monaco, it becomes a bliss to enjoy.

You’ll be able to indulge in culture and food with no boundaries and finally, embrace the true reason of traveling. You would be able to meet new people and enjoy the comforts of networking. Experiences and happiness would be in abundance, when you needn’t worry about being crushed by mass tourism.

Don’t you think so?

4. You Can Choose to Relax and Unwind.

In a world where we are constantly stressed about our problems and issues, it might be difficult for one to comprehend the need to relax. Relaxation is a key to focus to living a healthy lifestyle, however, due to the pressures of relief, we often forget how to unwind. In summer, our excitement to explore and clear our bucket list, takes priority, therefore instead of unwinding we embark on an adventure.

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We climb, hike, city hop and push ourselves to our limits. Even though it’s a positive outlook towards our holidays, we never take the time to calm and spend time with our loved ones. In Autumn, the cold temperature and the soothing ambiance of nature gives you the opportunity to spend time and calm your senses with your loved ones. You can simply ride up a mountain chalet and enjoy the view or go to a new city and take a stroll.

In the end, your loved ones are your pride and joy, hence allow Autumn to help you embrace it.

In Conclusion.

Although Spring, Summer and Winter portray the fairy tale of traveling, Autumn usually encompasses love, happiness, nature and adventure together. If you’re a person who looks forward to details and enjoys traveling based on emotion, then this is the perfect season for you to start.

You’ll be lucky enough to avoid any selfie sticks that blocks your path and giving you the chance to be carefree for at least one season of the year.

Featured photo credit: Google images via wallpaperscraft.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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