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Adult Life Is Full Of Irony, But You Can Choose To Live It At Your Own Pace

Adult Life Is Full Of Irony, But You Can Choose To Live It At Your Own Pace

When we were kids, we couldn’t wait to reach the adulthood where all the things seemed awesome, like not having to wait for pocket money, or go to bed early. However, when we finally reached that desired age, we see that it’s not always so awesome and that there are much more responsibilities than we thought. You earn your money, but don’t have time to spend it. You go to bed late because of being busy, but you want to sleep early.

A talented artist Shenanigansen from Massachusetts brilliantly illustrates everyday struggles of growing up. Yet, all those seemingly serious problems and dilemmas can be overcome if you decide to consider them from a different point of view. Yes, there are some situations that seem like an ironic twist, but in every such situation there is a lesson to learn which can help you at some point in your life.

1. Approach every situation as a new lesson

Whatever life throws at you, don’t beat up yourself thinking there’s no way out. Every situation can either bring something positive, and even if it’s something you would rather not go through and just give up, hang on, you will definitely learn a valuable lesson.

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    2. Start you mornings by doing things you love

    Don’t start your day thinking about the problems, rather think about what you can do to make yourself feel better, and solutions will come to you. Play your favorite music while drinking coffee, or read a few pages of your favorite book, maybe do some exercise, and you will feel packed with positive emotions and energy.

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      3. Find people you have common interests with

      It might seem harder to make friends as an adult. Yet, you are now at the age when you know what things interest you. Therefore, try to make friends who share your interests. Attend concerts of your favorite musicians, go to book clubs, go to dancing classes; there will sure be someone you can become close friends with.

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        4. Happiness is just a corner away

        Happiness is not some big unachievable abstraction. It shouldn’t feel as a struggle, but rather an enjoyable process. Start with finding joy and happiness in small things, such as drinking coffee with friends, watching your favorite TV show, buying a new book. When you start appreciating small things, bigger reasons for happiness will surely come.

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          5. Take at least 15 minutes each day to unwind

          Stressing out brings you no good, that’s why it is a good thing to take 15 minutes each day to unwind – meditate, take a longer bath with candles and a glass of wine, or simply lie down and relax your body.

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            6. Take care of your body

            Stop making excuses for not taking care of your health. There’s no time like the present. Take care about what you eat, and you will start to feel better and have more energy.

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            eat-healthy

              7. Motivation can bring you a long way

              Even if you are doing something you don’t like, and you feel like it would be better to just quit and run away, motivate yourself by doing something you really like, but only after you’ve finished your task. There’s no better feeling when you finish something you were putting off for a long time.

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                8. Be the best version of yourself

                Don’t make yourself feel bad by comparing yourself to other people, we are all unique and you should try to do the best of your abilities, otherwise, you will never be satisfied.

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                  9. Talk about what troubles you

                  It is always easier when you share your worries with someone else. They might have been in a similar situation and can provide you with a great advice from their own experience, or just be there to support you through the rough patch.

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                    10. Every problem has a solution

                    The sooner you deal with what’s troubling you, the better you will feel, and will overcome obstacles in the future more easily.

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                      11. Problems = challenges

                      You can place the blame for your problems on someone/something else, but they are only problems if you treat them that way. Start looking at problems as chances for personal growth.

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                        12. Don’t be a slave to material things

                        It’s OK to treat yourself to some new piece of clothing or a fresh new gadget, but don’t let this desire for material go too deep. Learn to appreciate and be grateful for all non-material things, such as good health, love, family and friendship bonds.

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                          13. Everything is not what it looks like online

                          It may seem that your friends have a perfect life on social media. However, bear in mind that reality is often different and try spending less time online and more time enjoying life outside social media.

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                            14. Love yourself

                            Write down all the positive traits you like about yourself; you can also ask your friends or family to do the same, and every time you feel down, just read it, and you will immediately feel better.

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                              15. Don’t run away from responsibilities

                              Responsibilities will catch up with you no matter how fast you run – the sooner you face them, the better you will feel.

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                                Ana Erkic

                                Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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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