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4 Ways Long Distance Relationships Can Survive

4 Ways Long Distance Relationships Can Survive

Long distance relationships can prove to be a challenge. In this millennial world, we are all connected by technology hence distance seems a mere absence of physical contact. Over the years, long distance relationships have become the tradition and the challenge many couples have to go through. In the midst of opportunities and financial necessities, relationships often struggle to overcome the distance factor.

However, how can one recreate the intimacy while being miles apart? How do you create the exclusivity while being so far apart? How do you create the trust and confidence towards your relationship?

I found my answers after having experienced the Long Distance Relationship. After being part of the struggles and turmoils whilst finding support from similar couples who share my experience .

So how do we all do it ?

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1. Focus On Yourself First

In order to be happy and confident in your relationship, you need to be able to embrace yourself first. Through thick and thin you need to be able to love yourself. Your love is then shared with your partner, with pure trust and confidence. Sometimes we jump into relationships as a form of deep and rooted emotional support which eventually causes you to have an extremely high expectation whilst your partner feels he’s put in a pressure cooker.

This can be detrimental for yourself as well as your relationship. Never carry your baggage around and dump it on your partner, instead make peace with it and share it with them. Understanding is the key for an outstanding relationship hence sharing is the key. In order to reach such a mutual understanding, you would need to understand yourself first.

Take time for yourself and indulge in activities that can challenge your emotional boundaries. Once you’ve made peace with yourself, you would find being in a long distance relationship as part of your life instead of a huge burden.

2. Focus On Communication And Sharing Together

Communication is vital for any relationship especially if you’re miles apart. It’s what guarantees your relationship lasting, reduces anxieties and creates trust. Personally, I’ve had problems giving my full trust to someone. Often times, it impacts the one I care about the most . Eventually, I understood myself and eradicated the cause. I gave a chance to trust. However, this wouldn’t have been possible if the effort of communication wasn’t made.

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Sometimes I get these questions, ” My boyfriend doesn’t text me much , what do I do ? The key is to find a balance, create a routine and schedule your time spent together. Share with them videos, stories or anything that reminds you of them. Allow them to have a sneak peak to your world even if they aren’t accustomed to doing the same. Sometimes some people are too much into social media, so don’t get offended.

As long as you have a mutual understanding on how your communication should be, you’ll be able to cruise along the distance easily,

3. Create Memories Together

Memory is an amazing timeline to look back. Flashbacks are wonderful and ensure the life of the whole relationship . Remembering laughter , stress, and even tears can bring couples together. When staying apart in a long distance relationship, memories are an important element to keep your relationship progressing and keeping it special .

One way to create such memories is to travel the world together. One of my personal favorite locations would be the Canary Islands. It’s not only secluded but it also encompasses the elements of nature. It’s a place where you can not only get to know your partner but you can also enjoy the adventure of being there. Relax and enjoy the fine dining experiences and create the intimacy which has been non-existent due to the distance.

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You can also travel to places that would challenge your minds such as India and Philippines. You are definitely in for a challenge both with the food as well as language. This will test your relationship boundaries and understanding in your relationship. Why not try it?

4. Schedule Your Next Visit

Organization and scheduling are important if you and your partner are at opposite ends of the world. You need to have a certain timeline of spending time with each other while maintaining your real life. Having a concrete plan also allows you to be financially stable and gives you the anticipation to be reunited once again.

A couple I knew, a Vietnamese woman and a Brazilian man, fell in love in Russia and constantly shuffled countries to be close to each other. Despite the turmoil, they constantly scheduled their next visit sometimes a few months prior. This allowed them to have a form of anticipation and excitement .

Over time, this visits and travel created a story that’s unique to them and developed a sense of trust and commitment. Your relationship should be an unknown love story and perfect organization can guarantee that.

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In Conclusion

Having a long distance relationship can be a challenging adventure. However, the best of gems is found on rough rocks. Once you reach your final destination you will find all of this ultimately worth it .

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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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