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Choose Canada for Your Next Family Reunion

Choose Canada for Your Next Family Reunion

Families are the pillars of life, we hate them and we love them. It’s undeniable that at certain points in life we have wished for a change of family or even a completely different lifestyle. We all have that uncle who criticizes our every move and that one auntie that bakes the best cookies.

Despite relations or how the family is formed, the one thing we can guarantee is that beneath all of the differences we may have, family constitutes the people we can count on. For this reason, families often make the commitment to reunite at least once a year in a nice or central location for bonding time.

You may have never considered it before, but Canada offers a variety of scenic and interesting locations to create memories. A country rich in different cultures, it can represent diversity within our own families.

So why is Canada perfect for family reunions? Here are 4 reasons:

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    1. The Diverse of Culture and Food

    In any family, food plays a major role. We all have that one traditional curry or that one cake recipe that has been passed down for generations. The difference among individuals in our family defines our experience and our adventures with them. Canada is similar in that sense; its diversity can represent one big happy family.

    In the French regions of Quebec you can find authentic French delicacies including unique cheeses as well as mesmerizing French Revolution architecture. The subtle beauty of the scenery can remind you of your own history. On the other hand, if you’re looking to indulge in simplistic and rustic flavors, you can head to British Columbia, where English fry-ups and evening tea are in order. Each part of Canada tends to feed a spoonful of history along with the delicious food, and all of it is great to share with family.

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      2. Cozy Weather

      While we all enjoy the nice weather summer brings, we are often times too active and too busy in the warm weather to focus on the simple things in life. Even during summer, Canada tends to maintain cool and cozy weather. Many Canadians prefer taking time to focus and relax rather than running around trying to take part in various summer activities.

      The weather, which varies according to season, creates opportunities for different family activities. For example, during winter you can find yourself enjoying shopping at winter markets and during spring you may find the weather perfect for a visit to Canada’s various tulip gardens.

      Whatever the diversion, the pleasant weather in Canada affords opportunities that allow you to catch up on old times as well as create new memories with your family members.

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        3. Beautiful Nature and Plenty of Activities

        Canada, as we all know, is abundant with natural wonders. It’s one of the countries in the world which focuses a huge number of resources on environmental protection and ecological production. You can expect a plethora of outdoor activities as well as resplendent wildlife.

        For example, my family is rather athletic. We enjoy a fine hike on our reunion days and love indulging in activities that spike our adrenaline. Therefore planning a reunion in Canada was the perfect opportunity for us. We enjoyed a fine hike up the mountains and then retreating to the sauna after our hike. If we are headed to Canada during ski season, you can definitely spot us with our snowboards and skis racing down the slopes.

        If you’re not into such activities and prefer a laid back reunion instead, you can opt for guided tours where you’ll be able to enjoy the wildlife without much effort. At the end of the day, you’ll definitely be captivated by the beauty Canada has to offer. A trip to the famous Niagara Falls would definitely be a memorable event for you and your family. Plus you can also enjoy the fine restaurants and spectacular views that the area resorts have to offer.

        In addition, you can also create a couples evening as the children enjoy the amusements around the falls. There are many opportunities to enjoy quality adult time while the children enjoy their own activities.

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          4. Budget Friendly

          For most families, finances play an important role when planning a holiday. It’s definitely important to maintain a strict spending budget, especially during family reunions to avoid any confusion or overspending. Sometimes it’s hard to find countries where a large reunion would be both luxurious and affordable.

          Canada fits the bill for both. Although many may claim Canada to be on the more expensive side, it definitely is reasonable compared to other countries if your trip is planned right. Just as Sweden and Denmark, if you’re prepared and manage to find great contacts you’ll find Canada an amazing place to be on a budget.

          Personally, I found couch surfing to be a great way to make connections. The couch-surfing community doesn’t only offer housing or hosting opportunities but it also offers a chance to meet the locals and make friends. It’s perfect if you’re there with a large family and looking for a friend to show you around and get the best deals. In return you would probably only need to invite your new friend to your family’s gathering.

          Canada is a great place to travel individually as well as with the family, so why not make your next family reunion in Canada and create a memorable, affordable experience?

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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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