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5 Ways to Enjoy Festivals With Pets

5 Ways to Enjoy Festivals With Pets

We might all find ourselves smiling at the sound of the word “festival.” A festival, based on the dictionary, is defined as a celebration of an event. One example is a parade which gathers people from far and wide without restrictions and without prejudice. These are times when you can find people smiling, laughing, chatting and singing, and people are filled with fun and joy.

However, many pet owners have a misconception that a festival is impossible to enjoy when you’ve got to take care of another being. When you’ve got to feed, clean and pay attention to another creature who plays a major role of your life. However, there’s always a way you can have fun with your furry friends.

How do you do it? This article will clearly explain how you can enjoy festivals and parties even with a pet around. It’s a compilation of various personal experiences and stories that will help shed light on this issue.

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1. Train Your Pets To Be Crowd-Friendly

One of the best things about having pets, especially dogs, is that you can easily train them to be people-friendly. Pets emulate their owners, since they have the need and desire to be accepted and to be part of a family. The saying “Be Roman in Rome” fits our pets’ personalities very well, so training them to enjoy being part of a crowd can be helpful.

However, if you’re heading to a music festival or somewhere where it’s easy for a pet to get lost, train your pets to always come back to a specific destination. Through training their senses, especially their senses of smell and direction, you will help them to find you again if they wander while you party. However, this concept applies more to dogs than to other pets.

A pet that knows how to find you is a dependable pet.

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2. Always Be Ready for Camping

If you’re going to a festival, especially a music festival, it’s best to camp. Camping allows you the liberty to choose your location and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the party while being close to your tent. This way, your pet can also be close to you.

Based on my personal experience, one of my favorite festivals would be the Sziget Music Festival in Budapest. Known to be one of the largest music festivals in Europe, it’s one place where me and my dog always attend together. The trick is that I’ve always left him around the tent, which is close to the river, where he can chill if the day gets too hot. I’ve always placed some food hidden around the tent’s surroundings to allow him to explore and walk around looking for food.

This way, my dog will never become lost, as he always comes back to the food. Even if he’s a few feet away, I can always find him.

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3. Leave Enough Food for Your Pet

Our animals thrive on being instinctual, more like the way humans were once upon a time. Even though we base our thoughts and our decisions on logic, the one aspect we can never ignore is the feeling of hunger. Hunger makes us act based on our instincts, and it also changes our thought processes, hence the term “Hangry” came about. Being extremely hungry can lead to the emotion of anger.

The one thing you should always remember is to leave enough food for your pet outside your tent or around it. When your pet gets hungry and there’s no food, it will tend to wander until it finds something to eat. Its sense of smell will take over its behavior, and its need for food will only lead it farther and farther away from the place you left it.

Therefore, in order for your pet to not get lost and for you to not lose your pet, always remember to feed it. Also, situate yourself in a location where there’s plenty of drinking water for your pet.

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4. A Tracking Chip for Extra Caution

Our technology has developed far beyond where it was in the 80s, when festivals were symbolized by wild celebration and were places fit for no pet. We have developed technologies that can do things from building artificial organs to tracking people with a simple chip. However, not all chips needed to be implanted in one’s body; advancements in pet monitoring have provided simpler options for pet owners.

You can either opt to use a collar with a tracking device or use an ingestible tracking device. You can find tracking collars for your pets in various high-end pet stores. These trackers are customized, and you can program them either to your phone or to a separate GPS. On the other hand, an ingestible tracker can be given to your pet in its food, and the device is usually pooped out by your pet within a certain duration. Both of these types of devices can be programmed to your phone or monitored using your GPS device.

However, these are rather costly methods, so if you’re considering them, you need to be willing to dig up the budget for the. Before using an ingestible tracker, it would be wise to consult your veterinarian for advice, as you wouldn’t want to harm your beloved pet.

In Conclusion

Our pets are an important part of our lives. They keep us grounded and calm, hence there’s no reason they shouldn’t be at a festival with us. With these tips, you will find it easier to enjoy festivals with your pets accompanying you. However, if you find it a hassle, you can always find a pet-sitter.

Featured photo credit: Google Images via tpsnews.co.il

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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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