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4 Shortcuts to Self Improvement for Tech Junkies and Nerds

4 Shortcuts to Self Improvement for Tech Junkies and Nerds

Being a tech junkie is awesome; you are really up to date with the latest developments in the field of technology, you are also very well informed since you do a lot of research in general, and you have a habit of collecting useful gadgets. Yet, over the course of time, tech junkies acquired a negative stereotypical streak. Since they are, in a sense, nerdy, people tend to think of them as someone who does not like to work out and be active.

In reality, all of us who spend a lot of time behind our computers or who admire online communication, tend to forsake some healthier aspects of life. This is not something that only a techy would do, however, it is still not an excuse to continue with such a lifestyle.

So, in the following article, I will provide some tips for self-improvement that tech savvy folks can easily implement. After all, technology is designed to help us; we are the ones who use it in a harmful way. So, all you need to do is acquire the right tech and start using it in order to restore balance and improve your life.

1. Change your habits and mindset

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    The subheading might seem like it suggests an essential change, but you do not have to abandon your hobby. You need to start to worry more about your health and adopt some healthier habits, and you should still use gadgets, but simply focus on those that help you fulfill these newfound goals.

    It would be a wise decision to start working out, and to socialize more at the same time. So, instead of chatting with online friends, initiate a new action. Invite them to play sports or to go to the gym. Workouts are really bothersome, and if you are alone, it will get boring really quickly. The only upside of working alone is that you are more efficient, since your sole focus is training.

    With friends, you get to joke around, help each other, and you won’t get that strange feeling like people are judging you in the gym. It is not too uncommon to avoid the gym because of anxiety but when you are with people, you know that it is different, and you won’t feel so isolated.

    So, tell yourself that physical activity is now a must, and that you also need to adopt a healthier diet and create a healthier environment.

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    2. Healthier eating

    One of the gadgets you should be interested in is the so called HAPIfork, which is a tool for eating that also monitors the intake of food. It is a fork, like its name suggests, and it keeps track of how much food you eat, how fast you eat it, by counting the amount of fork servings and intervals between fork servings. By eating according to the fork’s guidelines, you can prevent weight gain, avoid digestive problems, the gastric reflux and postoperative complications.

    Fitbit Aria is another great piece of tech you can use to monitor your health and see if your healthy habits are yielding any results. It is important to monitor progress, because it will encourage you to continue with your regime. With this scale, you can monitor your body mass index and body fat percentage, and use the input from this device for other weight loss apps on your smartphone.

    3. Improve environment

      You can use your gadgets to create a much healthier environment in your home. You can find many gadgets to create a smart house on discount. You can get items like smart energy monitors and smart thermostats, and also a moisture sensor. You can use these gadgets for maintaining a comfortable temperature, to ensure the air condition won’t result in mold forming on the walls, and to avoid unnecessary electricity expenses.

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      In order to stay healthy, and to feel good and motivated, you need to maintain healthy living conditions. These are all the things that have an impact on your behavior and how you think. If you strive to maintain a better environment, you will be more active and you will feel a lot better. Using the previously suggested gadgets, you can successfully achieve this goal.

      4. Gadgets for fitness

      Finally, you should get some gadgets that motivate you to be active. You can gamify the whole fitness program if you use Xbox Kinect; you can run, dance, do various forms of exercise, etc. Kinect is an awesome device to have fun when you invite your friends over, and to have a workout session with an entire gamified experience, so that you are motivated to work out more.

      You can also get yourself a pedometer. You need to set a daily goal for yourself on how much you need to walk and be active, and gradually increase that limit. With the pedometer, you also get a semi-competitive experience, because you need to beat your previous self. Besides, walking can be very therapeutic and pleasant; all you need is a quality playlist to go along with it and it won’t even seem troublesome.

      Lastly, when you start to get more serious about your workout, you can get a spree headband and use it to obtain detailed feedback about your body’s core. You will know your temperature, speed, heart rate, and even your GPS location; it is a really awesome gadget to say the least.

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      Moreover, you should probably use your smartphone to download some apps for fitness tips, food tips, and some reminders so that you do not forget to workout. Also, you can get apps that ensure you get enough healthy sleep, and really tap into the full potential of your training.

      So, I hope you agree with these suggestions, and this list. There are a lot of devices out there that can aid you in your quest towards having a better and happier life, to ensure that you live in a safe and healthy environment, and to remind you not to neglect these aspects of life.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/psco/ via pexels.com

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      Djordje Todorovic

      Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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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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