Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 11, 2020

5 Simple Ways to Be Happy with Yourself Every Day

5 Simple Ways to Be Happy with Yourself Every Day

The desire for happiness is a universal human emotion. To some extent, you want to learn how to be happy with yourself in some shape or form. However, not everyone knows how to achieve this state.

Unfortunately, society hasn’t helped with this confusion. We have been conditioned to associate happiness with materialistic possessions.

The line of thinking is that, if we have more things, we will be more fulfilled. As a result, a lot of people spend their entire lives chasing happiness, only to be left feeling defeated when they don’t find their version of utopia.

Happiness is not something that you find external to yourself. You won’t buy a new dress or purchase a new car and feel like you’re living on a cloud for eternity.

Sure, you may feel short-term gratification from a purchase, but this feel-good vibe won’t last. Shortly thereafter, you will be looking for the next best thing to fill a void.

There’s no magic pill for happiness. Happiness is an inside job, a choice that you have to make. Try the following to learn how to be happy with yourself every day.

Advertising

1. Practice Mindfulness

How you start your day matters. If you begrudgingly roll out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, and rush out the door to work, how do you think your day will unfold?

I don’t know about you, but my emotions end up getting the best of me. If you don’t master your mind, your mind will master you. This is why I’m such a big believer in creating an empowering morning ritual.

When you take the time every morning to nourish your mental and emotional state, you set yourself up for success. Meditate, journal, exercise, recite affirmations, juice, dance. Do whatever it takes to get yourself into a high vibe state.

Yes, meditating is great, but it’s bigger than that. You want to strive to live more mindfully all around. Think of mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience, without judgment[1].

Strive to be more present in every given moment of your life. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, take time to pause and enjoy the little things.

2. Be Grateful

Gratitude is a way of living that focuses on seeing the good, no matter how dire one’s circumstances are. Of course, it can be hard to be grateful when you’re going through difficult times in life.

Advertising

However, there is always a silver lining in every struggle. You just have to be willing to look for it. When you adopt an attitude of gratitude, you shift into a state of appreciation. All of sudden, there is no room for sadness because you are choosing love.

Research shows that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, and deal with adversity[2].

If you don’t already, I encourage you to start a gratitude journal. A simple practice like this one only takes a few minutes every day. It has the power to change your life. What are you grateful for?

3. Find Your Tribe

By nature, we are social creatures. Connecting with one another helps us thrive, especially when we are faced with difficult times.

Research shows that people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, and greater empathy for others[3].

I wouldn’t be who I am today without the solid tribe of people that I call family. These are my people. Although my circle is small, I know that these people will always have my back, no matter what.

Advertising

You become the five people whom you surround yourself with. If you want to be a happy and successful person, you need to make sure that your friends have the same vision as you.

Strive to find people who empower you to become a better version of yourself. They will naturally enhance your happiness and make you feel good about yourself.

4. Connect to Your Body Intelligence

Where people get stuck is that they live too much of their lives in their heads and fail to connect with their body intelligence. Your body is a vessel that is constantly speaking to you.

When you don’t listen to it, you end up getting into trouble. The body is intimately connected to the gut. The more that you go inward and bring attention to your body, the more you are able to connect with your intuition.

It is the place of inner wisdom that brings you back home to yourself. In actual fact, every cell in the body is intelligent, with the heart acting like a conductor for the cellular processes taking place within us in each and every moment[4].

There are a variety of different modalities that allow you to connect to your body intelligence, whether it’s dance, yoga, or chi gong. When you allow yourself to drop out of your head and into your heart, you come to realize that everything you’ve ever needed is already inside of you.

Advertising

5. Don’t Take Life So Seriously

Life is so short. If you spend the entire ride worrying and agonizing about everything, you will miss so many beautiful moments. Not only that, but it will create dis-ease in the body.

An overemphasis on seriousness in life lends itself to a narrow way of understanding what’s worth your time and attention[5].

In childhood, we are encouraged to play and be free. However, a lot of people lose this desire once they become adults. If you can relate to this, let me ask your something… what would happen if you slowed down and took the time to enjoy life more?

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and wish that you had laughed and smiled more often. Nobody wants to live with regrets.

The next time that you’re taking yourself too seriously, step back and ask yourself: “Is this situation worth getting so frustrated over?” If not, move on and get back to enjoying life.

Final Thoughts

You can’t always control the external world. However, you can always control your internal world. Finding simple ways to be happy with yourself every day is a commitment. However, it’s worth the effort because you deserve to live a happy life.

More Tips on Being Happy With Yourself

Featured photo credit: KAL VISUALS via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] American Psychological Association: What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier
[3] Stanford Medicine: Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection
[4] Unimed Living:The Body Is Intelligent
[5] Thrive Global: For A Calmer, Happier Life, Stop Taking Everything So Seriously

More by this author

Ashley Elizabeth

Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 5 Reasons Why Keeping a Mood Journal Is Good For Your Mental Health 5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength 13 Simple Habits to Cultivate Self-Compassion 5 Steps to Bounce Back Fast When Life Knocks You Down

Trending in Happiness

1 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 2 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 3 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 4 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness 5 Dismissing Sadness Will End up Making You Sadder

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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]

Advertising

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

Read Next