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Last Updated on March 12, 2020

10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning people are generally happier than night owls, according to a study. Night owls tend to become morning people as they age. Whichever one you are, it is fascinating to look at the morning habits of happy people because you can be inspired by them. You can also reject what does not suit you at all, of course.

Everyone approaches mornings according to their character. Winston Churchill had a rather lazy morning routine but he still managed to lead the Allies to victory. He used to wake up at around 7.30 a.m. but would stay in bed having breakfast, reading the newspapers and dictating until 11.a.m.

Anne Wintour (editor of Vogue) has a very different morning routine in that she always gets an hour of tennis in before 6.45.a.m.

Here are 10 habits that successful people have for a happy morning every day. Choose the ones which appeal to you and fit your lifestyle.

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1. They Wake up Feeling Grateful

As they wake up, they always feel grateful for being alive, for the gift of life and for the joy of a new day. When things are bad, make a list in your mind of all the positives.

Research shows clearly that people who regularly express gratitude are less likely to suffer from loneliness, anxiety, depression or envy.

2. They Never Skimp on Breakfast

They know that this is the most important meal of the day. It provides you with all the essential nutrients, minerals and energy you are going to need for the day. Planning a good breakfast the night before is also a good idea. You will be able to get some of the things ready so you can save time when you are under pressure during your morning schedule.

3. They Never Forget the Spiritual Connection

“The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe, before it’s gone.” – Sufi, 13th century poet

As they wake up, they dedicate some time to mindfulness, prayer, meditation, yoga, or offerings to Buddha. These are all valuable ways of connecting to the present reality and savoring these precious moments before going on auto-pilot.

4. They Get Exercise Before They Start to Work

“I ride my bike to work because it creates a stress-free time. I get my best ideas on my bike” – Tania Burke, President of Trek Travel

Some people prefer to walk the dog early in the morning or cycle to work, if that is feasible. Other people, like President Obama, start their daily workout at 6.45.a.m. One study reveals how much more beneficial pre- breakfast exercise can be although it might not suit everybody.[1]

5. They Plan Their Good Deeds

“The morning question, what good shall I do this day?” – Benjamin Franklin

It should come as no surprise to learn that when happy people help others it increases their happiness, rather then being a burden. Studies published in the Journal of Happiness Studies illustrate this clearly.[2] Other studies show that these happier and kinder people will live much longer.

“Money doesn’t make people happy. People make people happy.” – Steve Wynn

6. They Rarely Ruminate About the Past

Happy people have one thing in common. They very rarely express regrets about the past. They know that life is for living now and that to-day is the main event. They never let it be hijacked by the past or yesterday’s failures.

7. They Make Happiness a Habit

Did you know that as much as 40% of your daily activities is sheer habit or routine? You are on auto-pilot half the time. Happy people make gratitude, joy and mindfulness a part of that habit and it always works for them, espeacially in the morning..

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8. They Reject the Morning Distractions

Happy people know that they do not want those distractions form news, emails and text messages muscling in too early. They will damage their early morning serenity in getting their gratitude and mindfulness act together. This is what is important. Those messages can wait till much later. This also helps them to approach all the deadlines, meetings and tasks with much more serenity.

9. They Have Set Their Daily Goals

Happy people know what when they do start work, they should try and get the most difficult task done first. It is just part of a list of objectives but they have always clear goals and have prioritized what they want to get done. It increases their happiness.

Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin has researched all this He found that when you see progress towards achieving a difficult task or goal, this increases happiness and also suppresses all the negative emotion.[3]

10. They Have Taken out a Happiness Subscription

When you meet happy people, they give you the impression that they have opted in for a happiness subscription. They are not waiting around or hoping vaguely for random happy events to knock on their door. They are making happiness and spreading it around. That is why they always stand out in the crowd!

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“The happy people are failures because they are on such good terms with themselves they don’t give a damn.” – Agatha Christie

More About Leading a Happy Life

Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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

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