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10 Things Calm People Do that Make Them More Likely to Be Successful

10 Things Calm People Do that Make Them More Likely to Be Successful

Keeping a cool head is a critical part of being successful. When you get frazzled or dismayed, it can be incredibly difficult to make good choices. Whether you are already rocking the calm vibes or you are looking to get some chill tips, here are ten things that calm folks do that contribute to their success:

1. They Live Right Here, Right Now

When you lose sight of the present, you can get really stressed. There are a lot of things you’ve got to do tomorrow, next week, next year. Calm people know that focusing too much on the future does not lead to success. Sure, we should all have a sense of direction, but that can quickly get out of hand. Remember the now, increase your enjoyment, and find success in the task before you.

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2. They Expect Some Craziness

While calm people may not generate or encourage craziness, lots of other variables can lead to some level of chaos. Calm people know that this is natural and there is no use in denying the existence of crazy. Instead, it is better to realize that sometimes things won’t go as planned and that is okay. Things will continue to work out, despite a little messiness here and there.

3. They Develop and Follow Through on Routines

While some people see routines as boring, calm people know it can really be a soothing experience. Whether we want to admit it or not, human beings thrive on routine. When we know what is going to happen next and follow through, we can train our minds to stay calm. Certainly everything can not be boiled down into a routine, but calm people know that developing and sticking to one or two routines can give them some mental space and ultimately contribute to their success.

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4. They Spend Time Taking Care of Themselves

One reason calm people can stay cool in difficult situations is because they have spent time taking care of themselves. Consciously dedicating some time and energy every day to doing things you love can seriously increase your sense of peace. While it may be inconvenient to schedule time to watch a movie or do your favorite craft, calm people know it is an investment worth making.

5. They Know How to Turn Off the Phone

Our phones can be a great source of entertainment, but they can also cause a lot of stress. It is incredibly difficult to find some mental space away from your problems if your email is always stealing a few moments here and there. Calm people protect their down time. This sometimes requires turning off the cell phone, but this is a sacrifice calm people are willing to make.

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6. They Enjoy a Good Walk

While driving can be an efficient way to travel, it doesn’t really connect you to your environment. However, going for a walk allows you to smell, feel, and breath the outside air. You have to dedicate less mental energy to walking which gives you more time to think and process the day’s events. Calm people know that a good walk can provide mental freedom and an opportunity to step out of the chaos of everyday life.

7. They Know When and How to Set Up Boundaries

You can’t be calm if everybody is demanding things from you all the time. Calm people know that setting up boundaries is absolutely necessary, even if it may seem a little mean at times. If you don’t protect your time, you will be unable to accomplish any of your tasks effectively.

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8. They Find Contentment in Today

Sure we’ve all got big dreams, but just because you hope things will be different tomorrow doesn’t mean today isn’t pretty darn great. Calm people look for and find things to be grateful for about today. Consciously identifying good things throughout your day increases your sense of happiness and peace.

9. They Creatively Exercise Regularly

Calm people have learned how to manage their emotions effectively. Numerous studies have shown that exercising can increase your sense of happiness and peace. By varying the exercise routine and trying different types of exercise, calm people stay engaged in their exercise plan and use their workouts to channel a lot of their distracting emotions.

10. They Volunteer

Being calm is a symptom of feeling content. One way to find contentment, is to help others. Volunteering increases your sense of purpose and provides genuine meaningful relationships with others. The meaning and perspective provided by volunteering is an incredible asset to those seeking to become successful.

Featured photo credit: suc via pixabay.com

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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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