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10 Ways To Feel Younger Than Your Age

10 Ways To Feel Younger Than Your Age

Aging is something that happens to all of us. However, we tend to look at time as detrimental, always wanting to look younger than our age suggests. Your perspective is a huge influence on how you view age and you can feel younger than the numbers suggest if you take the following steps.

1. Be Present

Don’t always think about what tomorrow is going to bring or what happened yesterday. Today is a brand new day, a clean slate. For every activity that you participate in, be 100% there instead thinking about what else is on your to-do list. When you are mindful and completely present, age does not even enter into the equation.

2. Listen First

Have you ever met a person who always interjects in a conversation and never listens to your thoughts? Rude! Well, learn from them and decide that you will not do that to anyone else. Listen to what others have to say and think before you respond. When you do this, you will notice that you begin to truly care about what the other person is saying and you will find that wisdom can be beyond age if you will just listen. You may learn something from someone younger than you, which will make you feel younger than your peers.

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3. Daily Entertainment

Choose what you read and watch on the TV carefully. The more you read the news and other information sources that are full of negativity, the more that you will begin to see life that way. When you open up to continually reading positive new things and watching things that interest you and are a good influence, you will not see age in the same light. You will feel much younger and realize that your age is just a number and is not a constraint on you.

4. Are You More Experienced?

We all know a person who believes they know everything, and someone who is the exact opposite who always feels inferior to others. Age can play with our minds, tricking us into believing either that we know everything or we are too old to know anything. We are never to old to learn something new and open to up to sharing with others. Knowledge is a gift, and once you share it we can all learn. Let go of saying you are too experienced or do not know enough, and explore the possibilities. Age will not be an issue then.

5. Surround Yourself With Younger People

When you are around younger generations, you will always learn something and be caught up with what is happening in their world. Younger people will look to you for advice and wisdom. Are you having trouble finding someone to talk to? Just walk into your local coffee shop and strike up a conversation. This will make you feel younger and being around younger people will bring out the best in you. You will stop going on about how old you are!

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6. Eat Real Food and Exercise

When you eat a whole food diet that does not include processed foods and you get adequate exercise, it is proven that you will not only feel younger but can do things that you might not have believed were possible. Take Fauja Singh for instance, who ran his last marathon at the young age of 101. When you fuel your body properly and move naturally, you can do anything, and physically you’ll be a lot younger than your chronological age.

7. Sleep

You know that sleep is important, but do you know how important? Sleep allows our bodies time to for leptin activation and optimal hormone output. In layman’s terms, sleep keeps us healthy. Without a sound night’s rest, you will start to see yourself aging faster, along with developing associated health issues. Turn off the lights and get to bed earlier.

8. Do Something New

Getting into a routine and good habits is easy. When you start adding something new and different into your day, you begin to take on a different perspective. You may even find a new hobby or sideline that you really love. You are no longer focused on age being an issue if you truly enjoy what you are doing.

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9. Stay Positive

Attitude is one of the main keys in life. The more optimistic and positive you are, the more you will see the joys in life. You will continue to look at the opportunities and not focus on the negative aspects.

10. Stress Less

Stressors are everywhere in our environment, but it’s all in how you eliminate them that helps you stay young. Start being mindful and focus on what you can do right now instead of tomorrow. Turn off the news and focus on what is happening with you and those closest to you. When you see the good in life, the stressors that once were there are eliminated. Alongside this, clearing your mind before bed is another way to turn off all of the stress. Try the Navy Seals method by box breathing.

Time is construed in our minds and is only a perspective. When we make this our reality and say that we cannot do something solely because of a number, we limit ourselves. But nothing could be further from the truth. I know many people who spend their time being mindful and present today and age is the last thing on their mind. They realize that today is what matters and the impossible is possible if you just try. Don’t let your age be a roadblock—look to Fauja Singh for inspiration.

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Featured photo credit: Raul Liberwirth via Flickr

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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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