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15 Songs That Will Remind You How Large the World is

15 Songs That Will Remind You How Large the World is

Do you feel trapped in your own little world?

When your world is all about you, your problems seem big and overwhelming. However, if you extend yourself to others and the world outside of yourself, you will find that those petty things in life that annoy you are likely insignificant compared to the large world out there.

Here are 15 songs that will remind you that the world is large while yours is small.

1. “Imagine” – John Lennon

“Imagine all the people living life in peace… Imagine all the people sharing all the world.”

A beautiful song that asks you to look beyond your religion, nationality and material possessions.

2. “Over the Rainbow” – Judy Garland

“Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly…If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow why, oh, why can’t I?”

Written for the movie “The Wizard of the Oz” in 1939, this song reminds you that there’s always a happy place out there regardless of whatever situation you are in now.

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3. “Colors of the Wind” – Judy Kuhn (as Pocahontas)

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew.”

This Disney classic reminds you to explore the world, people and animals around you from their perspectives.

4. “You Are A Tourist” – Death Cab For Cutie

“And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born, then it’s time to go and define your destination.”

This song encourages you to go for your passion, reframe your thinking, and change your current situation when you feel unsatisfied with where you are now.

5. “I’ve Been Everywhere” – Johnny Cash

“I’ve been everywhere, man.”

A fun, country song in which you can replace all the cities’ names with places you have been. The original song lists Australian cities. It was later adapted into many other versions by singers such as Johnny Cash.

6. “Beauty in the world” – Macy Gray

“There is beauty in the world, so much beauty in the world, always beauty in the world.”

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A simple, happy song that reminds you to see the beauty around you.

7. “Beautiful Day” – U2

“It’s a beautiful day. Sky falls, you feel like it’s a beautiful day. Don’t let it get away.”

This song encourages you to look for positivity in the world even when your life isn’t going the way you would like it to be.

8. “Heal the world” – Michael Jackson

“Heal the world, make it a better place for you and for me, and the entire human race.”

This Michael Jackson classic reminds you to care for the world outside of your own. Don’t do it just for yourself. Do it for your children and the next generation too.

9. “We Are The World 25 For Haiti” – Various Artists

“We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day. So let’s start giving.”

Originally recorded for Africa, this song was rerecorded by a group of superstar artists for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. This song reminds you that you are connected with the rest of the world and empowers you to give to and help others.

10. “A World with You” – Jason Mraz

“Think how many doors we’ll open. Just as many stars are shining. Who knows where we’re going? Yeah who knows what we’ll find?”

This song is about exploring the world and a relationship you are uncertain about.

11. “A Whole New World” – Brad Kane and Lea Salonga (as Aladdin and Jasmine)

“A whole new world. A new fantastic point of view.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kl4hJ4j48s

This is a love ballad, but it’s also about seeing the world from a new perspective and discovering its beauty.

12. “How to Save a Life” – The Fray

“And I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life.”

A meaningful song that reminds you to step out of your world and reach out to your friends who need help. It’s not about judging or giving advice to your friends. It’s about seeing their world from their point of view, listening to them and giving them the support they need.

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13. “World” – Five for Fighting

“What kind of world do you want? Think anything. Let’s start at the start. Build a masterpiece.”

This song empowers you to build your own world.

14. “Heaven on Earth” – Jill-Marie Thomas

“Is this Heaven on Earth? Why have we forgotten? Does our heaven deserve all the pain we’ve given?”

This is the theme song for Clean and Green Singapore 2011. It reminds you to not forget the natural beauty of the world we live in and to be kind to it.

15. “What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong

“I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

How you feel depends on what you choose to see in life. This song reminds you to take a step out of your life for a moment and admire the beauty around you.

When is the last time you explored the world and did something for the world?

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Make the world better: 11 Small Things Anyone (Including You!) Can Do to Make the World Better

Featured photo credit: Typical Czech Panorama/VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.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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