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15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

15 Things To Forget If You’re Not Satisfied With Your Life

Why are you dissatisfied with your life? There may be many reasons. Perhaps you hate your job, you quarrel with your family, your home is a mess or you find it difficult to get by on your salary. The problem is that negative energy tends to take over and block out all the wonderful things you could be doing to change your life and move on. Here are 15 things you should definitely forget.

1. Forget about complaining.

“Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.” – Stefan Sagmeister

It is interesting to watch those who complain all the time. They never get anywhere. Watch Stefan Sagmeister’s TED talk in which he emphasises that good design has been the key to his happiness. We should apply the same principle of good design to the way we live. Make a list every day of what to be thankful for. Gratitude can put things into perspective and makes you realize what you have and that you are extremely fortunate.

2. Forget about failed relationships.

You might think that fate always seems to play tricks on you and introduce you to the wrong people. Forget about those failed relationships and think about them as a learning experience. Learn to evaluate why they went wrong and stop beating yourself up. If you do not forget, these thoughts will fester and you will become a very bitter person. Let go and forgive when you can. Just think that you are becoming wiser and more mature.

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3. Forget about what you are missing.

Maybe you are focused on all the things you should have had, if only things had gone better. You know the missed chances and the opportunities you were not quick enough to grasp. The danger here is that you will become envious and this will hinder your own growth and happiness. Think about what you have now and that is a treasure that many other people would love to have.

4. Forget about what you cannot change.

If you were born with a certain level of intelligence or physical defects, it is always wise to forget about changing these innate characteristics. Regretting being too tall, short, fat or skinny will lead to misery and pessimism. Concentrate on keeping fit and healthy no matter what size you are.

5. Forget about the fixed mindset.

This is when you think that your skills and abilities are really enough and that there is no need to grow. In your job, you will find it hard to get promotion or move forward. You will convince yourself that you are not very computerate or good with people. That is a fixed mindset and will get you nowhere.

It is always better to have the growth mindset which Carol Dweck of Stanford University always advocates. You know that you can get ahead if you work at it. Think of your skills and abilities as delicate plants in need of careful maintenance. They can only grow.

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6.  Forget about getting immediate results.

A great source of dissatisfaction is when you fail to get the results you want within a certain time frame. Our society is fixated with results. This hinders progress and leads to demoralization. A much better way is to focus on the baby steps you have to take to meet your goals. Crossing off each one as you start getting there is empowering.

7. Forget about the miserable working conditions.

It probably is no surprise that almost a third of US workers are dissatisfied with their jobs and are considering moving on or seeking a better position. With younger employees in the 24-35 age group, this figure jumps to 40%. The main problems are low wages, endless meetings, email madness and lack of communication. If you are in a team leader role or in management, try to lessen the attrition and dissatisfaction by concentrating on better communication and more involvement in decision making processes.

8. Forget about finding your purpose.

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”- Bono, U2 song.

Many people are hung up about what their purpose in life is and that can lead to a festering dissatisfaction which is anything but healthy. They begin to question whether they are really in the right career or if they have chosen the wrong partner. They feel their inner self is out of step with their ordinary humdrum existence. The solution is to concentrate on what your true values and ethics are and also your ability to love and empathize will help you find your purpose automatically.

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9. Forget about rigid parental roles.

Many marriages are shipwrecked after the arrival of children and the responsibilities of parenthood start to fuel resentment about the traditional roles of each parent. The mother has had to carry the baby for nine months, give birth while the father may be exhausted from working overtime to make ends meet. Teamwork is usually the best solution to strangle dissatisfaction and resentment. Try to think of co-parenting so that neither parent is ever a mere observer. Most tasks (apart from breastfeeding) can be shared which will make parenting much more satisfying.

10. Forget the negativity.

You know how you become obsessed with negative thoughts. It seems almost the default position for the human brain. Studies now show that this negative self-talk can put your mental and physical health at risk. You are the one who always blames yourself 100% when you screw up and you always imagine the worst case scenario. Inevitably, this leads to low self-esteem. Try to put a positive spin on these thoughts and look at them from a humorous angle.

11. Forget about toxic people.

You cannot avoid these people at work and on social occasions all the time but aiming to give them a wide berth helps. They range from the complainers, the control freaks, the gossips, the greedy, the manipulators and the victims. These people can destroy your confidence and can also generate an atmosphere of dissatisfaction and discontent. The best way to cope with them is to establish boundaries and to disregard their negative opinions.

12. Forget the grudges.

The persons we dislike or hate because they cheated us will not be affected in the slightest way by us nursing that grudge. Yes, it is like a festering wound that never heals. You are the one that suffers, day in, day out. Your enemies are blissfully unaware of this and the negative vibes you send will never, ever make any difference to them. Let go of that grudge and forget about them. This will take time but it is a great investment in yourself.

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13. Forget the importance of money.

How many times have you thought that if you had more money, all your problems would be solved? Money becomes the prime motivator and that puts family and friends at the bottom of the list. Loyalty, values and friendship get pushed aside. The secret is to put money in its place because it can be used for good or ill. Spending money carelessly or becoming obsessed with saving it can damage relationships and feed selfishness.

14. Forget about satisfaction dictated by society.

We live in a society which demands satisfaction all the time. Look at how many customer satisfaction surveys we come across every day! The main problem here is that you fall into the trap of trying to be perfectly happy, fit, well-off, and healthy. Time to create your version of what success and satisfaction mean to you and stop trying to meet the impossible demands that our society has set.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

15. Forget the self-destructive behavior.

Maybe you resent that guy who got the promotion you so desperately wanted? The problem here is that resentment will take root and you start to indulge in self-destructive behavior such as working less and taking sick leave as often as you can. If you start doing that, that guy will be laughing his head off as he sees you destroy your whole career. Talk about an own goal!

The secret of coping with dissatisfaction is being able to have a mindset where you aim to change just one thing in your life each day. How can you improve? What can you learn? Who can you help? Now add all these up and you have 365 efforts in one year! Now that should KO your dissatisfaction.

Featured photo credit: dissatisfied/Andy Smith via flickr.com

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

Reference

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