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15 Things Matter to Life that People Always Forget

15 Things Matter to Life that People Always Forget

Most of us are completely aware of the big stuff we need to do in order to have fulfilling lives, but what about the little things? Those little things that we forget to do in life matter greatly!

Embracing these seemingly small aspects about life is what can empower us and equip us with the tools to live more fulfilling lives. So, what are the 15 things we should remember about life but very often forget?

Read on and as you discover each point, make it a life goal to remember them always.

1.  Be completely honest

…With yourself!  We are all taught to believe that lying, deceiving, or keeping information from others is wrong but, what about lying to ourselves? We have the courage to be brutally honest with others, but we are cowards when it comes to being honest with ourselves.

Yet sometimes, the only truth that can make a difference is the one we admit when we look at ourselves in the mirror. And sometimes, that truth is the only one that can set us free.

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2. Have the guts to pursue your dreams

Sure, the entire world is telling you that you are wasting your time, but in your heart, you know you are doing what you were born to be. Press on! People that put you down when you share your goals with them don’t understand the purpose of life.

They don’t understand that living a life without fulfilling what you feel you were meant to do is truly a life wasted. You have a unique gift in life, one that this world needs to see and experience. Believe in your heart that you were created with a purpose, and believe that you were created for greatness.

3. Honor your parents

This one may be difficult…Yet, there is something sacred and honest about doing honoring your parents. Regardless of the circumstances, you are here because of them.

Appreciate the opportunity of having family and being a part of something that goes beyond choice. After all, you didn’t choose your parents, God chose them for you! So be thankful and honor them.

4. Forgive but don’t forget

Holding a grudge is really not a pretty thing to hold onto. Be willing to forgive, but don’t force yourself to forget others’ wrongdoings.

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Being let down is an important life lesson, so forgive, but don’t feel you must forget. It is completely OK to remember what you’ve been through as it will enable you to be grateful for who you have become.

5. Remember that your smile can change the world

You have a very powerful tool that can truly change the world around you – your smile. You have the ability to try and make someone’s day 100% better just by sharing a simple smile! In addition, sharing a smile with a stranger will empower you to remove fears as it will inevitably make you step out of your comfort zone.

6. Enjoy silence

In a world where we are constantly bombarded with cellphones, televisions, radios and every other device that keeps you forever connected, it is imperative that you take time to enjoy silence. Enjoy the quietness that surrounds you, recharge yourself and rediscover your thoughts.

7. Live in the present

Yesterday is gone – learn from it. Tomorrow has not yet come, so prepare for it.

Today is here – fully enjoy it because you will never again have this exact moment. Be willing to experience each second of life you have been gifted, because life is too short and precious to waste it thinking about what was or what could be.

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8. Do not judge others

Nothing is gained by judging people. Instead, your self-righteousness will most definitely blind you from becoming your very best. Respect everyone around you, but honestly, just worry about yourself, who you can become and what you can accomplish.

9. Help others fulfill their dreams

The amazing Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Live a life of service to others and you will never feel alone, defeated or unsuccessful.

10. Surround yourself with positive influences

When life gets tough, it is crucial for you to have a strong support system that influences you in a positive way. Strive to surround yourself with positive minds. and strive to remove any negative energy from your life.

Besides, positive influences can empower you to continue your pursuit towards living a more purposeful life.

11. Don’t lose hope

Regardless of the circumstances you may be facing, believe that there is always a way out.  As long as you are breathing, there is room for growth, change, and hope. There is always hope, it is everywhere, you just need to keep looking!

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12. Be kind…even if others don’t “deserve” it

Call it Karma, the golden rule, or whatever else you like. But you must remember to always be kind!

Be kind, not just towards those who treat you right, but also towards the not-so-kind folks. Your actions may teach them a lesson and your heart will remain pure.

13. Fight for love

Love is truly a blessing when you find it, but it is not all bliss. Yet, if you have found your one true love, fight for it! Also remember that it is more than butterflies and gifts, it is unconditionally accepting and embracing the good and bad in others. Love will always be worth the fight.

14. Be a good listener

When others talk, listen. Don’t just watch their mouths move as you plan what to say next, truly listen.

Study their word usage, their tone, their eyes. Give everyone the respect their words deserve.

15. Always keep a book with you

Time is precious and we are forever running out of it. Redeem each moment passing by and keep a book handy; strive to learn something new each day! Reading is not only relaxing, but works out our minds in a way like nothing else can.

Featured photo credit: Couple and Confetti, smile and happy via shutterstock.com

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Sarita King

motivational warrior!

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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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