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17 Things You Should Do More Often for a Happier Life

17 Things You Should Do More Often for a Happier Life

A happier life really doesn’t have to be complicated. You are responsible for creating your happiness. Read on to learn 17 ways to create happiness daily.

1.Give Thanks

Give thanks first thing in the morning and before you go to bed at night. When you become upset during the day or things are not going the way you planned, begin to give thanks for what is already going well in your day and your life.

2. Relax

We spend a lot of our time these days rushing around filling our days with meetings, tasks and stuff we need to do, and then we get stressed out and end up worn out or unwell. Make time to relax as often as you can; this will help you break away from the fast paced world and reconnect to your being. Your body will thank you.

3. Disconnect

Have you noticed that people are becoming more and more unsociable and even when they are around friends or family they have their heads stuck in a phone, tablet or other device? Then they wonder why they always feel isolated. It’s time we disconnect from technology and reconnect to other people, with nature or even ourselves.

4. Spend Time With Family and Friends

Spending quality time with your loved ones is necessary if you want a happier life. Sharing your love and company with people you care about can create great experiences, fun and laughter. They will be happier, too. Win-win!

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5. Practice Spirituality

The feeling of acceptance and a community of oneness could lead to a happier life for you. Studies have even shown that people are happier when they are involved in spiritual practices.

6. Write

Writing down your thoughts and worries on paper can release emotional tension, leaving you feeling happier. Putting your emotions on paper can also help the brain to regulate your emotions, leaving a sense of release. If you are going to try writing your thoughts, emotions, worries or concerns for the first time, do this alone in a quiet space to make the process more effective.

7. Pamper Yourself

Why can it be so difficult to treat ourselves once in a while? We have to force ourselves to break away and have a treat, and even when we do (if we do) there is a sense of guilt. Life is short and we are here to enjoy the experience. If you love treats, then treat and pamper yourself often.

8. Dress Up

Getting dressed up can give you a feeling of confidence and swag, allowing you to shine bright and radiate a positive energy wherever you go Dress up often as you like. How about every day?

9.  Laugh

Often. As the saying goes, “laughter is medicine”, and I believe this to be very true. Besides, happier people are lees likely to become ill. So take the time to laugh and create situations that will allow you to laugh, such like watching one of your favorite comedy films.

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happy child

    10. Be In The Moment

    Quit looking back at your past failures or worrying about what will happen in the future. Focus on what is happening right now. How do you feel right now? What can you hear? Spend more time being present and fully in the moment. This will eliminate all your worries and leave you feeling at peace. Give all your attention to your present moment and you will see miracles happen in your life.

    11. Forgive Someone

    Did you know that forgiving other people can actually make you happier? When you forgive, you no longer have anger towards the other person, which leaves you at peace with them and at peace with yourself.

    12. Sing and Dance

    You know this is fun, even if you can’t sing or dance!

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    13. Be Optimistic

    Always look for the good in a situation. There are lots of negative people around who talk about negative things, draining your energy and leaving you deflated. Next time you come across someone like this, look for the positive and say something like:

    “Well, at least {insert positive statement here}.”

    14. Acts of Kindness

    “Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness.” – Seneca

    Make the time to be kind to others, say kind words and do kind deeds. Your happier life depends on it.

    15. Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

    Seriously.

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    16. Look After Yourself

    Start going to the gym or take up another activity like walking or biking to keep you fit and well. Try eating healthier food. By making small changes to look after yourself, will also have an impact on others around you — and they are likely to make changes in their own lives, too.

    Become passionate about the things you want to do in life. Always make the time to do them.

    17. Have a Goal

    This should go without saying. However, there are many people sleep walking through life who will let other people make decisions for them. They will always be frustrated and unhappy. If you are not working towards something, you are going backwards. Set yourself a goal today, whether for a career, fitness or spiritual goal and know that you have the capacity to follow through, because you are an amazing individual!

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    Diana Reid

    CEO - Moxie House Ltd

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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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