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20 Beliefs All Happy People Share

20 Beliefs All Happy People Share

Everybody wants to be happy; no matter what your age, background or location, the pursuit of happiness is a universal goal. Even with different definitions of what “happiness” is, there are core beliefs that all happy people seem to have. These are not always conscious thoughts; in many instances, it is their outlook on life and the highs and lows that are part of living that are the most profound beliefs. Here is a collection of twenty beliefs that can help guide you to find the happiness you are seeking – whatever that may be.

1. They believe that anything is possible

Happy people don’t make the mistake of putting limits on what they think can be accomplished. Putting up emotional barriers by stating “it can’t be done” is a sure fire way to limit the ability to act, imagine or dream. Believing that what is desired can be achieved enables a sense of purpose and, in turn, creates a positive mindset that can carry someone through challenging or difficult times. This is more than just positive thinking but an affirmation that they will not let their happiness be limited by the perception of others that there are limits to dreams.

2. They realize that happiness does not have a monetary value

It has become far too commonplace in today’s world to measure happiness in terms of the material acquisitions, the size of an investment portfolio, or dollar amount in the bank. Happy people have long realized that how little or how much one has is a purely transitory state; true wealth, like true happiness, is measured much differently. Studies of other cultures, such as those in Latin America, have shown that the level of happiness and positive outlook doesn’t have to correlate with material goods. Understanding that happiness doesn’t have (or need) a price tag is a major step toward becoming a happier person.

3. They don’t sweat the small stuff

Getting caught up in trivial arguments and issues can be a real blockage to happiness becoming part of daily life. Keeping the bigger picture in mind is an important tool in maintaining a perspective on keeping the focus on those things (and people) that truly matter. Allowing oneself to get hooked by superficial issues creates frustration and, ultimately, a sense of futility about life in general. Happy people understand that, in the end, most of life’s issues are the small stuff and that which matters most is what the heart and spirit are drawn to.

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4. They believe that, in life, there are no accidents

Accepting that there is a connection within the universe and that there is a reason for things that happen, is an important belief of happy people. Whether it is called fate, destiny, synchronicity or other similar terms, recognizing that each encounter, each interaction, that happens fulfills a purpose provides a sense of calm even in the middle of chaotic times. Trusting in their own process and abilities to follow the clues they are being given is part of transforming oneself from feeling like a victim of fate into an intrepid adventurer seeking the future. Life, then, becomes a joyous journey of discovery, rather than an emotional slog.

5. They accept ownership of the past without being bound by it

Happy people have learned that in order to have a true present, there has to be a willingness to acknowledge the past -good and bad- and to own it as part of the path that has lead to this point. Trying to reject or ignore the lessons learned by what has gone before can take too much time and attention from the important task of living in the now. The past cannot be undone; however the missteps and confusion of the past does not control the present, nor is it a predictor of the future. Acknowledging fully where one has been is a crucial part of understanding and appreciating where one is now and where the path of the tomorrow may lead.

6. They don’t allow negativity a place at the table

With the constant barrage of dire information a part of the 24/7/365 connected world, it can be a daunting task to try and remain positive. Yet this is precisely what happy people have committed themselves to doing. The external world is not something that can be controlled; the impact of the negative energy coming from it is something that can be managed. The choice is simple: Should these waves of external negativity be allowed to dictate one’s outlook in terms of personal goals, relationships, and dreams? Happy people answer this question with a resounding “NO!” Maintaining a positive individual outlook can be a kind of spiritual umbrella during the downpour of negative energy from the outside.

7. They embrace the power of “paying it forward”

Unforced giving can be a profound emotional and spiritual booster. Putting that kind of positive energy out into the universe adds a dimension to living in the present that enhances the outlook on tomorrow. Happy people understand that by paying it forward they are investing in a brighter future and, at the same time, making life in the present have more meaning-both  for the recipient of the act and the one who is doing the giving.

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8. They recognize and accept the reality that no one is perfect

When one expects another person to constantly meet a set of expectations, there is a great chance for disappointment and heartache. Human beings, by the very nature of being human, are not perfect and to expect otherwise is naïve and stressful. Happy people accept that perfection is not a part of the human make-up; that applies to themselves as well as those who they are involved with. Ironically, it is precisely this imperfection that makes relationships so compelling. Working together to find a harmonious middle is one of the happiest things two people can do.

9. They understand the importance of time

Time can be a thief, to be sure, and it can be far too easy to let it slip away. Happy people have learned that time is precious and not something to waste. Making the most of time is a largely overlooked part of achieving a happier life. The old phrase “time well spent” is not just an idle observation but an acknowledgement that time itself is a finite commodity for everyone and that making the most of the time one is granted can be one of the most satisfying and pleasurable activities that a person can pursue.

10 .They love without fear

To truly dare to love, without reservation, can seem to be almost a monumental task. The fear of rejection, concerns about a failure in the relationship, even doubts about deserving love, can all stand in the way of the happiness that being with someone should bring. Happy people accept the risk gladly. To experience the glorious victories and, yes, the glorious defeats, is all part of a spiritual reminder of how good it is to be alive and to be able to feel the warmth of the emotional connection with another person.

11. They avoid the clutches of the “green-eyed monster”

There are few emotions that are more destructive to happiness than jealousy. Being envious of another’s achievements ends up consuming time and energy that could (and should) be better spent on making one’s own dreams come true. Even more detrimental is allowing jealousy to cloud the reality of a situation, creating issues where none may exist. Happy people have learned that envy is emotional cancer that can eat away at the spirit and heart. Rejecting these feelings and resisting the negativity they contain can be a truly supportive step towards finding a happier reality.

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12. They accept themselves for who and what they are

It has often been said that the first step to true happiness is loving and acceptance of oneself. There are few things in life less satisfying than trying to be something other than what one is. Truly happy people have long accepted themselves for who they are and those elements within them that make each of them unique. From this starting point, working towards a better future, or making improvements, becomes a task of joy rather than chasing an illusion that one can never hope to reach.

13. They know that you can’t please everyone, so make sure you please yourself

Trying to make everyone in one’s life happy is, truly, an impossible task. Since each person has their own individual opinions and standards, pleasing one person is just as likely to result in the displeasure of another. The resulting frustration ends of leaving a person feeling ineffective and, somehow, to blame. For those who are truly happy, this is no longer a problem; their focus is on pleasing themselves first. This does not mean to do so at the expense of others; rather, this is acknowledging that by creating happiness internally, first, it can become easier to spread that joy to others.

14. They appreciate the necessity of change in order to grow

It is not in human nature to stay stagnant and still find satisfaction and happiness in daily life. The need to look ahead and to want to discover new vistas is the underpinning for the importance that change plays in living. Yet, many people resist and even fear change. Those who have embraced happiness understand that change is an essential part of living and embrace the challenges that change may bring with joy. When fear of the new no longer exists, the pleasure of the unfolding future can be truly appreciated.

15. They are never too busy to “stop and smell the roses”

Appreciating the beauty of the natural world and of life in general is often overlooked in the rush to get things done, get ahead, etc. This obsession with schedules and artificially constructed destinations rarely leaves time to pause and remember exactly what all of this frenetic activity is supposed to be for. Happy people are never too busy to take a moment and enjoy the world’s treasures. The pleasure of a stunning sunset, the smell of fresh cut grass, or just taking a cleansing breath while walking can provide the emotional tonic that is so needed in today’s style of living.

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16. They have learned to be still

Sometimes it is necessary to rein in the racing thoughts and feelings brought on by the near constant bombardment of information and sensory overload that one encounters during the day. The sheer volume of all of this noise can drown out the important internal voice that helps maintain direction and stability in both an emotional and spiritual sense. Learning to be still -to allow the mind and heart to gently disengage from all of the external pressure- is an important practice happy people include in their routines. That mental pause that refreshes restores the ability to smile and know that things are alright after all.

17. They comprehend that happiness isn’t everything

While being happy is certainly important, truly happy people also recognize that happiness, in and of itself, is only one piece of the great puzzle known as life. There will be times that obligations, circumstances, or the press of the moment, may leave one feeling somewhat dismayed or uncertain. Yet, it is precisely in these moments, that lessons are learned that can lead to growth and a greater appreciation of the gifts that life has in store. It is these times of challenge that add to the value of happiness and the knowledge that what may be empty at the moment will fill again in the future.

18. They are grateful

Embracing the joy of living and being grateful for the experiences life bestows is one of the hallmarks of truly happy people. This gratitude is not just lip service but a spiritual thankfulness of being alive and part of this amazing, complex, and sometimes frustrating place that humanity calls home.

19. They focus on what goes right instead of what goes wrong

When something happens, it can usually be viewed in terms of whether something went according to plan or whether things just went off the rails. Yet, in the realm of spirit, there are no absolutes. This is what happy people have learned. It is just as easy to pay attention to the things that have gone as planned and work on those areas, than it is to bemoan things that may have come up a little short.

20. They believe that you are always at the starting gate

Happy people intrinsically understand that in a true spiritual and emotionally sense, one is always at the beginning. Even when there is a transition or failure, this marks a new starting point. As a popular song once noted; “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” These beliefs that truly happy people have embraced are not exclusive. Trying them out is the best way to see if, in fact, a fresh breath of happiness will appear.

Featured photo credit: boy-524512_1280/TaniaVdB via pixabay.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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