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20 Secrets Genuinely Happy People Never Told You

20 Secrets Genuinely Happy People Never Told You

Happiness is a choice, and genuinely happy people make the choice to be happy, everyday! But what you may not know is that happy people face challenges, just like ordinary folk, but they challenge themselves, constantly, to live the wonderful life they know they deserve; filled to the brim with laughter and a positive outlook.

We don’t need to tell you that life isn’t all roses, and will often times bring you to your knees, but it is during these moments that happy people go to work on getting happy. If they look like they have it all together, they probably do, but that’s just because they’ve discovered the secrets to true happiness, and it lies within them.

So if you’ve ever wondered, “Why are they so happy all the time?”, here are a few reasons, and secrets, why.

1. They’re not happy all the time.

Let’s be honest, nobody is happy all the time, and with good reason. It’s the down that shows us the beauty of the ups. The genuinely happy individual knows this and allows themselves to feel sad or down, naturally. Trying to force happiness is, well, forced. So they embrace the sadness, the tears and the obstacles and give themselves permission to just be. They are human after all.

2. They have learned to say no.

It sounds strange, but saying “no” doesn’t come easy for some people. Especially if you’re the type who loves to make others happy. However, genuinely happy people don’t buy into the idea of keeping others happy if you’r always down as a result. This is a sure fire way to stress and anxiety, and it kind of defeats the purpose of the whole happiness thing. Instead, they exercise their right to say no, and do so in an assertive manner, that neither takes away from their relationships, or their own happiness.

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3. They haven’t led easy lives.

No genuinely happy person will tell you they’ve had it cushy! They may have been knocked down many times, but each time, they got up, refusing to stay down! The strength and gusto they mustered to get back up and keep fighting is what showed them the meaning of true happiness. If you can make it through the difficult times with a smile on your face, you’re winning, and who wouldn’t be happy with that!

4. They know what the bottom looks like.

They’ve been to the bottom more times than they can count, and they’ve worked their way back up. To mere mortals, landing at the bottom after great success would signal the end, but for the genuinely happy person, it’s just an opportunity to start afresh; to build a better and stronger foundation. They learnt a lot on the way up, and learnt a lot more on the way back down. No experience is wasted, and so they move forward armed with that knowledge!

5. They love their flaws.

For them, being perfectly imperfect, is perfect! They’ve come to terms with who they are and have accepted their flaws, warts and all. They know it is all just a part of what makes them special, and they love it! They understand there is no such thing as perfection, and have not only stopped chasing it, but discovered imperfections are just as brilliant!

6. They avoid stress in their lives.

Whether it’s through meditation, getting away, or through a creative outlet, genuinely happy people actively go out of their way to avoid any unnecessary stressful situations, and move on from them as quickly as possible. This is in no way avoidance, but a strategy which allows them to concentrate on the things that truly matter, and stops annoying little stresses from turning into something far greater.

7. They exercise.

What better way to get happy than to do something that releases those naturally happy chemicals from within. They have tapped into the world of healthy living and exercise not just to look good, but because it makes them feel even better! Whether they’re running outdoors, or getting in those reps at the gym, the happy person knows the benefits of those wonderful endorphins.

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8. They know they’re enough.

They don’t need the latest or the greatest, and they don’t attach their self-worth to external things. They’ve learnt that no one thing can make them happy or make them feel fulfilled. In relationships, they have a, “take me as I am” attitude. They may have battled with their self-worth in the past, chasing things they thought would make them a better person, but now they know they are perfect just the way they are.

9. They don’t judge.

They have no need or want in judging others, because they don’t like to be judged themselves. They prefer to let others live their lives as they wish. Worrying about what others are doing, or not doing, is unnecessary and time consuming, and only leaves the person judging with a false sense of superiority. The happy person has no need for that, and would prefer to use their time to uplift others rather than tear them down.

10. They know how to refocus.

Whatever problem they are facing, there is always another way to look at things. By refocusing, they can approach a difficult problem with fresh eyes. Refocusing offers new perspective, and with a new perspective comes a new solution.

11. They haven’t lost their childlike wonderment.

They are children at heart! They live, laugh and love with the infectious playfulness of a person untainted by a harsh world. It’s this approach to life that keeps them inquisitive and creative, and let’s face it, makes them so much fun to be around!

12. They deal with fear head on.

Fear has no place in the genuinely happy persons life. They are victorious in their quest for happiness and equip themselves with an arsenal of bravery, moving forward with happiness as their armour. Yes, it’s scary, but that’s all part of the dance. By facing their fears, they take back control of their lives, and nothing is allowed to come between them and their happiness.

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13. They take risks.

Risk takers are happier folk! They know that stepping out from your comfort zone and navigating new territory is not only thrilling, but a sure way to experience the new and wonderful things life has to offer. What drives them is growth and the potential to learn more about who they are, and what they can accomplish. They know there’s a chance they may trip up or fall, but for them, failure is just another lovely life lesson.

14. They bear no grudges.

The happy person does not hold on to past hurts or anger. Instead they prefer to let go of the pain, and move on with life. There’s no better way to destroy happiness than to carry around old baggage that inevitably weighs you down. The genuinely happy person knows this and so they acknowledge the hurt and pain, forgive and dust themselves off, and move forward, happier and lighter.

15. They encourage others.

They are genuinely happy to see others happy and living their lives to their full potential. It genuinely makes them happy to see others thriving, and so they do all they can to support and encourage those they love and care about. They are also encouraged by others successes, not jealous. It’s a win-win!

16. They love to laugh.

The happy person sees the fun, and funny side of life and aims to always look on the bright side. They are truly joyous in laughter and can make even the stony faced individual crack a smile. They know there’s no better healer, along with time, than laughter. It not only lifts their spirits but does a lot to make an otherwise stressful situation easier to manage.

17. They are honest with themselves, first.

They can lie to others all they want, but they are all too aware of that little voice in their head; the one that reminds them they aren’t being entirely honest with themselves. Having the courage to admit things to yourself is the first step in being honest and comfortable with who you, before you can be honest with others. It’s scary, but it must be done. The genuinely happy person knows this is what’s required if they are to be their authentic selves, because there’s nothing like dishonesty to throw your happiness compass out of wack!

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18. They ask for help.

They know that asking for help doesn’t make you weak, and so they don’t feel weak, or otherwise, in asking for help. Instead, they see it as an opportunity to get another perspective on an idea or a situation, or for someone to help share the heavy load. They realise they may not always have the answer, or strength, to do all things on their own and so welcome a helping hand, or friendly advice as though it were a gift. They know asking and receiving help takes nothing away from who they are, but can only add to their life and experiences.

19. They embrace differences.

There’s one thing all humans have in common: we are all different! Genuinely happy people are aware of these differences, be it race, religion sex, views or any other differences that may set us apart from one another. They do not try to negate those differences but rather, embrace them, and celebrate them. For the genuinely happy person, the world would be an utterly boring place if we were all the same!

20. They love life.

With all its ups and down, in and outs and highs and lows, life for the sincerely happy person is an adventure that we would all do well to appreciate. The scars and bruises makes us appreciate the smiles and glories more. Understanding this, they don’t fight life, but take it for what is. They do what they need to do to make life enjoyable, productive and worthwhile, but they know that to truly appreciate the journey, sometimes you have to sit back and enjoy the ride!

Featured photo credit: young beautiful brunette woman listening music with headphones in the city via shutterstock.com

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Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

Writer, Poet, Marketer

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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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