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20 Thoughts About Happiness That Will Improve Your Mood

20 Thoughts About Happiness That Will Improve Your Mood

Your happiness should not be dependent on any person but yourself. If you’re feeling down, these twenty thoughts about happiness should improve your mood.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss

Memories will forever live in your heart, no matter how brief the experience might have been, so be thankful that you can reminisce at any time you choose.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ― Dalai Lama

Complaining is a fool’s errand, because you can’t expect your dreams to come true if you’re not willing to pursue them relentlessly.

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.” ― Albert Camus

The secret to happiness is to appreciate the people who “get” you, while having no concern with the rest.

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“Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.” ― Harold Kushner

It is understandable to be afraid of opening up if you’ve been hurt in the past, but authentic connection cannot be established if you’re not willing to be vulnerable.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Happiness isn’t a destination, but rather a choice.

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.” ― Chuck Palahniuk

Painful experiences tend to stick out more vividly than peaceful ones, so pursue an art or craft that allows you to release your pain in a productive way.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Strive for harmony in your thoughts and actions, because behaving in a way that opposes our beliefs can produce a hell of an identity crisis.

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“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” ― Ernest Hemingway

I often wish I could forget about injustices and troubling facts about the society we live in… when thinking about this makes me depressed, I remind myself of this affirmation: positive actions trump negative thoughts every time.

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.” ― Martha Washington

When it seems like a dark cloud is overhead, remember that even the most severe storms are temporary.

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” ― George Burns

Appreciating your family is essential, but it is also wise to distance yourself as necessary for your mental health and sanity.

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” ― Helen Keller

Before you complain about first world problems, consider that many people living in third world countries are more satisfied with their life than you are.

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“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.” ― Ashley Montagu

Life is not meant to be a choreographed routine, but rather an exciting adventure.

“You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes.” ― Lauren Oliver

How do you propose you would appreciate the emotional “highs” of your life without some “lows” to put them in perspective?

“Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” ― Winnie the Pooh

If you feel like you always have to be doing something, then you will never comprehend how freeing silence can be.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

Smile (even if you don’t feel like it), because it is scientifically proven to make you feel better.

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“Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” ― Dennis Waitley

The result of your work will never reflect your expectations, so it is better to focus on enjoying the process than achieving a specific result.

“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.” ― Mark Twain

Brightening another person’s day will make you feel infinitely better than wallowing in your own misery.

“Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.” ― Cynthia Nelms

Letting people get to you will only encourage them to bother you, while smiling in the face of criticism will show them how powerful you really are.

“There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.” ― Lady Blessington

A loving spirit and positive attitude will make you more attractive than any amount of weight-loss ever could.

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.” ― Author Unknown

Don’t be afraid of the unexpected, because life comes equipped with twists and turns you will never be able to predict.

Click the share button if you want to give your friends a healthy dose of happiness. :)

Featured photo credit: Enjoying autumn / Vintage style photo from a beautiful woman in autumn via shutterstock.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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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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