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3 Ways To Love And Accept Your Body Unconditionally

3 Ways To Love And Accept Your Body Unconditionally

A lot of us struggle with self acceptance and loving our body for what it is. Read this article, think about what it says & follow these simple steps to finally accept your body unconditionally.

Conditioning

Conditioning is a behavioral process whereby a response to a stimulus becomes more frequent as a result of continuing reinforcement. It was established on the assumption that human behaviour is learned. This means you can teach yourself self-love through constant positive reinforcement. Stimuli can and will vary from person to person. It can be as simple as painting your nails, going for a walk, doing your hair, anything that makes you feel good about yourself. Find a variation of things you can do that have this affect so you’re not doing the same thing day-in-day-out.

Change things up, relax and establish a positive stimuli and reinforce it daily if you have to or just when you need to. By associating certain activities with feeling good about yourself you can teach yourself to recognise them as positive stimuli and learning that such behaviour will have a positive impact on your thoughts and how you feel about yourself.

Try it and see what a difference it’ll make to you and your perspective of yourself.

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Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the good things in life and expects the best outcome as opposed to always expecting the worst.

Similar to conditioning positive thinking done on regular basis can make you believe in the positives rather than focusing on the negatives in life.

As complex as the mind is you can train it to look at life through a new perspective. All it takes is a bit of willpower and some positive thinking on your side.

So where to start? You’re not going to wake up tomorrow and have a new perspective just because you want one. Like all good things worth having, it’ll take a bit of time. Start off by waking up each day and thinking, “today is going to be a good day”, think of a few things you like about yourself and then smile. A simple smile can elevate your mood and reduce stress, not to mention you probably look a lot nicer when you smile and who knows, you might brighten up someone else’s day.

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When you’re ready to go, rather than focusing on the things that you don’t like, for example if your hair didn’t go the way you wanted it to, focus on something that you do like. This could be your outfit, your nails or even your perfume/aftershave. No one else will know what your hair was meant to look like so just walk outside, stand tall and act as if you’ve intentionally done your hair that way, no one else will know what it was meant to look like.

At the end of each day think of all the good things that happened and all your accomplishments for that day. No matter how small they are, take pride in them and be happy. Go to bed happy and wake up with that positive attitude, you’ll be surprised how much of an effect this positive thinking will have on yourself and your entire day.

Embrace Your Uniqueness

The only thing everyone has in common is that we’re all unique. And there’s a reason for it.

We always get told to embrace who we are, to just be ourselves, don’t try to be someone else or copy someone because it’s what we think we’re meant to do. But why? What’s so great about being you? How can you be happy by just being you?

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Maybe it’s because the things that make you unique are the things that make you stand out from a crowd. You won’t stand out in a crowd if you’re too busy trying to be like everyone else.

Your life and your experiences; your emotions; how you see the world; everything you’ve ever felt; done; seen; smelled; touched and heard make up who you are. No one thinks like you, acts like you or even dreams like you. No one knows what it’s like to be you, so why not just be you?

We get jealous of others who embrace their uniqueness but instead of embracing our own and being empowered by it, we try and copy who they are. Copying others is like having a defeatist attitude and not knowing it. You won’t really ever succeed or be genuinely happy by trying to be someone else for one reason. Your happiness is dependent on someone else, not you.

So why not be happy with who you are? Identify the things you like about yourself and let them shine throughout every day. It’s alright not to love every aspect about yourself but by accepting who you are is a major step towards a happier you. If you want to lose weight, don’t hate yourself because of it, accept where you are and love yourself enough to make a change.

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Hating your body will never get you as far as loving it will. It hasn’t worked for you in the past so why not see where loving it will get you?

Embracing your uniqueness is knowing who you are, working with what you’ve got, owning it and standing tall. It’s not about being inferior or superior to anyone else, it’s about being yourself and being happy about it.

 

Think to yourself at the end of each day; “Why not be yourself? – Everyone else is taken.”

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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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