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30 Small Things I Do Every Day That Improves The Quality Of My Life

30 Small Things I Do Every Day That Improves The Quality Of My Life

Would you like to be happier? Many people struggle with stress on a daily basis, but simply changing a few of your daily habits can improve your overall mood.

Check out 30 small things you can do every day to improve the overall quality of your life.

1. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. The caffeine will help to give you a much-needed boost – and it is pretty delicious too!

2. Wake up earlier. Set your alarm to go off quarter of an hour before you normally get up. This extra 15 minutes will help make your morning less stressful, and you will able to have a more organized and productive day.

3. Clean out your email. Delete all of your spam emails and the ones you don’t need. Decluttering will make you more organized while helping you to keep on top of work.

4. Make a friend smile. Send them a funny video online, or text them to see how they are doing. Making someone else’s day is a sure-fire way to guarantee your day being great too.

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5. Read the newspaper. Keeping up with world events will stimulate your mind and help you to gain new perspectives.

6. Hug someone you are close to. From your child to your partner to your sister, having a good old hug will improve your mood and mental state. This is also a great way to keep your relationships healthy and happy, too!

7. Have a quick tidy up if you have a few spare minutes. It will barely feel like tidying, but your mind will thank you for making the environment tidier and more pleasant.

8. Write a diary entry or a blog post. Many people find writing cathartic, and it can help you to process your own emotions and feelings. This is also a great way to keep your brain sharp!

9. Smile at the first stranger you see. This will put a smile on their face and leave you feeling warm inside!

10. Raise your heart rate. From a brisk walk to a session in the gym, exercise stimulates your body and mind, leaving you feeling generally more energetic and improving your mood.

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11. Take a walk. Being outside will raise your mood and it can calm you down if you are feeling stressed or worried.

12. Carry a bottle of water with you. Water is one of the best drinks for your body, and it will improve your health, your skin and your mind – perfect!

13. Look through old photographs. Reliving old memories will put a smile on your face, and you will feel grateful for the wonderful people in your life.

14. Write down three things you are thankful for each day. This will help you to appreciate all of the brilliant people and things you have in your life.

15. Put some laundry on. No-one likes doing laundry, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is much better for your mind than the negative feeling of putting it off.

16. Read a chapter of a book you love, or a new book. This will help to both lift your mood and relax you – a twofer!

17. Have a meaningful conversation. After a day of work and chores, it is important to feel like your day was important and meaningful – and one of the easiest ways to do this is to sit down with someone interesting and chew the fat.

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18. Listen to music. Put on an upbeat album you love, and after a few tracks you will notice yourself humming, smiling and dancing – all indicators of a great mood.

19. Light a candle when you get home from work. The appearance and smell of a candle will help you to relax and wind down.

20. Eat at least one healthy meal, with fruit and vegetables. The healthy food will give both your body and your mind energy – and you’ll feel great for choosing the healthy option.

21. Listen to something that makes you think. From the radio on the way home to a podcast you like, this will stimulate your brain and get your mind thinking about different things.

22. Do something nice for someone else. Mentally fulfilled people think about other’s needs as often as their own, and simply offering a co-worker a word of encouragement will help you to feel more positive.

23. Spend some time with the people you live with. From family to housemates, this will make you feel more connected to the people you share your life with – and it is a really fun way to wind down!

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24. Have a drink you love with your lunch. Lunch can feel like a hurried affair, so make the effort to bring a drink you love to savour, whether that is a comforting latte or a healthy berry smoothie.

25. Do the washing up before you go to bed. The next morning will be much more pleasant and relaxed if you don’t have to start the day with yesterday’s chores.

26. Put on an outfit you love. If you feel great on the outside, you will start to feel pretty good on the inside too – trust me!

27. Speak to someone who lives far away. From your parents to a friend who moved away, this will make you feel proactive – and no doubt they will really appreciate you calling them!

28. Spend five minutes alone. If you feel life starting to get on top of you take a break and spend a minutes alone. After this reflection time you will feel noticeably calmer and more relaxed.

29. Take a long bath or shower before you sleep. You will go to bed feeling clean and relaxed, helping you to get a great night’s sleep.

30. Make sure you get eight hours sleep. Everything is more difficult and stressful when you’re tired – get a head start on this and make sure you are refreshed for a productive and fun day!

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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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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