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7 Essential Ways That Inspirational Quotes Can Literally Change Your Day … and Your Life!

7 Essential Ways That Inspirational Quotes Can Literally Change Your Day … and Your Life!

Most of us have heard the old adage, “Stop and smell the roses.”  In the hectic pace of our lives, we often forget to slow down, pause, take a breath and reflect for even a couple moments.  This compounds with the fact that in our everyday lives, especially in urban environments, there’s not a rose to be found!  Hence, in our increasingly digital age, how about pausing and reflecting on Inspirational Quotes to help ground us in our busy lives?  We might not be able to find a rose outside our door, but inspirational quotes are everywhere on the internet. You can’t miss them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and this easy accessibility can attest to a new adage I propose,

 “An Inspirational Quote a Day can keep your keep your negativity away.”

How can inspirational quotes actually change your day and even your life?  Here are 7 reasons that have become crystallized to me from the many comments I have gotten from the 175,000 followers to my own Inspirational Quote Facebook page.

1. It’s easier to keep a positive frame of mind if you make Inspirational Quotes a habit.

Everyday annoyances have a lessened negative emotional pull when you focus on the positive message of positive inspirational quotes. As the saying goes, “Perception is more important than reality” and inspirational quotes offer us help in forming healthy perceptions and attitudes.

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2. Inspirational quotes can serve as a comfort during difficult times of great personal challenges.

They keep hope alive when you are reminded that after the darkness there is always a dawn.  Inspirational posts remind us that hope rises with the sun.

3. Daily inspirations remind you that you are not alone.

Who has not experienced a challenge, setback or disappointment?  Regularly exposing yourself to universal issues that we all share as a virtue of being human serve as a comfort when you feel alone.  The idea that “I am not the only one” is incredibly comforting in times of isolation and personal uncertainty. Furthermore, seeing messages of hope and comfort cutting across all cultures and nationalities all over the world becomes very powerful.

4. No matter how old you are, you are never too old to keep moving forward and build on yesterday.

Inspirational quotes remind you to see your mistakes and setbacks as learning opportunities, and gives you comfort that there is nothing that we can’t learn from. Rather than living in the past and recycling old news, we gain support to move past our regrets and learn from them.

5. Inspirations help remind you what is really important.

In our hectic lives in which we are inundated with the lure of material wealth and “things,” inspirations can help keep us grounded in what is really important.  We are reminded that our perceptions color our world, richness in our relationships make you much richer than all loads of money, and no one can ever have power over you unless you give it to them.

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6. If you need help with being better instead of bitter, daily inspirations can help guide you on the journey.

Daily reminders that forgiveness is necessary to live a positive life will help you move on from negativity – not because they always deserve it, but you do.  Inspirational reminders can give you the perspective and strength that releases you from the chains of bitterness that all too often make people prisoners of their past.  Forgiveness, acceptance and compassion melt away the chains of resentment, keeping you stuck in moments of time.

7. Daily Inspirations help you “get through it” when you can’t “get over it.” 

No one gets through life without some scars.  No matter if you have visible scars or ones of the invisible type, they are both scars nonetheless.  Death of loved ones, personal losses, health issues afflicting yourself or those close to you, personal setbacks and shaken confidence rarely, if ever, escape anyone who lives a full and complete life.  Keeping up the regular habit of reading inspirational quotes helps you get through things when you can’t get over them.  

Now here is an action plan on how to use you favorite daily inspiration:

1. Print the quote or inspirational post up and put on prominent places like your desk,mirror or refrigerator.

2.  Use a quote or inspirational post as your computer desktop on your computer and change daily.

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3.  Share your quotes with friends and family through email and social media sites such as Facebook, twitter and Pinterest. Create a sharing community of positivity!

4.  In the workplace, frame your daily quote by your desk or office door in an easily changeable plexiglass frame for everyone to be inspired!

5.  Start your office meetings, book groups, family dinners with an inspirational quote to start our the gathering with a shared positive mindset.

7.  Have a daily inspiration for your back pocket!  Carry around in your wallet or back pocket an inspirational quote for the day.

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8.  At the end of the day, review how your daily inspiration helped you.  Ask yourself if you kept this positive message in mind, and decide which quote to use for the next day to keep on truckin in a positive direction!

How has daily inspirations quotes helped you to stay more positive and keep negatively away?  Please share in the comments below.  We would love to hear!

More by this author

Judy Belmont

Mental health author, motivational speaker and psychotherapist

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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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