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7 Important Life Lessons from Disney’s “Frozen”

7 Important Life Lessons from Disney’s “Frozen”

Almost everyone I’ve met has seen the movie Frozen. With catchy songs, heart warming tales and scenes that make you smile, Frozen immediately became a family favorite.

Besides the wonderful display of colors and characters, Frozen can actually teach us important life lessons.

Here are 7 of them.

1. Family is important.

elsa_anna

    The whole film runs on the theme of the importance of family. The relationship between Anna and Elsa clearly emphasizes family love.

    Separated at such a young age, Anna longed for the company of her sister. Given the fact that she lost most memories of Elsa, she wanted to build a relationship with her even more.

    When Elsa ran away from the castle after freezing Arendelle, Anna embarked on a journey to retrieve her sister, even if she had to do it alone.

    She wouldn’t stop at any cost until she got the only family member she had left, Elsa.

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    This shows that treasuring your family is very important. You might not agree with some of the things you family might say or do, but it’s important not to allow that affect your relationship with them.

    2. Be unapologetically you.

    Elsa was never part of the popular club. With the magical powers she had, she was an outcast and exiled when people found out. Some even threatened to have her killed. Elsa finally realized that there’s no point pretending someone she isn’t anymore. She left for the mountains and established her ice castle there.

    This is also the part where viewers were introduced to the song that would be stuck in their head forever—Let it Go.

    Sometimes there is a part of us that we do not embrace because we try to fit in—the part of us which isn’t a problem to begin with. However we try being like others, losing the essence of who we really are.

    It’s time we embrace our uniqueness and stop trying to fit in. Sometimes we need to think about whether the “cold” was even a bother to begin with. When you realize that you should keep being you, you automatically become a more beautiful person, just as Elsa did.

    3. Stop bottling your emotions.

    frozen-let-it-go

      The ability to share your emotions with others is an amazing thing. Unfortunately for Elsa, due to her isolation, she had no one to share her emotions with.

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      In the end, it ended up pretty messy when Elsa met the real world. Imagine if she was allowed to be exposed to the real world bit by bit. I’m sure she would have developed control of her emotions better than what happened in the film.

      If you’re happy, share the joy with the world and if you’re down, sharing it with the right people will help you feel better. Emotions are better shared; sometimes you just got to let it go.

      4. No one is an island.

      Anna tried to save Elsa; Kristoff needed help with his ice business; and Olaf needed a nose to become a legitimate snowman. In all of these tasks, none of them were accomplished on their own.

      Anna could not have saved Elsa without the help of Kristoff and Sven. Kristoff would have remained out of business if the whole of Arendelle remained frozen, and Olaf got his nose from Kristoff’s carrot.

      It’s funny how we think that we can accomplish anything by ourselves. But the truth is, more often than not, we need the help of others.

      The characters of Frozen helped one another to accomplish the goal of restoring Arendelle. In the end, all of the characters benefited from it.

      We can’t do everything on our own and sometimes, asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak—it simply means you are not going to let your ego stop you from achieving your goal.

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      5. Don’t believe things that are too good to be true.

      There’s the saying that goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and I think it applies to this situation. This is especially true when it comes to meeting people.

      Most of the times, what you know about someone is what they want you to know about them. When you meet someone for the first time, it’s pretty foolish to take everything they say for gospel, especially if it’s too good to be true.

      This applies to both people and material goods. Sometimes when you find someone or something that’s too good to be true, adding some skepticism can prevent you from getting into the kind of trouble that Anna did with Prince Hanz.

      6. Dream big.

      olaf

        Olaf had a dream of enjoying a summer, and it’s no doubt a crazy dream. A snowman enjoying summer is like throwing ice cream into a microwave and hoping it doesn’t melt. It just doesn’t make any sense.

        However Olaf never let that bother him; he remained cheerful and happy hoping to achieve that dream one day.

        We all have big dreams and sometimes phrases like, “Are you crazy? ” or “That is impossible” can really hurt us.

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        When you feel that way, remember the happiness that Olaf had, and keep chasing your dreams. Never give up because others say your dream is too big.

        It might sound crazy, but the people who are crazy enough who think they can change the world are often the ones who do.

        7. Love can change the world.

        Arendelle was about to be covered in Ice, and Anna was dying because of a frozen heart. The only cure was true love.

        Instead of Anna getting kissed by a Prince Charming, it was her gift of sacrifice that unfroze Arendelle. In the end, that sacrifice melted the “ice” in her heart as well.

        This speaks a lot about how how true love requires sacrifice, an element that is so often forgotten.

        If everyone would sacrifice some of their time and exhibit love and kindness to the people around them, we could rid this world of the “cold” in the hearts of people. Replacing it with the warmth of love is something that can potentially change the world.

        Featured photo credit: Frozen via flickr.com

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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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