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7 Things You Should Do To Stay Balanced And Happy When You’re Busy

7 Things You Should Do To Stay Balanced And Happy When You’re Busy

What comes to mind when you think about living a balanced and happy lifestyle when you’re busy? For those who have a busy lifestyle, it’s difficult to stop and answer this question. It seems like we live in a society where we are constantly moving around, needing to do things. But all this moving around leaves us exhausted at the end of the day.

With this in mind, answering the question above is crucial for your personal well-being and happiness. The more complex society becomes, the more we must focus on our internal world. This internal world is what we can control. The external world will constantly be changing, but our internal world is what will help us stay centered with all the external movement. Below I share with you seven simple things that you can do so that you can live a more balanced and happy lifestyle.

Set Priorities

Focus on what is important

We live in a society that is filled with distractions and temptations. These distractions not only take us away from what is truly valuable to us, but it has us wasting time on what is not important it. Setting priorities will allow you to stay focused on what is important in your life. Ask yourself this question, “What truly makes me happy?” Now, when I say happy, I mean internal happiness. What drives you to wake up every morning? Think about it and reflect upon it.

The way in which you set priorities is to focus on what is most important in your life. If your spouse and children are most important to you, then setting the priority of spending quality of time with them is top on the list. If staying at work after 5 p.m. is not important to you, make sure that you either go to work early or skip your lunch break so you can go home early. Whatever is most important to you, focus your attention on that.

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Write down on a piece of paper everything that you can think of that is important to you. Then prioritize each starting with #1 being your top priority. This will allow you visually see what is most important in your life in numerical order.

Nourish Your Inner Being

Develop your internal world

Being able to take care of your inner being is crucial in living a balanced and happy lifestyle. If you stop and think about it, how can you possibly perform to your greatest potential when you are constantly tired and exhausted? This is why it’s important to focus more on your internal world instead of your external world. Nourishing your inner being will not only allow you to recharge but you will feel better. This may be walking in the park or reading on the couch with your spouse. Only you can decide what your inner being yearns for. Answer the following questions to help you:

  • What activity or hobby excites me? (even just thinking about it)
  • If I can choose one place to be right now, where would that be?
  • After a long day of work, what calms my stress?
  • On a beautiful summer day, what do I enjoy doing?

Answering these questions will create clarity in your mind. With this clarity, you are more aware of what nurtures your inner being. Along with setting priorities, taking the time to nourish your being is another great way to stay balanced and happy when you’re busy.

Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

Be as specific as possible

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Have you ever heard of S.M.A.R.T goals? Let me first define what S.M.A.R.T stands for:

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Attractive
  • R = Related to vision
  • T = Time frame

When you clarify and define your goals, it’s important that you refer to S.M.A.R.T. Do you know someone that says he or she will do something but never ends up doing it? It’s because it’s easier to do the “talking” part of goal setting than it is to do the actual “doing” part of goal setting. Next time you want to set a goal, remember to refer back to S.M.A.R.T.

Establish A Personal Statement

Define who you are

This would have to be my favorite one. If you are serious about staying balanced and happy when you are constantly busy running around, you must be centered at all times. Establishing and referring to your personal statement will allow you to do this. No matter what storm comes your way, you know how to handle yourself. A personal statement describes the person you want to become – not who you currently are, but the person you plan on becoming. This will help you focus on developing yourself rather than focusing on what you don’t like about yourself.

For example, part of your personal statement is that you are a great cook and loving wife. You may not feel like you’re a great cook and loving wife but because you have established your statement in a way that focuses more on the type of woman you want to become, you’re energy will start re-directing itself from negative to positive.

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Take Time To Self-Reflect

Be in a quiet place

“Step away from the crowd and step within your mind” is one of my favorite quotes, especially when it comes to living a balanced life. How can you possibly stay balanced when you are constantly in a noisy environment? Taking the time to self-reflect is necessary for your personal well-being and self improvement. Without a quiet place for you to reflect, you’ll constantly be all over the place.

Ever heard the saying,”Run around like a chicken with your head cut off?” So many of us are too busy to take the time to reflect but the majority of us are not happy and are not living a balanced life. Choose a section of your home where you can spend some quiet time to yourself, away from your family so that you can focus on listening to your inner being. If you can’t find a quiet place in your home, you can always go to the park or into the forest and sit on a log. Do whatever works best for you, as long as you find a quiet place to reflect on where you’re going in life.

Grow From Your Adversity

Challenge yourself to learn

You are constantly facing challenges and difficulties in your life. Whether it be running out of gas in the middle of the highway or finding out one of your family members has cancer, this is an opportunity for you to grow into a stronger and wiser individual. Not only do you gain wisdom from your adversity but you can use this wisdom to inspire others to do the same. Constantly challenge yourself to learn from every situation you face in life.

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It’s easy to “move on” after adversity especially if you don’t take the time to reflect upon it. God wraps his greatest gift for you in the center of your biggest problems. When one experiences a traumatic situation such as sexual abuse or drug addiction, God is presenting you the opportunity to discover your greatest gift. If you look closely within your adversity, you may just find your gift. When you discover your gift in life, you are more likely to stay focused and centered rather than just floating around. Your gift will be the light that will lead you to living a life filled with love, joy and freedom.

Re-Evaluate Your Life Map

Always think with about where you are heading

We all have the opportunity to create a life map. The only difference between a person who knows where he or she is heading in life is how detailed his or her life map is. Think about this – imagine you just found out that you have to go to Manila. You’ve never been to the Philippines so what do you do? You probably look online to find out more information about Manila and how to get their via an airplane. The more you do your homework, the more confident you are for traveling. This is the same when it comes to your life map.

When you are constantly updating and re-evaluating your life map, the more confident you will be in life. When you experience a hard day at work, you are more likely to shrug it off because you know where you’re going in life. If you have no map to refer to, stressful days will become even more stressful and eventually you become exhausted.

Create a life map that is in alignment with your deepest values in life. Imagine yourself on your death bed and you’re reviewing how you’ve lived your life without the words “woulda, shoulda, coulda” mentality. What do you envision? What does your life map look like?

Living a balanced and happy lifestyle while constantly running around is a challenge. But like I’ve shared with you, challenges and difficulties will only make you into a stronger and wiser individual – as long as you grow and learn from it. Implement these seven pieces of wisdom into your own life and start living a more balanced lifestyle.

More by this author

Tiffany Mason

Tiffany is a life coach empowering women to unleash their feminine essence & design a meaningful life & marriage.

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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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