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7 Warning Signs You Are Losing Track of Your Life

7 Warning Signs You Are Losing Track of Your Life

Each one of us is sailing uncharted seas every day. Few of us have any idea where we want to sail and most are stuck in a lull in the middle of the sea hoping for a miracle. If you want to avoid losing track of where you are right now in the sea of life, then read the following seven warning signs so you can prepare yourself to face them when they arise.

1. You start each day feeling horrible

If you find yourself waking up with little energy and no excitement, then the chances are high that you are losing track of your life. Those who know what they want in life embrace every new day with exciting plans and the desire to execute them. Be aware that the horrible feelings might also be a sign of depression, so additional help from those around you, especially mental health professionals, might be needed.

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2. You drastically lose or gain appetite

This is something I usually experience when I’m in a ‘down’ state. I am a big eater, so I know that if I lose my appetite then that means that I’m not in tune with myself. Another thing that is also prone to happen to me is I have cravings to eat something even though I just had a huge meal a few minutes ago. These sudden changes in appetite are one of the obvious warning signs you are losing track of your life, so be prepared with a plan to bring yourself back into line if it happens at any point in your life.

3. You start to question the reason you are doing the things you do in life

When you start to question the reason you are doing the things you do in life, then 99.99% of the time you are probably not on the right path. This means that you are unsatisfied with how you lead your life and if you continue leading it that way, you will end up becoming someone who harbors hatred towards life. The solution: change yourself. Finding the right path is not easy because it differs from person to person. By changing the way you lead your life, you increase your chances of stumbling onto the right path that you sought to walk along.

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4. You seek entertainment but find things are not as entertaining as they used to be

I love to play video games. But there are times when even the most novel of games can’t bring me joy. You might experience the same thing even though you don’t like video games. Your interaction with friends felt dull, last night’s World Cup finals match wasn’t that exciting, and the program on the TV seems to be lacking entertainment value. When entertainment loses its ability to entertain you, then nothing will work unless you get your life back on track.

5. You feel as if you are disconnected from the people around you

Friends are source of joy. Other than that, they are also a way we feel connected to the world around us. Have you ever felt that you are alone in this world? If yes, then that’s a sign that you’re losing a grip on life. No matter how many people you meet, that feeling of connection won’t reemerge because there isn’t a ‘thread’ going out from your soul in the first place.

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6.You are constantly thinking destructive, pessimistic thoughts

This is usually the sign of escalating depression. Those who are depressed definitely lose track of their own life. If you are constantly thinking destructive, pessimistic thoughts and finding it hard to turn those thoughts into more positive ones, then you need to check where you are heading right now! Most of the time you may find yourself walking a fine line and even a slight push could make you tumble into the deep, bottomless abyss.

7.You think that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel

If you lose track to the point where you feel you are currently inside a dark cave, then how do you expect to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel? Someone who doesn’t have a clue where they are is the same as someone who can’t see the solutions to their problems. The solutions are out there but they’ll only reveal themselves to those who have some clarity.

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How to get a compass

When you recognize the above warning signs in your life, bring out your compass. You don’t have one? You don’t know how to use them? The following are some things you can do to help find your life compass:

  1. Ask yourself. Sometimes the answers to all your woes are already buried deep inside you. It’s just that you don’t ask.
  2. Ask others for help and advice. There are many people out there who have experienced the same problem as you and they will gladly help you to find your way back to the right path.
  3. Silence. Sometimes, the problem with those who are walking a path is that they walk a noisy path. It’s inevitable that there are various noises all around you but you do have the capability to silence them. How? Do nothing and just be mindful of the things happening around you. It works wonders!

Featured photo credit: Warning! by Lamoix 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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