Advertising
Advertising

How To Use Your Blog To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever!

How To Use Your Blog To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever!

    Introspection, and self-actualization are two thought processes that are very unique to the human species. You may be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to discover your potential is to somehow keep track of your progress as well as your thoughts in various instances of life.
    The reason that blogging happens to be the perfect medium for recording such ideas is that it’s much more than just a journal. Blogging offers some invaluable bonuses that writing in private does not provide.

    Advertising

    It’s been just over a year since I’ve started blogging, and the benefits that have come from this experience can only be summed up as priceless. Blogging has been a wonderful way to share and explore a topic that I am very much passionate about.

    Advertising

    Bonuses of Blogging

    1. Track progress. Your blog’s archives serve as a time machine into the chronicles of thought that you have etched onto the internet at some point in time. This is an excellent way to see how you differ between now and then. You’ll easily see the things that have helped you to make progress in your life, and repeat this action to multiply your positive results.
    2. Get feedback. The audience that your blog attracts will inevitably comment on your writing, thoughts and ideas. They’ll ask you thought provoking questions, as well as offer meaningful advice and constructive criticisms. All wonderful tools to further improve your own life.
    3. Share knowledge. You have a gift. You are now in possession of a life, a brain, and your experiences. By sharing your knowledge with the world, you are helping people shave time off their learning curves, avoid detrimental mistakes, and make life altering decisions. That’s a lot of power to have.
    4. Meet like-minded people. Birds of a feather flock together, and your cast of hawks will surely make their way to you. Through almost magnetic means, blogging has the possibility to connect people in marvelous ways. Once you meet like-minded people, the possibilities of your journey in life being connected are endless.
    5. Running Resume. Your blog is serious business. It has the power to completely sway someone’s opinion about you. It fulfills the needs of lurkers everywhere who Google you to see what kind of person you are. Show them your best. (If you’re looking for work this is extremely important.)
    6. Family Links. Not only can the whole family get involved in blogging, but you’ll also be leaving a trace for generations to come. Your great-grandchildren may just be curious about what lifestyle you led, and they’ll have your archives to answer their questions, and possibly guide them through life.
    7. Creative pastime. Instead of absorbing heaps of knowledge from the TV or mindless internet browsing, you will have a focused outlet to express your creativity. You’ll be passing time with more purpose than you did before, and you’ll find it to be a great way to escape boredom.
    8. Stay sharp. When you have a blog, you will notice that you’re constantly on the look out for article ideas, no matter where you are. This is a great skill to develop because it helps you to become more observant, and therefore more interesting in other facets of life.
    9. Make money. While most people will not make a decent amount of money via their blog, there are some that have gotten rich, and even more that make a full-time income blogging. This allows you to have a ‘job’ that can be performed anywhere in the world with a laptop and internet connection.
    10. Develop writing skills. Practice is the only way to improve on the art of writing. Writing blog posts provides a very fun and engaging medium in which to practice.

    How To Start Blogging

    If you haven’t started blogging yet, or would like to give it a shot, I would recommend going directly to the source. WordPress.org provides an excellent platform that is easy to set up, and has a large library of blogging tips within their codex. Or, if you don’t want to be bothered with hosting and installing software yourself, try their hosted service at WordPress.com.

    Advertising

    Once you’re set up, feel free to look at lifehack.org’s very own 101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger, as well as Darren Rowse’s Problogger for additional tips. You should be able to get started within a few hours.

    Advertising

    Can you think of other ways that blogging can make 2008 your best year ever?

    More by this author

    5 Simple Steps To Be Happy — Finally The Simply Effective Guide To Reaching Anyone Online How To Use Your Blog To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever! Using Questions To Control Communication Using Compliments To Control Communication

    Trending in Communication

    1 5 Real Relationship Goals You Should Actually Strive Toward 2 When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 3 15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy 4 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 5 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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]

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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]

    Advertising

    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

    Read Next