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Scientific Proof That Positivity Can Alter Reality

Scientific Proof That Positivity Can Alter Reality

In the past, whenever I read a quote telling me to improve my positivity, or whenever I see someone preaching about the benefits of a positive attitude, I roll my eyes, scoff at them and the naivety of their advocacy, and dismiss the idea of being positive altogether.

“Why should I be positive?” I thought, “Positivity will only make me vulnerable and clueless. It won’t push me to make the necessary changes in my life! Also, an optimistic attitude won’t help pay for the bills. I don’t need to be positive.”

And so, every time I encounter something in my life, I was so used to seeing the negative in every life experience that there came a point when I would rather stay at home, lie in bed and write about all the depressing things in my life instead of going to work, talking to new people. learning from these experiences and becoming a new and improved version of me.

As they say, when you hit rock bottom, there is nowhere to go now but up.

I tried going up.

Naturally, it wasn’t easy. I was so used to defaulting to negativity that it really took physical and mental effort on my part to try and look at the brighter things in life.

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Whenever someone criticized me, I refrained from criticizing them back.

I tried to keep an open mind and asked myself if I could learn from the comment. If I could, I’d try to improve. But then, if I couldn’t, I simply let it go. One perk that positivity has made me realize is this: “Sometimes, a criticism aimed at you may not always be about you. ” If that’s the case, then, let it go.

When I lost one of my big clients, it affected me significantly. I panicked, I sulked and I even took my disappointment out on the people closest to me. As a result, I was miserable and broke. No one even wanted to talk to me for the fear of getting hurt.

Again, I had to consciously make a decision to maintain my positivity, even at that time. After having a good cry, I decided to focus on my passion, personal finance. I made an effort to re-connect with loved ones and potential mentors.

The most important thing I did? I learned to say “thank you” to God, to everyone and even to myself!

“Thank you, God, for never failing to bless me with Your grace.”

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“Thank you, family and friends, for believing in me and supporting me for who I am.”

“Thank you, Lianne, for never giving up on yourself.”

And now, I have managed to author a personal finance book, I’ve become a licensed financial adviser, and I get to start on my (very) small publishing business.

Cultivating positivity and learning to be thankful are indeed great life-changers. By doing this, my life has significantly improved and turned a 180.

I understand if you don’t believe me—I was once a cynic, after all. How can I make sure that you’re going to be happy just by harboring positive thoughts and being thankful, right?

can’t give you definite proof based on personal experiences.

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But I do encourage you to reconsider positivity by watching this video:

In this video, Dr. Masaru Emoto placed rice into 3 beakers and poured water into them. For a month:

– He said “Thank you” to the 1st beaker;

– He said “You’re an idiot” to the 2nd beaker;

– And he completely ignored the 3rd beaker.

Can you guess what happened?

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– The rice in the 1st beaker started to ferment wonderfully and give off an amazing aroma;

– The rice in the 2nd beaker turned black;

– And the rice in the 3rd beaker started to rot.

Now, you can either continue being negative and trash-talking yourself, or you can start harboring positivity and empowering yourself to be the best version that you can be.

Science has already spoken.

What do you say?

Featured photo credit: PC250274.JPG/ chilombiano via cdn.morguefile.com

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Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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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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