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Starting Now You Can Live Happily Ever After If You Do These Things

Starting Now You Can Live Happily Ever After If You Do These Things

Everyone talks about happiness like it’s something elusive, but in reality it’s quite easy to achieve. Jump ahead of the crowd and start now to live happily ever after by following these 15 tips.

1. Be thankful.

Be thankful for all that you have; don’t waste time wishing for things you can’t have. There’s a time for everything.

2. Define happiness.

Happiness means different things to different people. Start a list, or write in a journal to define what happiness means for you. This way you know exactly what to work for.

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3. Be realistic.

Do you think being a millionaire and living in a mansion will make you happy? Sure it will, but is it realistic? Maybe you should focus on setting achievable goals first. After you reach a certain level of achievement, you can reassess and set your sights higher.

4. Be open to happiness.

People often complain that they work hard for happiness, but still seem to be unhappy. More than likely, these people aren’t actually open to happiness. You have to let go of the past and anything negative in your life before you can really be ready to be happy.

5. Love yourself.

You are who you are. Own it and accept it. Love yourself when you look cute and have a great day at work. Or you might be having a bad day, which means you need to love yourself more than ever. Love yourself every day, in the past, present, and future.

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6. Live for yourself.

You’re an adult, and you don’t need the approval of anyone else. Don’t take a job just because the status would impress your friends. Don’t date someone because you think your parents would like him or her. Make your own choices for your own life, and happiness will come to you. Believe it or not, your friends and family will be happy right along with you!

7. Don’t depend on others.

Don’t think that you need your partner to take care of things around the house, or a co-worker to help you with a certain project to get it done. You have the power to do it all yourself. Trust yourself, give yourself that responsibility, and you’ll be happier because you’re self-sufficient. This also means you won’t depend on other people to make you happy – you’ll have that power in the palm of your hands.

8. Keep working for it.

Never let yourself get content in your life. Once you think you’ve got it all, you’ll slack off and might lose what you have. Keep working, keep pushing yourself to achieve more and do better in life. If your life seems perfect, then look around you and help others. This will affect your personal happiness more than you realize.

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9. Stop doing things that don’t make you happy.

If you hate going to work every morning, start looking for a new job. If one friend’s negativity brings you down every time you hang out, talk to them about it, or gradually stop spending time with them. Life is short, and you deserve to be happy; don’t waste time being unhappy just because you might feel obligated to do so.

10. Let go of jealousy and insecurity.

Let go of all negativity! Don’t be jealous of people who you might think look more attractive than you, or have better lives than you. Everyone has problems, you just don’t know what they’re going through. Being jealous over what you can’t have or be will only make you insecure in your own life.

11. Don’t dwell in the past.

Stop letting that time you flubbed a public speech haunt you. Don’t think about what you could have done differently to make that boyfriend or girlfriend stay. The past is the past, and you can’t change it by thinking about it all the time. In fact, dwelling about it will only prolong the negative effect it has on your emotional well-being.

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12. Don’t worry about the future.

You can’t change the past and you can’t worry about the future! You never know what the future holds, but there’s no use in worrying about it. Do your best in the present – be emotionally happy, physically healthy, and work hard to make the best future you can.

13. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

You only live once. Make life fun! Work hard to get what you need, but make sure you balance it out with fun time as well.

14. Always find the bright side.

It might seem hard sometimes, but always look for the bright side of any situation. With practice, you’ll be able to find happiness on even the bleakest of days. Before long, you’ll be doing it without trying!

15. Write your own happy ending.

It’s your life – make it turn out how you want! How hard you work and how much fun you have is going to affect how you feel as you get older. Don’t worry about hitting certain levels of achievement – focus on being as happy as you can along the way!

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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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