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When You Start Doing These 15 Things, Your Quality Of Life Will Improve

When You Start Doing These 15 Things, Your Quality Of Life Will Improve

Though we all give our best to make the most out of our limited time on this planet, there is always something missing. To improve your life doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Sometimes a few tips are all that you need to start living better.

1. Realize that only you can make your dreams come true

Take little steps every day to move closer to your dreams and ambitions. Speak to the people you need to speak to, learn the skills you need to have, and gain all the knowledge you need to know.

Simply, do all of the things you need to do to reach a better quality of life; no-one else can do it for you.

2. Cut out fake people

Most people have a friend or two who isn’t worth their time. It can be hard to cut people out of your life, but surrounding yourself with loving and supportive people can make a huge difference to your well-being.

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Try to describe how you feel when you are around your friends in five words. Are any of those words negative? If so, it might be time that you two move in separate directions.

3. Cut out being fake

It can be hard to admit, but no one is perfect. Often people end up in difficult situations, leading to little lies which can snowball quickly. Lying and keeping up false pretenses can be stressful and exhausting, as well as lowering the quality of life you have. Try being honest every day, to everyone you meet; you may be surprised to see how well it works.

4. Understand that failure is important

This may seem cliched, but it is unarguably true. There are often hugely beneficial lessons to learn whenever you make a mistake. Failure isn’t a choice, but learning is. Make sure you get the best out of the worst whenever you can.

5. Spend some time alone

With work, hobbies, socializing and sleeping, it can be hard to actually find time to spend by yourself. However hanging out by yourself can be great for your general well being. Catch a movie, cook a meal you love – do anything that makes you happy. Learn to love yourself, and you may notice a lot of unrest in your life leaving.

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6. Live life by your own expectations

Often people live life according to what other people think is best for them; their friends, their family, the media, or the society we live in. However, pleasing other people and living up to their expectations can leave you feeling like a failure, or at best stressed out.

Don’t try to keep up with everyone else’s expectations, set your own and achieve them. You only get one life – personalize it, and live it.

 7. Be good to your body

While joining an extreme ocean diving club could actually add more stress to your life, exercise and good food have been proven to improve your well being. If you hate running, try walking or yoga. Drink more water and buy more greens. You don’t have to become a fitness freak, but love your body as much as you can.

8. Keep exercising your mind

Not many people want to do Math once they’ve left school, but exercising your mind can help sharpen your intelligence and your mind at any age. If you hate Math, find something else that challenges you, from knitting to crosswords to learning new recipes. Keep your mind fresh and keep learning, and you may notice some restlessness leaving from your life.

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9. Put aside your fears

While confronting your fear of spiders could be useful, it could admittedly also be terrifying. Specific fears like this tend to stuck, but we have already made a huge step in the right direction, if we manage to get rid of general fears like the fear of failure, or step backs, or your job. Develop a deep trust within yourself, and watch your quality of life improve.

10. Don’t hold on to negative feelings

Everyone has felt betrayal, pain, anger and resentment. How you act on these feelings determines how much they will upset you. You cannot avoid being hurt by other people, but only you can choose how you deal with pain. Let your anger over past hardships go. It is extremely likely the anger is affecting you more than anyone else.

11. Live in the present moment

Be happy and grateful for all that you have now. One day you may have more, and once you may have had less. You are travelling towards a goal, but often people find the happiest times in their lives are during the challenge, not the success.

12. Unplug from technology

Whether it is once a day or once a month, spend some time without any technology around you. In this society social media plays a huge role in most people’s free time, and often it can cause you stress, lowering your quality of life. Make the effort to enjoy some time alone without checking up on everyone else around you. Read a book, do anything you want – just log off and spend some time with yourself.

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13. Actively be kind to others

Most people would class themselves as kind to others, but thinking you are doing something and actually doing it are different things. Ask yourself when you last helped someone and got nothing back in return. Was it recently? Do you feel good about it?

Helping others makes most people feel great, and it adds purpose to your day. From volunteering to donating to charities, there are hundreds of ways you could raise your quality of life while helping others.

14. Don’t be a pushover

While being rude or stubborn won’t help improve your life, stick up for yourself whenever you have to; at work, at home, with family. Stand up for yourself if you believe you are being taken advantage of or wronged, because feeling this way can be stressful and upsetting – and it will only encourage others to keep taking advantage of you.

15. Make a commitment to yourself

Make a commitment to stick to all of the changes you wish to make. Promise yourself you will, and then create a plan you can stick to on a daily basis. Little changes can become big changes, and promising yourself this is the beginning of something new which means you’re much more likely to stick to it. Good luck!

More by this author

Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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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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