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As You Start To Take Good Care Of Yourself, 12 Amazing Things Will Happen

As You Start To Take Good Care Of Yourself, 12 Amazing Things Will Happen

Living a healthy lifestyle can be hard work for some of us. The temptation to cheat or splurge on things like cake and potato chips sometimes outweighs the disciple it takes to push your way to your fitness goals. However, maintaining your weight through exercise and healthy eating habits is not only good for you physically, but mentally too. Below, I’ve listed 12 amazing things that will happen to you as you make up your mind to start taking good care of yourself.

1. You will have more energy.

Working out, believe it or not, gives you more energy, especially if you exercise early in the morning. It helps you to tackle the day and not be worn out by lunchtime. Also eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals will fuel your body and keep your metabolism up.

2. You will be more conscious of what you place in your body.

Taking care of yourself will make you think more about what goes into your body. You will begin to count calories, look at food labels, and decrease your salt intake. Water will even become your best friend.

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3. You will have more mental clarity.

Eating healthy carbohydrates like beans and legumes, and foods rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna, both give you mental clarity and more brain stamina throughout the day. Those projects that were usually harder to tackle become easier because you can now make clearer decisions, freeing your mind to do things it would have taken much longer to do or were more difficult to focus on.

4. You will get addicted to the gym.

Ever heard of ‘gym rats’? Well, many people proudly use this term to describe the time they devote to the gym every day. But really it’s because they have committed to living a lifestyle of regular conditioning and they have results to prove it.

5. You will feel guilty when you mess up.

It only takes one time of eating the wrong thing or not finding the time to exercise to make you feel regretful. However, when you learn to not beat yourself up when you choose to do little things in moderation, you get back up the next day and start on the journey to wellness all over again.

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6. You will lose weight.

This is truly a given when you learn to eat properly. Having five to six small meals throughout the day burns calories constantly, even while you sleep. Combine that with exercise and you will end up a lean, mean, fighting machine.

7. You will gain more strength.

When you sit around all day at work and live a sedentary lifestyle, you lose muscle mass; thus, you lose the brawn. But active people have more strength and vitality working for them, which also keeps them trying new things to gain fortitude.

8. You will begin to appreciate others.

When you abuse yourself, you ultimately abuse others. But when you start to take care of yourself, you take care of your surroundings. You will, in turn, admonish others to do the same.

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9. You will become an advocate for healthy living.

When you get to a place of results in your life, you want to show others how to see the same for themselves. Some people go into personal training, while others start blogs and share recipes that are full of healthy benefits. But the point is: they become a resource for other people.

10. You will be proud for how far you’ve come.

Everyone needs recognition for a job well done. When you take good care of yourself, you will give your own self a pat on the back. You will also celebrate by treating yourself. For example, a new wardrobe would be nice. You deserve it for working so hard.

11. You will begin to live with more purpose.

There’s something about getting the thoughts of “I’m not good enough,” or “I have to lose some of this weight,” or “I have too many pressing things on my mind to exercise” out of one’s head and moving in the direction of purpose that brings definite change in one’s life. These thoughts truly can keep us from living a healthy lifestyle. Many know these as excuses, but people who take good care of themselves don’t have those things to worry about. They are more concerned about making an impact and a strong impression on those they serve. Kind of like the advocate for healthy living above, you will work to bring change in others because you know that if you can do it, so can everyone else.

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12. You will age gracefully.

The more you take care of yourself (physically, mentally, and spiritually), the slower the aging process. Research has shown definite advantages for aging gracefully associated with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and even daily meditation. Our stance on life also has a direct correlation with how we age. People who age gracefully have a positive outlook on life and appreciate the little things that the world brings.

Taking care of yourself means loving you enough to be good to your body, mind, and spirit. It frees you to be all that you can be!

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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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