Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Zara Lewis, content editor of High Style Life . She’s a proud mom of two humans and a lovely pup, a life coach, writer, fitness & yoga enthusiast, promoter of healthy lifestyle, and above all, is passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come.
She’s written a lovely article all about the importance of body language in communication for you, my lovely reader! So, here it is…
How to be Aware of your Body Language and Improve it
Humans are social animals. We thrive on communication and crave social interaction. However, a large amount of what we are communicating is hidden in the unspoken – through body language.The importance of body language in communication is often underestimated in the moments when it becomes crucial, because we are too focused on our words.
So, how can you become more aware of the art of body language and use it to good effect? Here’s a simple guide to improving your body vocabulary, and mastering the skills of expressing yourself without words.
Practice subtle self-analysis
The single best way to improve your body language skills is to pay attention to what you do in real-life situations. Is your posture strong or are you slouched? Are you stiff in any way or do you seem overly-relaxed? How about your eye contact, do you stare or get easily distracted, or you blink too often?
However, don’t become so obsessed with studying your body language that you stop listening to what people are saying! You need to find the right balance. Keep the conversation flowing naturally, while being aware of your body language.
Perhaps you’ve used this technique before without realizing it. It’s a very common method and a very natural one. As the term implies, you will need to discretely mirror the other person’s posture and vocal tone, and try to keep the same pace of the conversation.
This can even be applied to other things like leaning forward, lowering your voice or uncrossing your legs. Just make sure not to do it conspicuously. That can make the other person feel awkward, and draw their attention away from the conversation.
Do a power pose
If you’re not that much of a social butterfly and you find yourself feeling awkward in many social situations, this simple trick might come in very handy. It’ll even be useful for presentations, pitches and those fluttery first dates.
According to a study by Amy Cuddy, as little as two minutes of standing in a power pose before your next social encounter is able to help you build up your confidence on a very biological level . You will get a surge of testosterone – responsible for the feeling of power – and you’ll decrease your stress hormone levels. Not only does your body language affect how others perceive you, it shapes your self-image as well.
Work on your overall wellbeing
Some of these techniques are applicable on the spot, while others require a bit more practice. One great way to improve your body language is regular physical activity. We’ve already established that it can do wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing. So how does this translate to improving your body language?
In addition to meditating as a part of your yoga routine, which is perfect for achieving emotional balance through breathing, an exercise regimen with carefully chosen workout equipment will ensure you have a powerful posture, higher energy levels, and healthy body image that will be reflected in your body language. You’ll also improve your mind-muscle connection, which is best strengthened through resistance training.
Mind the details
An attentive nod, a raise of your eyebrows to indicate surprise, an occasional non-intrusive sound, or just a gentle smile will not only encourage the speaker, but also help you feel more comfortable.
On the other hand, crossed arms and legs, slouched shoulders and avoiding eye contact or any hand gestures will put the other person off and you’ll wonder what went wrong. Practice various facial expressions in front of a mirror. Find your most comfortable standing and sitting position and free your hands or use a prop to ease your anxiety.
Make the most of these tips by applying them slowly, step by step, and you will soon notice not only a change in your non-verbal expression, but also significant improvements in the way you perceive yourself and your communication with others will start to flourish!
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