If you want to be more successful in life and in your job, your body may be the key!
The way we physically present ourselves not only sends signals to others, but affects our own thoughts, feelings and performance as well.
In an article for Inc.com, Jeff Haden shares 10 ways you can use body language to be more exceptional. Here are 5 of them:
- Flexing your muscles increases willpower and determination.
Tensing is a natural instinct that aims to minimize pain. Unfortunately, non-physical pain does not automatically draw on this instinct. So next time you hear some bad news or are in an uncomfortable situation, give your muscles a flex. It will help you remain focused and power through.
- Cross your arms to feel determined and persistent.
While this may be a no-no in networking situations or client meetings, crossing your arms has another affect than just making you appear closed off and disinterested. If you're stuck solving a difficult problem, try crossing your arms! By doing so, you increase your focus by (physically) drawing yourself in to focus solely on finding a solution.
- Smiling reduces your stress levels.
When we experience something difficult, our bodies release cortisol, raising our stress level to help overcome the difficulty. Negative facial reactions (frowns, grimaces, etc.) are one of these "difficult time" signals. So put on a smile! Doing so will reduce your cortisol levels, leaving you less stressed! And the smile effect spreads, helping to reduce the stress levels of everyone around you!
- Stand at an angle rather than face to face.
Standing face-to-face is an inherently confrontational position. To avoid making others feel challenged, try shifting your feet slightly to be in an angled position. Doing so reduces interpersonal tension, which will keep your conversations from becoming defensive debates or heated arguments.
- Speak like the Italians and use your hands!
Did you know that speaking with hand gestures improves your memory? Studies have shown that when children are required to use gestures, they retain the knowledge learned at much higher rates. The theory: Gesturing plays a causal role in learning, giving learners an alternative, embodied way of representing new ideas.
Try incorporating these (and 5 others) body language tricks into your professional and personal interactions. Given a little time, they will help you be more exceptional and successful than you are today.