Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Nurture the Right Body Language

Dr. Neeta Relwani Garg, Consultant Psychologist at Apollo Clinic, Gurgaon shares here some universally accepted way of using the eight elements of your body to express the connection of your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Using the right body language sends out positive signals. Learn the trick:

Face: A person’s face communicates emotions clearly. Smiles for instance convey friendliness. You can express warmth and acceptance on your face by thinking positive thoughts; when you think good things, it’s likely to show up in your expression!
Eyes: They are the window to your soul. Maintaining eye contact gives an impression of honesty and genuineness; poor eye contact may indicate lack of interest, being untruthful, shyness or a feeling of superiority.
What’s good eye contact then? Focus your eyes on the other person, and gently shift your gaze away from their face and then back. Never stare into a person’s eyes or their forehead—it conveys doubt, hostility or insincerity. Avoid blinking frequently as it indicates anxiety and lack of confidence.
Gestures: Stroking the chin while listening suggests that the listener is contemplating what is being said. Similarly, nodding conveys interest and understanding. Pointing can have a cultural significance—in the USA, pointing with an extended finger is common; while in Asia, it is considered rude. Handshakes are a universal gesture of greeting. Fidgeting, tapping a pen, drumming on the desk, jingling pocket change, shifting from one foot to the other are all considered negative body language—so avoid them.
Postures: Crossing arms and legs are considered defensive gestures, indicating barriers and an attempt to protect oneself. Hands on the hips may suggest superiority. In a face-to-face conversation, always sit at a slight angle and lean forward when speaking. This indicates genuine interest. Avoid slouching, leaning back and stretching your feet in front of you.
Tone: We pay more attention to the inflection, pitch and pace of a speaker’s voice rather than the words they use. So keep your voice wide awake, smile when you speak, avoid artificial accents, enunciate clearly and emphasise important words.
Movement: Moving toward another person may send a message of dominance or assertiveness, while moving away from another person may send a message of avoidance, submission, or simply bringing the interaction to a close.
Touch: This is one of the most powerful elements of body language used for friendship, professional, social, and intimacy purposes. Touch has cultural significance; in Asian cultures a while greeting someone, a touch on the shoulder is adequate, while Americans prefer hugging or kissing.
Appearance: Dressing and hygiene says a lot about you and your mood. A few pointers: dress neatly and appropriately; avoid overpowering perfumes and hair oils. Use minimal make-up and jewellery. Clothes need to be ironed, colour co-ordinated and occasion specific.

Lastly, always remember that happiness is our birth right, something that we have been born with. So be accountable for your own happiness and pledge to stay content, eternally today, tomorrow and always!

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