I’m a strong believer in the saying, “Fake confidence because eventually it will become reality.” Last semester, I posted it on the door to my dorm for my house to see, and I still get occasional comments about it from people, especially a young woman in my house who took the phrase to heart. Late at night, when we’ve finished watching films in the living room and we’re slowly leaving to go to bed, she’ll mention that she enjoys the encouraging phrases. And I’ll mention that I enjoy them as well; it’s why I put them up.
Today, rather than posting my usual “Stay warm, kids!” or “Have a great week!”, I posted another encouraging dogma that I had forgotten about until recently. On the door reads, “Sit and walk with good posture–you will feel more confident.”
Oh, how true this statement is.
Two days ago, I was reading through my Guide to Relaxation book that I brought back up to school from home for the yoga guide and stumbled upon a section on correct breathing and posture. Suddenly, I could remember the little middle school me looking at the entry and taking to heart that I should have better posture. I remembered sitting up as straight as I possibly could in my eighth grade history class for an entire day and doing the same that evening while on the computer and feeling so sure of myself. I had great posture during that time, and I’ve occasionally wondered why I had forgotten about it. So, when I read the posture entry, I set a new goal for myself (to go along with my million of other goals for the next three years). I started sitting straighter while at the computer to start. Then, I started sitting straighter in my classes today and standing to my full height before setting off to walk somewhere, making sure that I wasn’t slumping while I stepped around. And, let me tell you, I feel more confident. Sure, I’m dressed nicely and am feeling pretty good to start with, but others have noticed in just the span of a day. People who have never spoken to me saw me today and said “hi” or asked how I was doing; and none of them seemed at all surprised when I said that I was doing quite well. It was what they expected.
So, here’s my little goal for you: start working on your posture. If the increase in confidence doesn’t draw your attention, remember that it increases breathing which in turn helps concentration (I’ve never concentrated so well in my experimental psych class as I did today), it strengthens core muscles (tight abs, yo), and it can help prevent back pain. Those should be some great reasons to start sitting or standing or walking a little better, methinks.
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I do have a lot of goals for myself, though. None are all that strict, but they are life rules/goals. They’re things I want to incorporate into my own life in order to live better, and they are not flitty things, either. They’re very solid and long lasting, which also equates to taking longer to develop. Like habits, they can take years to set, but once they are there, hopefully they’re there for life.
My first goals started about two years ago with finding myself, which I’ve done a pretty damned good job of. I’ve found a lot of who I am and a lot of who I want to be which allows me to move on to the next step.
My next step was to start changing some physically. For starters, I chopped off all of my hair and donated it a year and a half ago, which allowed me to really think about what I wanted. Of course, it was obvious that I wanted my long hair back, but I was able to start new with growing it out. I also found what my personal styles were and have been slowly changing what I where and how I dress in order to more readily reflect that. I also worked a lot on health with becoming a vegetarian, though I’m by no means finished with my eating habits. I’m still interested in filtering out a lot of the sugars, salts, fats, and non-real things that I eat. And I’ve also aided health with more stretching and yoga, though it’s still a work in progress. Really, all of those are works in progress.
My other big goals lie in personality and speech. I’m often annoyed with myself and the way that I carry on talking forever when half of what I say is meaningless, so I’ve started to work on Meaningful Speech. There was a section about it in my spirituality text book, and I was incredibly intrigued. The entry speaks about becoming more aware of your thoughts and then translating that into words. Or, you could look at it as becoming more aware of what you’re saying and seeing if your mind is even playing a part in this process. For me, I often just say things to say things. Like, I’ll make too many comments while watching a movie or just say phrases and jokes that we’d be just fine without hearing. So, I’ve started working on that. By no means have I shown any improvement, but I have been catching myself more often. I spoke to my spirituality teacher about that today, and we agreed that it was a step in the right direction. Who knows, maybe in a year or two, I’ll be saying things that are more short, precise, to the point, and meaningful. We’ll see how that works.
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As we all know, mental health intrigues the fuck out of me. It’s why I’m a psychology major, after all, and I’ve found that I like applying my skills a little early. So, I meandered onto Yahoo Answers today and started giving advice and counselling to those with mental issues, and I found myself enjoying the different pieces of advice that I could give. It helped me realise that I’ve learned quite a bit and can already do some things to make a difference. Sure, most of my posts said that I was a student and recommended going to a psychiatrist/counsellor/psychologist, but I was able to give a whole lot of recommendations and advice that astounded me. A year ago, I couldn’t have told anyone nearly this much. Now, things are a little different. I can’t wait to see what it’s like in another year, or heavens-to-Betsy, in three years.
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