By Kristen Donia

When you first hear the words, body language, you probably think about being professional, sociable, and communicating with people using your body. And that’s generally true, however, there are more layers to it than that.

The way we communicate with our bodies is often more unconscious than it is conscious. How we feel about our lives, everything from our days, to our families, to our stresses, comes through in our body language. Whether we like it or not.

By trying to maintain a more supportive posture, we can influence the way others perceive us. For example, when you support your spine and engage your core, not only are you supporting yourself and acting from a place of well-being for your body, but you are also changing the language your body is sending out into the world. You may notice you feel taller, more proud of yourself, and even lead with your heart a little bit more.

This, compared with stomping around, heavily landing on your heels, walking loudly sending the signal that you don’t care about anything and you’re just trying to make it through the day. Just think, if you walk evenly, with grace and intentionality, you’ll notice your feet gently touching the ground in a new way. You’ll start to glide across the floor. It’s a subtle shift but can make a world of difference.

Another element of body language, your gait, the way in which you walk or step, is as communicative as your posture. When you sit down at the table for dinner, and you cross your arms, what message does that send to your guests? Do you appear open to conversation, approachable, or shut off and maybe even defensive?

The next time you notice yourself crossing your arms or legs or perhaps looking down to avoid others, ask yourself if your body is communicating how you truly really feel at that moment. Do you actually feel closed off or insecure, or is your body simply still learning how to share what you feel inside? You can feel excited and open to the world, and still not have perfectly positive body language. Afterall, vulnerability is a learned practice. And you can have days when you lead with your heart and others when you cross your arms in an effort to protect your energy. Both are reasonable, both are a part of being, well, human.

Consider this, the more time you spend trying to communicate positively with your body, the more often you’ll share exactly that, with your body language. When you feel positive within yourself just because you are being more intentional with your body language, the world opens up its heart to you. People will be more receptive and see your confidence and most importantly, you will feel your confidence and shine it out into the world. Just think of the possibilities.