Health & Fitness,  Mindfulness

So You Want To Be More Likable?- Mindfulness training can help with this

So you want to be more likable? First, let me share my thoughts on this. Many people are really not that likable. The general public gets afraid and distances themselves from anything or anyone they do not understand. This is how it used to be and how it will continue to be. Always. Part of the reason most people hang out in groups, cliques, and in certain types of spaces is that they understand each other and consider themselves to be different. And while we exist as individuals and often separate from one another, fundamentally, we are not that much different. Here’s the truth. If you ever find yourself in a place that you do not want to be in, chances are that you are not surrounding yourself with the right kind of company. Take it from someone who has spent decades in the wrong crowd. If you are being authentically who you are and others find it difficult to accept you or find your presence odd, it’s time to make some fast changes. Changes not with who you are as a person, but with the people and the environment you are associating yourself in. You don’t have to be crude about it either. This is where mindfulness comes in. 

Mindfulness is the practice of staying attuned to what is happening in the present moment. And while mindfulness appears to be turning into a bonafide health trend, it’s for good reason. Research now suggests that it helps to reduce stress, alcohol consumption and lowers blood sugar levels. It can also help you succeed at work! According to a research study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, mindfulness training can help inspire you to be more empathetic. For example, let’s say that you witnessed a stranger being victimized. It’s highly likely that you’d get distressed by it. You could be tempted to react. Now imagine that the person getting victimized is someone you know. The distress that we feel concerning strangers doesn’t always necessarily translate to empathy for those we know. With strangers, it is easier to displace any feelings of being upset and instead just feel negative. But when it comes to people we know, we often lash out, deny or suppress emotions. 

In the study, it was observed that people who received mindfulness instructions were better off at regulating their emotions, allowing them to be present for the strangers they witnessed being victimized. Audio-recorded guided meditations are a great tool that can help you stay present. Why the practice is so powerful isn’t totally clear, but researchers say that it may have something to do with how it contrasts our everyday patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving in very distinct ways. Often times we operate on auto-pilot or automatic pilot mode without much awareness of why we do what we do, or how our thoughts, feelings, and other external stimuli are influencing our behavior. Doing mindfulness training and practices can help to break any automatic ways of thinking about ourselves and others, and instead widen our perspective to whom we choose to respond or react. Mindfulness allows us to choose carefully who we invite into our circle by rather focusing on our own mental, physical and emotional health instead of focusing on whether others like us or not. We can then extend kindness to them even when they don’t. A classic tale of killing them with kindness and some grace! 

Nowadays that chasing popularity is the public trend, remember that most of that is fake and inauthentic! Dare to be real, and to stand out and be unpopular. As long as you continue to be you and go where you truly want to be, there are a lot of people just like you who will not worry about whether you have a six-pack abdomen, a big bank account, or hundreds of pictures and likes on your social media. You need to be willing to forgo the need for external validation and validate yourself first from within. 

Real life isn’t happening somewhere out there. It’s happening right now as you read this. And when you’re finished reading, simply find a place of peace and quiet, and go meditate! Good luck!

**Erica weaves themes of transformative hope and grace-filled leadership into everything she shares on her blog. She’s an author, a speaker, and a life coach, who offers honest encouragement and road-tested wisdom about topics ranging from leadership and lifestyle, to discovering your God-crafted identity, design, and purpose.

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  • Anonymous

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