Focus on exercise and your physical health to create personal connections and strong communication
We have been told that body language makes up approximately 80% of your communication. Yet everyone is teaching you how to get better intonation, improve your timing, and sound more entertaining. All things that, even if relevant, cover only 20% of your actual communication skill set.
Today we are focusing on the elephant in the room. We will show you the most basic yet powerful way to boost your body language and how it actually affects the way you communicate.
Exercise to win more personal connections
No big surprise, exercising creates personal connection. We know it may sound a little weird, so let’s take it back to something more familiar.
“Mens sana in corpore sano”
You may hear some variation of this quote from Juvenal all the time. It literally means “a healthy mind in a healthy body”, and that is pretty much the whole trick.
It is important to spend time trying to sharpen your mind, to become more charismatic, friendly, and magnetic. Yet you are training only 20% of your skills. You train the mind, but you are leaving the body out of the equation!
“Well, how do I get a sharper, more efficient body then?”
The answer is actually so simple that even a child could guess it: just start exercising! Exercise allows you to be both physically and mentally healthy.
Start experimenting with your body, challenge yourself, play, and with time, become comfortable in your own body.
Remember that the whole theory behind this is that the mind and body are deeply connected. So, if you truly feel comfortable in your body, then the mind will follow and your non-verbal language will reflect and empower what you are communicating.
How this “exercise= personal connections” works
How do you train yourself to be a better speaker? You train your tone, you practice different styles, you test it out with your friends, etc. Do you find the common thread here?
If we overlook the focus on specific details, you are always simply using your voice.
Try to reverse-engineer that, and you’ll end up with the title of this article. Focus on exercise and your physical health to create personal connections and strong communication.
There are different ways to exercise, and some are more likely to transfer directly to your communication. First, you must start using your body more and strengthen your mental and physical connection with it.
These physical activities create personal communication
We said that exercise can improve your non-verbal communication, which you can then use to empower your words. But which pieces of training are going to boost your daily relationships the most?
1) Balance Training Creates Connection and Awareness in Your Body
We know focusing on training your balance to create personal connection and awareness may sound weird. But, we said that we want to experiment, play, and feel comfortable in our bodies.
The foundation of balance training is to connect with your body and have total control over it. Balance training is advantageous to get more familiar with your physical structure as a whole, empowering you to experiment and play with different variables. In addition, it teaches you how to maintain focus on yourself and feel in charge of your actions.
In a realistic scenario, to control your non-verbal communication you first need to be conscious of what your body is doing. Balance training helps you in maintaining body awareness throughout the entire conversation, therefore, opening the possibility for a change.
The best way to achieve this is through Yoga, which is deeply founded on the mind-body connection. You can also try Barre, Pilates or simple exercises on the balance board. Regardless, the main idea is that you force yourself to focus on what your body is doing. Then you can adjust its position to perform the exercise.
2) Strength Training Builds Confidence and Safety
Focusing on building muscle through strength training creates safety and stability within your body. Most importantly, it shows you your physical and mental limits. By experiencing your limits you are able to see what it takes to break down your perceived barriers to achieve even more.
For example, you are better equipped to have difficult conversations with employees and customers.
Strength training will make your posture more stable and rooted to the ground, which communicates confidence and safety.
Olympic lifting and calisthenics are the most beneficial sports you can perform, for two different reasons.
- Olympic lifting will push you to your absolute limits and it will build your posture steady as a tree.
- Calisthenics, on the other hand, will strengthen even more your self-awareness while building discipline and self-respect.
3) Team Sports Improve Your Environmental Awareness
We talked about being more self-aware, more confident and more in charge of your body. Team sports improve your overall environmental awareness and promote social interaction.
Group sports are the perfect way to create this social environment.
Sports like soccer or baseball will force you to communicate quickly, read the other’s team intentions and constantly be aware of everyone’s position. This training is excellent if we think about a social event with many people or about a negotiation.
The ability to read the other person’s will, as well as being aware of the environment, are crucial skills in social interactions.
4) Dancing Combines Body and Environmental Awareness to Communicate Emotion
Dancing combines body awareness, environmental awareness, and body language to communicate without a single word.
Taking this further, when you dance in a group, it teaches you how to express different feelings and how to adjust strength.
This is the final step of the process and it provides you with the tools to master emotional communication through body language.
Couples dances such as Salsa and Waltz (and ballroom dances in general) are the best way to train one-on-one communication. While group dances, where everyone can dance without restrictions, are perfect to train interactions with multiple people.
Better Body Language = Better Communication
“Mens sana in corpore sano” or “ a healthy mind in a healthy body” is really the key when it comes to personal connections.
To conclude and sum up what we have said:
- The majority of our communication happens non-verbally.
- Simply exercise to improve your body language.
- The activities that transfer the most to personal communication are balance training, strength training, group sports and dancing.
- Training balance through yoga or pilates will improve your body awareness.
- Strength training through Olympic lifting and Calisthenics will build confidence, a more stable posture, body awareness, and self-respect.
- Group sports like soccer and basketball will create environmental awareness and teach you how to “read” your opponent.
- Dancing will give you the tools to combine all of this and use it to express different emotions through non-verbal communication.