10 body language gestures that will make you look relaxed (even when if you’re not)

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to effortlessly give off an air of relaxation, even in the most challenging social situations? 

Somehow, they remain cool as cucumbers, as if stress were an alien to them. Imagine that!

Take, for example, my friend Jess. She’s the empress of Zen. Whether she’s navigating a chaotic work meeting or crossing a busy city street, she manages to look utterly at ease.

It’s like she’s got a secret manual on how to stay completely chill in any situation. 

While I might not have that specific manual, I’ve learned a thing or two about body language gestures that can make you look relaxed, and I’m here to share them with you.

1) Drop those shoulders

First on our list is the simple yet incredibly effective act of relaxing your shoulders. 

Have you ever noticed how, when you’re tense, your shoulders seem to be almost up by your ears? 

It’s like they’ve taken the weight of the world upon themselves. 

But when you’re relaxed, your shoulders descend to their rightful place, and suddenly, you look laid back and calm.

The reason behind this is that tense shoulders send signals of stress and anxiety to those around you. 

Dropped shoulders, on the other hand, convey a sense of being comfortable. 

Let those shoulders ease down, as if they’re sighing in relief, and you’ll immediately appear more relaxed to everyone you meet.

2) Maintain eye contact (but just enough)

Eyes, they say, are the windows to the soul, and maintaining eye contact is a surefire way to appear relaxed and confident. 

When you lock eyes with someone, it’s like you’re saying, “I’m here, I’m present, and I’m not afraid to engage with you.” 

Avoiding eye contact, on the other hand, can make you seem anxious and uninterested.

The science behind this is intriguing. 

Our brains perceive eye contact as a sign of attentiveness and confidence. 

When you really look at someone, it shows that you’re fully engaged in the conversation, and this, in turn, makes you look relaxed and self-assured. 

Simply meet the eyes of the person you’re conversing with, and you’ll instantly convey a sense of calm.

3) Stand or sit with an open posture

Picture this: you walk into a room, and there’s a person standing tall, chest open, and arms relaxed by their side. They sure look approachable, huh? 

That’s because an open posture exudes warmth and friendliness. It’s a classic non-verbal invitation to come and connect.

An open posture suggests that you’re not hiding anything, that you’re comfortable with yourself and the people around you. 

Conversely, a closed-off stance, like crossing your arms or slouching, can make you appear guarded and anxious.

The next moment you want to look at ease, stand or sit with an open posture, and people will naturally gravitate towards your welcoming vibes.

4) Mirror the body language of the person you’re chatting with

Mirroring isn’t just for the funhouse — it’s a powerful tool to create a sense of connection and relaxation in conversations. 

When you subtly mimic the body language of the person you’re speaking with, it sends the signal that you’re on the same wavelength, creating a feeling of rapport and ease.

Our brains love it when we imitate others. It makes us feel understood and accepted. 

If the person you’re chatting with is leaning in or using their hands expressively, consider doing the same (without overdoing it, of course!).

This non-verbal dance of mimicry can make you the king or queen of cool.

5) Breathe deeply

pic1478 10 body language gestures that will make you look relaxed (even when if you’re not)

Breathing is a fundamental aspect of our existence, but it’s often overlooked as a tool for looking and feeling chilled out. 

When you’re stressed or anxious, your breath becomes shallow and rapid. 

It’s as if your body is preparing for a sprint, even when you’re just sitting in a meeting or having a casual chat.

Deep breathing, on the other hand, sends a clear message of tranquility. 

When you inhale deeply and exhale slowly, you’re telling your body that everything is A-OK. 

This signals relaxation not only to yourself but also to those around you. 

The next time you find yourself in a nerve-wracking situation, take a moment to breathe deeply, and you’ll appear calm and collected.

6) Ground your stance

How you position your feet is another element of body language that can greatly impact how relaxed you appear. 

If you’re constantly shifting your weight or fidgeting with your feet, it can make you seem jittery and nervous. 

On the other hand, grounding your stance by keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground conveys stability and composure.

The reason behind this is simple. A stable stance suggests that you’re firmly rooted in the present moment, and you’re not easily swayed by external pressures. 

When you’re at ease, you have no need to be in constant motion. 

So, stand or sit with your feet flat on the ground, and you’ll project an air of relaxation.

7) Try your best not to fidget

Fidgeting is a surefire sign of stress. It’s the telltale sign of restlessness and anxiety. 

Whether you’re tapping your foot, twirling your hair, or drumming your fingers, fidgeting can make you appear anything but relaxed.

The psychology behind this is straightforward. 

Fidgeting suggests that your mind is racing, and you’re struggling to stay still. 

On the other hand, when you’re genuinely relaxed, you’re at ease, and your hands find their natural place without needing to engage in constant movement. 

Remember, try to resist the urge to fidget, and you’ll instantly look chill — we promise.

8) Nod occasionally

Nodding is a subtle yet highly effective gesture that can make you appear at rest and engaged in a conversation. 

When you nod, you’re not only showing that you’re listening, but you’re also conveying agreement and understanding.

The psychology behind this is fascinating. Nodding suggests that you’re on the same page with the speaker, and it creates a sense of rapport. 

It’s a non-verbal way of saying, “I get what you’re saying, and I’m totally with you.” 

Don’t be shy to nod every now and then — it’s a small action with a big impact on how relaxed you come across.

9) Keep a respectful amount of personal space

Personal space is something we all value, and respecting it is a key component of looking cool in social situations. 

If you invade someone’s personal space or stand too far away, it can make them uncomfortable, and in turn, you’ll appear tense.

The reason behind this is clear: personal space is a fundamental part of social interaction. 

When you maintain the right distance, you’re showing respect for the other person’s boundaries, and this, in turn, creates a comfortable atmosphere. 

So, be mindful of personal space, and you’ll appear at ease in social interactions.

10) Smile genuinely

A genuine smile is a universal symbol of not being tense or stressed. 

When you smile sincerely, you not only express your inner tranquility, but you also spread positivity to those around you. 

This is because smiling releases endorphins, those feel-good hormones, in your brain. 

When you smile at someone, they’re likely to mirror your expression, and it creates a shared sense of well-being. 

Wear that pretty smile proudly, and you’ll be a beacon of relaxation in any crowd.

To sum things up, simple body language gestures like dropping your shoulders, maintaining eye contact, and avoiding fidgeting, can help you navigate any social or professional situation with grace and ease. 

By incorporating these gestures into your interactions, you’ll not only look relaxed but also feel more relaxed. 

So, stand tall, take a deep breath, and let your body language speak the language of chill.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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