Everyone knows the type: that person that walks into a room, and lights it up immediately—whether it’s their positive energy, air of confidence, or dynamic personality turning heads (okay, and sometimes their super cute outfit).
You could chock it up to je ne sais quoi—but even if you’re on the shy end of the spectrum, there are still ways you can increase your presence that have nothing to do with luck.
To find out how, we talked to Laurie Gerber, senior coach and co-president of Handel Group Life Coaching (who knows a thing or two about creating your dream life). Below, she shares her top advice on how to increase your presence—instantly.
Keep reading for five simple ways to create a positive, noticeable presence.
Use scent to your advantage
“People remember scent more than language,” Gerber says. “We connect our feelings through scent—everyone remembers the smell of their mother’s first perfume.”
And specific scent notes can even add therapeutic benefit. The bright bergamot (that promotes balance), warm sandalwood (that grounds and opens), and delicate ylang ylang (that calms and attracts) in Donna Karan Cashmere Aura have major confidence-boosting abilities.
How can you use this sensory connection to your benefit? Simply by consciously noticing it—and being mindful of the fact that you’re taking it in. When you’re more centered, it shows. “This will powerfully connect you to the present,” Gerber says.
Set your intention
When your work day is spent trying to cross off as many things on your to do list as fast as you can, it can take away from the joy of what you’re doing—even if you’re lucky enough to have a career you love. Always focusing on the next task you have to get done takes you out of the moment, and may mean you’re not projecting the self-assured, can-do attitude you’d like.
Gerber’s advice: Add an intention to everything you do. “This is the secret ingredient in [life’s] recipe,” she says. “What is the flavor or adjective you’d like to add to that ‘to do?'” Even focusing on one word, broad or specific, can add a whole new feeling to your outlook.
Want to be the one person in the office who spreads joy? Keep that in the back of your mind when you craft your emails or lead a meeting. Want to be as helpful as you can? Being mindful of that will often make you more aware of opportunities to do so.
Show that you’re paying attention
Ever hang out with a friend only to have your mind wander to everything you have to get done the next day? When you’re not engaged, others can see it.
To stay in the moment during a conversation, Gerber recommends repeating key parts of what the person you’re talking to is saying. “It shows you’re listening, and reflecting is a high form of praise, empathy, and respect,” she says.
If you can relate to what your friend is expressing, share how. “The person you’re talking to will feel your full presence,” Gerber says.
Build up inner strength while you build up outer strength
One way to become more grounded? Use working out as an opportunity for inward growth, too. Instead of eying the clock above your barre instructor’s head, counting down the pulses until you can leave, Gerber says to use it as a time for self reflection.
“Its hard to lose your mind to negative or banal topics if you [think thoughts like] I am strong, or I love my life,” she says. “You are rewiring yourself right when your brain is most susceptible.” If you’re working out at home, Gerber says to actually speak these thoughts out loud for a more profound effect.
Perhaps the simplest—yet often overlooked—way to reconnect is to breathe. When you’re frazzled, you’re probably not giving off the impression you’d prefer.
Don’t know what exactly you’re supposed to be doing? “Focus on the breath going in and out,” Gerber advises. Count slowly as you inhale deeply, and count again as you exhale. This trick works whenever you feel like you are starting to feel stressed about what’s to come—whether this happens in the middle of the workday or the middle of the night.
“See, hear, and feel everything around you for five minutes,” Gerber says. “You’ll be way more connected to the world of physical sensation than to useless thoughts in your head.” And that, after all, is what true presence is all about.
Want to use scent to boost your presence? Check out Donna Karan Cashmere Aura at macys.com
Top Photo: Stocksnap/Adrianna Calvo