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It’s Not Just Cooler, But Also Healthier: 10 Reasons Why Men Should Grow Beards

It’s Not Just Cooler, But Also Healthier: 10 Reasons Why Men Should Grow Beards
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When something becomes popular, it also becomes a target for criticism from people who either do not understand the trend or simply do not like it. Beards have gained huge popularity with men all over the world. They are utilized as a way to make a personal statement and help shape the individual’s style. However, not everyone is convinced that this is a good thing. There is a large contingency of people who think that beards are just plain cool, but there are many detractors who would rather see beards just go away.

Luckily for men who love their beards, and those who love men who love their beards, there are more reasons than just style for maintaining a beard. The detractors probably do not realize that there are health benefits to having a beard, which means that it is time to educate them on why men with beards tend to be healthier than those who cut their facial hair.

1. Blocks UV Rays

Extensive scientific research has shown that thick beards are capable of blocking out 95 percent of the UV rays from the sun. Not only do beards prevent your skin from getting burnt but they also help to protect your skin from getting cancer.

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2. Shaving Gives You Acne

If you have a beard, then the chances are very strong that you have smooth skin under that facial hair. According to ThoughtCatalog.com, shaving your face helps to spread the bacteria that causes acne. This means that allowing your beard to grow and taking proper care of your beard encourages healthy skin.

3. Perception Is Everything

In one study, eight men purposefully has their beards shaved off and then grew them back. There were pictures taken at each stage of new beard growth to give a catalog of the progress.

When the men had fully regrown their beards, the researchers brought together 64 men and 64 women to analyze the progress pictures and get their opinions. The research showed that as the men’s beards grew in fuller, the opinion that the 128 people in the group had of each man was perceived to be more positive. Each man was rated as appearing to be more mature, attractive, and healthy as their beards became fuller.

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4. Build That Confidence

Men who have more confidence in themselves tend to be more successful in all aspects of their lives. According to Jebiga.com, a beard gives a man a sense of power and confidence that is readily evident to everyone around him. Therefore, making the decision to grow a beard is a way for a man to set a higher standard for his life and become more successful.

5. A Natural Filter

Men who grow a moustache enjoy the benefits of having microscopic allergens kept out of their noses and, as a result, the reduction of the effects of conditions such as hay fever and other allergies. With a beard, that filtering protection is taken to a whole new level. In fact, a beard will help keep those same allergens and airborne bacteria out of your mouth, which will lead to overall better health. When you combine a beard with a moustache, you get twofold protection that a clear-faced male cannot get. Of course, you do need to take steps to clean and maintain your facial hair filter, and beard oil is one of the most popular grooming methods for men who grow beards.

6. Fountain Of Youth

A beard can actually function as a fountain of youth because of all of the protection it offers. Since facial hair keeps your skin clear of cancerous blemishes and having a beard means you reduce the amount of acne and discoloration on your skin, your skin will stay healthy for longer. The ability of a beard and moustache to keep allergens out of your system will also improve your overall health. In this way, beards work to keep you not only looking younger but feeling younger as well.

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7. Fewer Wrinkles

Another side-effect of having less exposure to the sun is that you get less wrinkles. While the option to protect the face from wrinkles by using a beard is not open to everyone, those who do have the opportunity to take advantage of this beauty benefit should get on board and start growing their beards right now.

8. Helps Lessen The Possibility Of Gum Disease

When your beard and moustache help to keep airborne bacteria out of your mouth, they are also working together to reduce your chances of getting gum disease. It should be noted that you still need to brush your teeth to do the lion’s share of protection against gum disease, but beards offer that little bit of extra protection that other people simply do not have.

9. Keeps Your Skin Moist

Shaving opens up the pores in your skin and can also cause cuts on your face that will dry out your skin over time. In the summer and winter, exposed pores create a situation where your skin loses it moisture and can start to flake. When you have a beard, you avoid all of these issues and keep your skin nice and healthy.

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10. Prevents Other Bacterial Infections

When you have a beard, the pores in your skin are naturally protected against any bacteria that may try to get in and cause an infection. Bacteria can come from a variety of sources and has the potential to become extremely dangerous if it has a portal to gain access to your skin. Shaving opens up those portals and allows all of that bacteria to come pouring in. When you have a beard, those portals are closed.

A beard is more than just a cool facial accessory, it is also a life-saving device. With all of the health benefits that beards offer, it is interesting that not more men are growing beards. The next time someone tries to tell you that your beard needs to go, all you need to do is remind them that your beard gives you a longer life and healthier skin. It is always nice to have a scientific way to silence the critics.

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via imcreator.com

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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