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10 Lessons On Happiness That All Women Turning 30 Should Know

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10 Lessons On Happiness That All Women Turning 30 Should Know

Sometime around next year, I am turning 30. A new milestone, in my personal opinion. Despite, getting elevated by that mere thought of turning 30, and planning to celebrate it in style, there are some things that, we, the soon-to-be-30 women, should need to remember. It doesn’t matter whether you are married and have kids, whether you are a successful entrepreneur, you are single, or are a housewife, whatever it is you are, you should always keep in mind that happiness should never, ever depart from your life.

I know some women who are yet to turn 30 simply get into some kind of “depression” in regards to their age. If you remind them of their upcoming birthday, they would say, “thanks for reminding me of my age! Grr!” To them, I would say, age is just a number. It is how you prefer to live your life, that matters. And to them, I would also say (as well as the rest of the near 30s women from round the globe) here are 10 lessons for you on happiness that you should know before (and maybe after) you turn 30.

1. Value your relationships.

By now, you are, more or less, settled in life. You have an amazing job, companionable colleagues, a sufficient amount of finances to live you off agreeably. Or, you have a house full of playful, tiny members, running around the house, and your time is spend cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and doing everything in between, leaving you totally exhausted at the end of the day. Despite your day starting at 6:00am and concluding at 10:00pm, don’t forget those valuable people who have moulded you the way you are. Call your parents, contact your siblings, and communicate with your friends. Try to make it regularly. Talking to them can relax your mind. Remember, they are the ones who stay with you through thick and thin.

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2. Don’t rush, take it slowly.

This is in regards to everything in your life. Don’t be impatient. If you are dating someone, take your time to decide whether your partner is the right one for you, whether you want to spend the rest of your life with them. If you love doing something, do it. For example, don’t change your career because it will make you earn more. Do that thing which you love the most. Even if it takes time to grow into your choice of path, let it take time. Being 30 doesn’t mean you have solved the puzzle of your life. You are still young.

3. Everything is not about your work, you have a life, too!

Moulding up your career and life brings me to this point. There are so many of the young you’s out there who would dedicate their entire life to their work. And here, I am not talking about only office related services. It can be household chores, it can be anything that is monotonic. There’s a saying that all work but no play makes Jack a dull boy. We all need to play every now and then. Utilize one of your weekends and plan a day out with your pals. Watch movies, visit outskirts of your city, travel. Different activities will unclog your mind.

4. Money can’t buy happiness.

Women, you can contend that shopping is your happiness, and for that you need money. Can’t argue with this. But does happiness entirely depend on money? Not really. There are those little things in life that matters most. For example, a long phone conversation with your bestie. Those lazy vacations you spend with your family at home. Or bathing in the sun, reading your favorite book in your favorite park. The silly laughs and the lamest jokes. And no, just because you’re an “adult” doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy all these over and over again.

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5. No one’s picture perfect.

The models you adore on the glossy magazines are photoshopped. So don’t fret over making yourself copy the supermodels. They have flaws, too. And they are beautiful. So are you. Embrace yourself, embrace your flaws.

6. Build your life on experiences.

Experience is the best way to learn new things in life. It is believed that through experiences, one can learn first-hand lessons, more important and valuable than what one learns at school or through text books. Traveling is one form of a first-hand experience. The more you travel, the more knowledge of the world you acquire. The more you taste various cuisines, the more you get to know about diverse cultures. The more you socialise, the more you can understand human nature. The more you show interest in miscellaneous topics, the more you get to expand your knowledge. So, the next time you want to learn dancing, go for it. Don’t stop yourself.

7. Comparisons create unnecessary pressure.

This is one thing, us who turn 30 soon do naturally. We try to compare ourselves with others our age. That is quite wrong, to be honest. It simply puts lots of pressure on yourself, leading you to depression, and frustration, and all those negativities. Why would you care if your friend is rich enough to spend thousands per month? Or if she is settled down in life with husband and kids? Everyone has their priorities. Everyone shapes their own life. You are doing it, too. Don’t grumble about what others have or do.

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8. Failure is the pillar of success.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Aim for success, but don’t expect it to come to your door the very first time. You will always fall down. This will teach you what went wrong. That lesson will take you further in life. Picking up on your failures will eventually lead you to success.

9. Allow your heart to talk once in a while.

By now, you are pretty much accustomed to seniors advising you to “use your brain, rather than your heart”. But sometimes it is also advisable to use your heart rather than your brain. For example, the other day, my daughter had fever early in the morning. By the time she had to go to daycare, her fever was gone and she was playing. My brain was telling me that she is fine and you can go to work. But my heart didn’t want to leave her. I ended up listening to my brain (it’s wise, right?). By the fourth hour at my office, a call came that my daughter’s fever rose again and that I should come immediately. Little decisions like this in life need the heart, too.If your heart says do this, I think you can always give it a go. See where it takes you.

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10. Don’t forget to laugh out loud (lol)

Cracking jokes, laughing hard till you snort, this is an important part of life. You have enough time to enjoy life. Being 30 is never ever considered to be old enough to take life seriously. You can easily be silly in public with your people. Do whatever makes you laugh, makes you fall in love with life. We are still young to rejoice life to the fullest!

Featured photo credit: paultarasenko via shutterstock.com

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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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

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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