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How to Get Over Family Feuds that lead to Stress, Anxiety and Depression

How to Get Over Family Feuds that lead to Stress, Anxiety and Depression
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Have you ever had an argument with a family member so intense that you just start to boil inside? The only thing left is for steam to blow through your ears and nostrils profusely. I hate it when they do that!

The aggravation from family can really mess up your psyche. How can you feel so connected to someone but have them crush your dreams, hopes and aspirations in a split second?

It happens to the best of us.

I remember getting offered a placement for University abroad at the age of 16 and asking my grandmother with a thriving business for help. Now, 7 years later… I did NOT go to that University. Why? Take a wild guess. I bawled for days feeling crushed. I remember I wasn’t a religious person at that time but waited for everyone to leave the house and began screaming my throat out to God. All I wanted was for Him to hear me. I told myself I wouldn’t stop screaming until he heard me. Did God say anything to me in that time? Absolutely NOT.

Imagine you think you have this one shot to go get a better life. You ask the one person you think could help you and they say no. The rejection was real. I battled within to come to terms with this situation. Anxiety attacks came crashing in. I gave my mom an attitude on autopilot for weeks. The anger bubbled within me.

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Flash forward to now.

Everyday I meditate to keep myself grounded and my energies pure. I’ve worked at this for years after I realized that it’s the only thing that helps because I’ve been aggressive all my life. Why am I telling you this? Because even with so much practice, you’d think I have mastered this. I have… I do manifest everything I absolutely want but just one simple thing from my mom, grandmother or my boyfriend can cut me off my game. It could possibly lead me to depression. That’s how bad it could get. Why? Because they’re the closest ones to me. Don’t get annoyed. The story comes together, I promise.

They say and do the sweetest stuff sometimes but the harshest as well. Sometimes it will kick you off your game so much that you wonder if they really do love you. They do… It’s just that what you find important, they won’t. What aggravates you is soothing to them..sometimes. Family can build you too. So don’t feel I’m against loving them because I’m not.

I don’t care who you are or where you live…I stick to this belief wholeheartedly: The people you love impact you the most to the point you can hurt for a lifetime over something they said or did.

Prevention is better than cure.

If you want me to sugarcoat this… Do me a favor and stop reading.
If you want the truth, here goes.

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Sometimes you have to tune out the people you love. Just sometimes. Remember, balance is everything in life. Balance along with faith. You are more than enough with where you are and what you do. You have to figure out a way to start believing that. When someone doesn’t align that much with the desires you have, tune them out CONCERNING that specific subject. Seek the truth by becoming more aware. Become a little more open minded and try new things that may lead you to the answers you seek.

People you love will try to suppress the things you believe in just because they don’t believe it. You learn to tune people out by ignoring their ignorance and negativity through practice. Think about something you enjoy while they speak to you. Try remembering the lyrics to your favorite song. Picture that person you have a crush on, exercise, take a trip. Distract yourself from the fact that they’ve become a nuisance. Channel your energy somewhere else. Heck, I don’t care… Just make sure that you become immune to the foolishness. You know yourself better than I do. Find  a way!

Who are you to suppress someone’s dreams? Better yet, who are you to suppress the dreams you have? Pursuing things you love will give you life so why try to kill it before giving it a fair chance?

The story about not going to the University I got into is now a pain point leaning towards understanding. How so?

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Values and Differences

Well, my grandmother didn’t help because she didn’t believe in education. She gained a great amount of wealth without being trained. Why would she spend hundreds of thousands of her profits on my education? It wasn’t necessary for her so she didn’t see it necessary for me. Never be that ignorant. I however don’t blame her looking back at it. I didn’t enjoy life at that moment because I thought God couldn’t hear me and my ONE chance got blown away. Boy, was I WRONG!

I now think of it as God having a bigger and better plan for me. I stayed in the country and struggled for a bit. Through struggling, you learn the most. What does someone learn from trying one simple thing and succeeding the first time? So, as hard as it was, I came to terms with the fact that I had gained a lot of experience and wisdom going through depression and heartache born from trying to find where I belonged. I found it though. Why? Because I persisted in finding the truth.

Opportunities are neverending

You don’t just get one chance in life. Chances come over and over and over. When you miss one, you don’t really miss it. You align yourself for something grander, something more exciting.
Stop walking around and saying your family didn’t give you the opportunity to do whatever they stopped you from doing. There’s always a loophole.

I did go to College but ended up dropping out. Why? On my own behalf I didn’t believe enough in the system. Imagine if I had gotten the money from my grandma, went overseas, dropped out and went back without a degree she would be investing in me. She would have been furious. Look at that… It worked out for me.

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Don’t force it

Sometimes we try to force things that really aren’t for us too but that’s a whole other story by itself. Save yourself the hassle and trust your journey. The impact family has on you can either crush your spirit or build it. What do you decide?
Are you going to be depressed for the rest of your life because they don’t have the same vision as you? Or are you going to tune them out and seek the truth on who you really want to be? If you need help deciding, this should help you. You can download it here if you need it for your personal collection; it has highlights and is more relatable.

Have an open mind, be hungry for growth and expect new opportunities every day.

Don’t be scared to shoot me a message of what you’re going through with a loved one/family member.

Change is possible so just keep trying. Big hugs <3

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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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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