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15 Hacks to Reduce Stress on Daily Basis

15 Hacks to Reduce Stress on Daily Basis
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First of all, there is no such thing as stress-free life or environment, however, there are stress-free moments and ways to reduce stress. We are usually angry, sad, anxious or agitated when we need to solve problems or more often when we are exposed to a problem that we cannot solve or affect. Luckily, you can use various techniques to cope with stress immediately, and regain your composure, but in order to truly reduce the stress level you’ll need more control over your life and a healthier lifestyle.

So, here are some hacks that can help you out, if you are overwhelmed by stress on daily basis.

Quick solutions

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    In the event that you are really stressed out, you can try and implement some of the following solutions in order to suppress it.

    Go for a walk

    The best thing you can do when you are angry or sad, or struck by bad news is go for a walk. It will give you time to sort out somethings in your head, and maybe reach a conclusion on how to approach the whole situation. Furthermore, physical activity causes our body to produce endorphins, also known as feel-good hormone.

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    Meditate

    To calm yourself you can also meditate. Focus on your breathing, and go to your happy place. You should inhale for six seconds, and then hold your breath for seven, after that you can exhale for eight seconds. Repeat this procedure a couple of times and it will calm you down and shift your focus away from the problem.

    Play some music

    Another way to mitigate stress is by using music. You can listen to some classic tunes or just listen to your favorite artists. Music can be used as catharsis, and therefore it has somewhat healing properties. Just put your headphones on and dive in.

    Chocolate and wine

    An effective method, but its excessive use can lead to alcoholism and obesity, so tread lightly and don’t drink yourself to oblivion. However, both wine and chocolate can be used to take the edge off, and make you happier. So, if you had a stressful day at work take a glass of wine and some chocolate to brighten up your mood.

    Focus shift

    If you can’t solve a problem don’t dwell on it for too long, find something else to occupy your thoughts. You can watch videos, photos or read your favorite book. Do something you like and try to relax, book a massage or a day at the spa.

    Add more control to your life

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      The previous suggestions are good temporary solutions, but they do not address the root of the problem, all you have is a form of escape. In order to suppress the stress levels more effectively you’ll need more control in your life. It will help you build confidence, you will reduce the chance of unexpected problems popping up, and you’ll generally feel better with more harmony and control over your life.

      Organization apps

      People use task and time management apps all the time; you don’t have to remember everything if you have a device that can remind you. So, you can use an app that can help you regulate your sleep, for instance you can use an app like Throttle to help you organize your emails.  You can use online tools, like Basecamp, to organize assignments at home or at work, basically try to create schedules and harmony.

      You might think how having the whole day planned out is filling you with sense of imprisonment but it’s really not true. Organization and routines are there to boost efficiency, and when you start feeling overwhelmed you can always alter your schedule.

      To-do lists

      The easiest way to organize your day is through to-do lists. Sure it may be a bit frustrating to make them, but as you complete one task after another, you’ll feel better and you’ll be able to relax when you know everything is finished. Additionally, you’ll have a sense of achievement that always fills you up with positive emotions.

      Shifting between productive and chill zone

      In order to get all the work done, you need to set clear boundaries between breaks and work time. You’d be surprised just how much work you can get done by focusing on the task at hand for an entire hour. So, make sure you are fully productive for one hour, meaning no social networks, no phone and no distractions. And then make a small break (15-20 min) after which you should enter the productive zone once again. When you see just how much work you’ve managed to get done, you’ll feel a lot better.

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      A grain of OCD

      There is no need to have everything in perfect order, but a small dose of OCD can be helpful. If items in your home are neatly organized and if your house is clean, you are going to feel amazing. The sight of harmony will calm you down and you’ll be far more relaxed knowing everything is in its place.

      Progress milestones

      In order to stay motivated you need a clear overview of your progress. So, if you are at work or have a personal project that is hard, create milestones for it. Every time you complete a milestone you can treat yourself, and when you know exactly where you are with your tasks you’ll feel more confident, and more calm.

      Healthier body means less stress

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        Lastly, our health and lifestyle can have a significant impact on how we feel. Lack of activity and intake of harmful substances are making us feel more stressed out. In other words you need to lead a healthier life, and a lot of things will sort out as you improve.

        Practice Yoga

        Yoga is great for flexing your muscles and release of tension. You will also implement breathing exercises as you do yoga and, as we all know, proper breathing and physical activity are capable of reducing stress. Plus you will be in better shape and that is also one way of boosting your confidence, since you have done something in the field of self-improvement.

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        Healthy sleep cycle

        Sleep is necessary for us to recharge our mental batteries and to recover our energy. In order to tap into the full potential of sleep you’ll need to have a healthy sleep cycle. It means you’ll only be fully rested if you sleep from 9pm until 7am, and if you eat healthy and exercise.

        Cut down on junk food and fizzy drinks

        Food and drinks affect both our metabolism and our mood. So, whenever you eat junk food and drink fizzy drinks you harm your physique and your mood. You are more likely to become depressed and tired if you don’t switch to a healthier diet.

        Reconnect with nature

        It’s good to have some time off and unwind, just make sure to pick the right environment for it. If you spend more time outside in a rural area in fresh air, you will regain your vitality. So, instead of visiting an urban coastal town with a teeming nightlife, use your vacation to go somewhere peaceful and enjoy the silence.

        Do something for yourself

        Lastly, you need to reward yourself for your struggles and focus on personal development. You can do something you have never done before and expand your comfort zone, experience an adrenalin rush or read a new book and get some fresh perspective.

        To sum up, stress can be a serious issue if you ignore it and try to power through, you need to balance out the bad with the good, and if you use these tips, you are highly likely to conquer most of your personal problems.

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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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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