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8 Signs You’re Not Lonely Even Being Alone

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8 Signs You’re Not Lonely Even Being Alone

Loneliness is often thought of as negative. It’s defined as depressive feelings of being alone with lack of companionship and support. While it can be isolating for many, there is a difference between being alone and loneliness. When people talk of being by themselves as primarily a negative situation to be in, do you find yourself thinking, “But I quite like being alone?”

“Extrovert” and “introvert” are two words that get thrown around when describing how much people enjoy social interactions, but it’s a lot more complex than that. There are people who love going out and socializing but equally enjoy sitting alone in a room and being by themselves. The human species needs social interaction to survive, which is why the negative concept of loneliness even exists in the first place. However, there’s great benefit to spending quality time on your own.

If you relish in your me time, you’ll identify with these 8 signs that you can be alone but not lonely.

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1. You Have No Fear Of Your True Self

Just like spending time with a person allows you to get to know them on several levels, spending a lot of time on your own lets you do the same with yourself. You aren’t afraid to come face to face with the person you are and you feel comfortable knowing your true self.

2. You Know How To Love Yourself

You understand what makes you a great person, as well as the concept that what you do in your alone time reflects back on you. Being by yourself gives you a sense of independence from others that shows you that you don’t need anything or anyone outside of yourself to make you feel loved. Ultimately, you learn that it’s paramount that you create a loving relationship with yourself.

3. You Realize Being Alone Is An Important Life Lesson

There are many ups and downs in life. There are some where we seek support from people and others where we find ourselves being alone. It’s these isolating times that truly show ourselves to ourselves. In other words, the time you spend alone prepares you immensely for the moments in life that call on you to deal with these (sometimes) lonely situations and allows you to cope with them much better.

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4. You Have Your Real Passions

Many people feel the need to fill in the gaps in their day with others. While social interaction is good for the soul, you would much rather use the time to do something you love. Having some me time allows you to indulge in your passions, like reading, watching a movie you love, or going for a run. You understand the opportunity that’s presented to you when no one is around. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in what you’re doing.

5. You Are A Courageous Adventurer

There are many people who wouldn’t even consider going off and doing things by themselves, like eating in a restaurant, going travelling, or taking a day trip somewhere. Relying on other people’s company limits the possibilities of trying new things, whether it’s the music concert you want to go to or movie that no one else wants to see.

You have no problem doing the things you love without the reliance of others being available. Your perspectives show a sense of confidence. Furthermore, you know going off by yourself takes away the insulation that comes from constantly being with a companion or group of people. This actually excites you because you can do what you want, when you want, and you’re safe in the knowledge that you’ll never miss out on experiences that make you happy.

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6. You Value Your Freedom And Independence

Freedom is a wonderful thing. Being able to do what you want without someone else’s approval (or dependency) brings you a deep sense of joy and appreciation. You understand that having the space to move freely allows you to stand on your own two feet without relying on others.

7. You Have A Strong Desire For Self-Improvement

As a result of spending time with yourself and finding out who you are (warts and all), you are more willing to search for ways to improve yourself. You are more likely to have identified which fears, anxieties, emotions, and perspectives that you feel could be dealt with and improved upon. Constantly spending time with people detracts from dealing and identifying with any areas of yourself that could do with a bit of work, whereas the time you’ve spent alone creates a space for you to go ahead and improve yourself for the better.

8. You Don’t Lie To Yourself

All of these points come together to create a mindset where you are realistic about the complexity of relationships. Many people tell themselves that spending most of their time with the perfect person is somehow beneficial, when really this causes problems such as clinginess and an inability to be without them. Being someone that knows the benefits of spending time alone, you already realize this. You are able to see your relationships with others in a realistic and mature way without lying to yourself that you constantly need to be with a particular person or group of people.

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Conclusion

Never feel put out by the quality time you spend with yourself. It really can be the best and most productive moments that help develop you into a wonderful, well-rounded, and confident person!

More by this author

Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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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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