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How To Get That Travel High Even When You’re Not Traveling

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How To Get That Travel High Even When You’re Not Traveling

If you love the high you get when you travel, you probably anxiously wait all year for your next vacation. You research, plan, talk about, and dream about it.

Then, after it’s over, you’re depressed, thinking about the fact that you only have this couple of weeks to travel in a year. You think about quitting your job for travelling, but maybe you love your job or you just aren’t the type that wants to be a nomad. Maybe you just want more of that feeling you get when you travel. The feeling of waking up somewhere new, seeing new things, eating new things, doing new things, be far away from your office and your everyday life (international data plans are expensive!)

When we’re at home, we tend to take things for granted. We don’t try to pack as many experiences in as we can when we travel – because we know we’ll always have tomorrow. But many of us never get around to doing this stuff. Tourists come to our country and see more famous sites or beautiful places in a month than we’ve seen in 10 years.

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So, how do we tap that energy, the energy of tourists? That feeling of excitement that comes when we experience those new things and new places?

1. Make a precious weekend or day off

We treat vacation time like it’s valuable time that must be spent doing meaningful things. But on the weekends, a lot of us tend to just hang around at home, get stuff done, or do the same old things week in and week out.

We see the weekend as a time to relax, to catch up on housework and laundry, or to see friends. But can’t we do this stuff during the week, leaving us free to fully enjoy each weekend to its fullest? Give yourself something awesome to look forward to every month — not just once or twice a year. Start with just one weekend a month and go from there.

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2. Be a tourist.

No one said you have to leave the country or even your own state to be a tourist. However, you might have to leave your own town (unless your hometown is NYC, SF, or some other big city).

Why not pick a place an hour or two away that looks interesting and go there? Learn something about the place. Visit a museum or landmark or beautiful sight (private beach, great hiking spot, etc). Get that traveler feeling you get when you’re in a new city somewhere and you hit the supermarket to stock up your Airbnb. Look up what to see and do, and where the best places are to get fresh fruits, veggies, or any special items the area is known for. Stop at a farmer’s market if they have one. Buy stuff you wouldn’t normally buy and cook something you wouldn’t normally cook. It’ll feel like you really are a tourist on vacation heading back to your rental apartment with your spoils.

3. Change your midweek routine.

Instead of eating at your favorite Thai restaurant or organic pizza joint every Thursday night, try something new. Choose a type of cuisine you normally don’t eat (Ethopian? Afghani? Korean?) or a type of venue you normally don’t frequent (a food truck gathering? A divey taco shop or funky noodle house?). Instead of running in the park every morning before work, try hitting a different spot even if it’s a bit farther. Take a yoga class in the park and meet new people. Go to a movie or a theater production midweek and get dressed up.

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4. Turn your home into a vacation resort.

Love the cucumber water they serve at health spas? The pretty way they cut pineapples at that one Caribbean resort you spend every other summer at? The sheets at your favorite hotel? Recreate some of this stuff at home! Cut up some fancy fruit and chill some mint-cucumber-lime water in the fridge. Splurge on some 1000-count Egyptian cotton sheets (believe me, you won’t regret it!). Plan an evening where you listen to some of your favorite vacation-holiday music (salsa music that reminds you of your honeymoon in Latin American? A soundtrack from your road trip in New Zealand?) and nosh on/drink some stuff you haven’t had since you were last abroad.

5. Talk to strangers.

One of the biggest differences between our daily lives (especially as Americans who drive almost everywhere and use GPS and Yelp or Siri for whatever we need to find and wherever we need to go) and our vacation/travel lives is the amount of time we spend talking to strangers.

When we are traveling internationally, we most often don’t have regular use of our phones, a vast knowledge of what apps or websites to use to find stuff (if they even exist), or any real idea of how to find the best food, drinks, or vista points without talking to locals or consulting a Lonely Planet guide. A lot of us don’t like to wander around with our nose in a travel guidebook, so we result to — gasp! — talking to strangers.

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You might chat up that nice restaurant or bar owner you met or the guy who rented you your Airbnb. Maybe get chatty with the tour guide who led you on a city day tour. These exchanges often lead to some of the best experiences and sometimes even to new friendships. But you don’t have to be in a foreign country to feel comfortable talking to strangers. Just try it!

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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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