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9 Things To Declutter From Your Life To Be Much Happier

9 Things To Declutter From Your Life To Be Much Happier
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Throughout life, just as we collect items, we collect thoughts. Every now and then it’s necessary to clean your home and refresh your mind to lighten the load of what’s been collected. If you feel that you have to declutter many physical possessions, first think about why that is. Know that decluttering isn’t simply organizing your things. It’s determining what is essential and what it adds to your life. You’ll be surprised how minimizing your possessions causes you to re-evaluate your life. Decluttering forces you to make certain decisions like using or losing your hobby materials sitting around the house. You may be surprised how much happier you’ll be after you completely declutter your life.

1. Cotton clutter

Does consumer culture have you buying more clothes for a rush of dopamines? In other words, are you excited by the idea of having more clothes or the experiences you’ll have in them? You may be long overdue to downsize your closet if you’re doing laundry quite a bit.

You’ve likely heard it before; if you haven’t worn it in a year or more, it’s time to go. If you’re the type of person that attaches sentimental value to everything you may have trouble with this. Have depth to your sentimental attachment and keep the things that deeply matter to you, like your wedding dress, graduation attire, vacation memento, etc.

2. People who don’t align with where you want to be

You know who they are. They do not add any value to your life by showing you what they ate for dinner. Those who don’t align with your future-self fall into two categories; you know them intimately or not much at all. They’re the people who you may not know so well on Facebook and Instagram. It may seem harmless to browse down their timeline, but those moments you’re spending could be spent making a real connection.

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Use the social networks for their highest good by communicating and creating content for people who are important in your life. It can be difficult to remove people from your life that are closer to you. Look at the top five people you surround yourself with and honestly ask yourself if any of them are where you want to be in 20 years.

3. No more junk drawers, closets, and rooms

Decluttering your life benefits you physically, emotionally, and mentally. You can get the mental and emotional benefits by improving your environment first. Eliminate all “junk” areas from your home.

No more junk drawers filled with random items allowed. This is a form of physical clutter which has its equivalent in your mind. Some people have closets or entire rooms written off as “storage”, but you know what it really is.

4. Unhealthy snack options

You may not think of a snack as clutter. Your body takes what you consume and uses it to form everything that you are. Junk food in your kitchen eventually becomes clutter in your body. Your body has to work to process out any preservatives and chemicals you eat.

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The more unhealthy snacks you easily let slip in between meals and activities, the less healthy you are. Poor health can make your mind foggy, physically drain you, and even affects your attitude. Put healthy snacks in your kitchen, you’ll eat them simply because they’re there.

5. Unfinished business

When you leave loose ends, you have to remember to go tie them back together. Having to remember unfinished business is a drain on your mental energy. You may even feel some level of guilt for not completing a project, not making a call or not giving your best.

These thoughts are mental blocks that you should live without. If you let too many things go unfinished they might make you feel guilty, ashamed or reluctant to take action again. So, even if you think you’re behind in the race, finish. Give yourself the warm satisfaction of knowing you did what was right. Whether it is scheduling a meeting or launching a project, tie your loose ends.

6. Commitments that don’t serve you

Does paying for a monthly makeup or outdoor gear subscription box for the next 6 months really serve you? Of course, you want to have the highest quality of life possible. Should you collect more things or should the funds for the subscription box be used towards a more worthy cause? This is a commitment you made that may no longer serve your best interest or your wallet.

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Especially if you already have mounds of whatever the subscription box offers. You may end up with a lot of excess products getting automatic shipments every month. Say “No” more often, so you can spend time and money on the things that are truly important to you. Your true friends will still love you if you pass on Thirsty Thursday at the bar. What can you cut down time doing to get more time to work on goals or practice your craft?

7. Worries clouding your mind

Declutter your mind from incessant thinking. It may seem normal to want to think all of the time. Yet, many people who still their mind through meditation or yoga find it easier to direct thought because of the practice. You can’t expect yourself to be able to devote undivided focus to something when you can’t quiet your own thoughts.

Letting your thoughts run rampant really prevents you from giving 100% of yourself to whatever you’re doing. Your mind is designed to constantly look for potential dangers and you have to consciously quiet that. It serves you better to have a seat with your eyes closed and view the blank screen of your mind.

8. All of the paper you don’t need

Are you guilty of having a drawer full of papers? Go digital where you can. Paperwork adds up over time, leading you to have cluttered areas in your home, which you swear have important documents.

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Loose paper around your home breeds more of the same, leading to stacks of paper that only get thicker. Having a digital copy of important documents and even instruction manuals can help alleviate some of your worries about losing the hard copy.

9. Tell it like it is- it’s trash

Yes. Sometimes decluttering consists of getting rid of trash and dusty old items. Have you ever noticed how trash seems to collect in piles? You need to actively work to keep trash down to a minimum or you’ll attract more trash. You may not call all of the trash in your home, car or office trash. You may tell yourself, “I might need that one day”.

Tell that pair of underwear that has seen better times goodbye. If you have items you have never used for more than six months, get rid of it. If you can live without it for that long, it’s trash to you and someone else can enjoyably use it. Consider how much you really care about anything that’s been dusty and in your garage for more than six months.

Decluttering your life is so much more than organizing what’s under your bed into bins. You have to get rid of unneeded clothes, people, worrisome thoughts, unhealthy food, and trash. Decluttering negativity from your life on so many levels is going to have a deep and beneficial impact on your life. You’ll notice the difference. Get ready to walk lighter, feel free, and think more positive thoughts about yourself and the people around you.

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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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