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4 Countries To Visit If You’re In Asia

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4 Countries To Visit If You’re In Asia

Being on a plane or on a train, they will always bring upon new memories and interesting adventures. For a traveler it feels like being on a constant treasure hunt. Despite the mainstream reasons of self-discovery and liberation, travelling encompasses even more.

Being half Asian and half African gave me a chance to enjoy various cultures plus growing up in Malaysia, I was in the center point for all Asian countries. From a very young age I was constantly exposed to travelling and different cultures hence change never surprised me.

However, I recently realized the difference in opinions and skepticism regarding travelling to other continents. It was surprising hence I thought I would shed some light to one of my favorite continents regarding a few countries one should visit.

Its summer and if you’re looking for a cheap getaway then this is it.

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1.Japan- Land of Food, Culture and Nature.

Japan has been a country famous for its outrageous style, beautiful nature, freshest of fish and anime’s. That nation has been an example for hard work, perseverance and success throughout history. Tokyo, the capital of this wonderland is the home for the new generation of fashion and style while also becoming the nation’s capital for food and culture.

Fugu one of the most delicate cuisine is served by the highly qualified chefs of Japan. These Chefs are from the highest class and belong to the 35% of those who passed. Fugu being the most dangerous yet sought after dish in the world is among the arrays of Japanese cuisine and fishes. If you’re a fan of fish, food and people this is one place to visit and if you happen to pass by the Harajuku train station make sure to visit the Michelin Star sushi restaurant, even if you don’t get to enjoy the meal at least you can watch him preparing one.

Sakura’s or Cherry Blossoms have been the highlight of Japanese culture for years, we see them in brochures, advertisements, movies and anime’s. It’s been embedded in our souls that Japanese is surrounded by this beautiful romantic flowers and this has aided to the large Japanese wedding industry.  Every Spring has become an attraction for people from all around the world to have their dream kimono wedding beneath the sea of Sakura’s. Hence, even if it’s too late to watch the Sakura’s be sure to catch the beautiful view from Mount Fuji and all the scenic nature.

So if you’re planning to head to Japan this year, make sure to enjoy your adventures with a fine glass of Sake.

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2.Taiwan – The Bridge Between Wild Night and Wild Life.

Individuality depends on one’s perspective, it defines us and defines our principals, likes and dislikes. This same concept defines our preferred vacation and what we would like to see. When you speak of Asia, you’ll find a huge bridge between the young and the old. You’ll notice the wild souls of the young doesn’t match the calm and centered souls of the old.

In a world where taboos are the dividend within culture, Taiwan has surpassed all the odds and bridged both the old and new together. Taipei the nation’s capital has become the hub spot of the latest night life and entertainment. It allows the young to enjoy a cultural form of night life and fun. Therefore, becoming the colorful neon city we have all known it for.

On the other side, for those nature enthusiasts there are amazing rainforest and beautiful mountains to take upon a hiking challenge. Among the countries national treasures are its amazing flora and fauna as well as its beautiful temples. For many this temple becomes a meditation spot and a place of self-discovery.

Therefore, if you’re heading to Taiwan make sure to indulge in the street cuisine before heading for a wild adventure.

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3.India – An Alice in Wonderland.

Alice’s Wonderland is the perfect description for India. For those who are planning to travel to India, then the time between April till the end of August is a terrible idea for a visit.as the heat and humidity will make your travel a nightmare. So always plan your trip to India a year ahead.

However, despite the heat and humidity and its imperfections, India has one of the most welcoming population in the world. From its Kumbha Mela in Varanasi where you get to see all form of holy processions till it’s beautiful mountain tops, India will definitely guarantee you an adventure. However, one must always remember India offers different experience in each state, the states in the North offer a more quiet, mature and historic experience while the states in the South from Kerala to Chennai offer a variety of colors, music, spiciness and intuitive adventure.

You’ll find women tying sari’s cook the most divine food and street cuisine as equivalent as a 5 Star meal. Hence if you’re heading to India, make sure to enjoy the spicy food as much as you enjoy an adventure. As you reach the end of your trip, you might have just been part of a whole new wonderland.

4.Bhutan- Being Calm Is a Way of Life.

Our lives are filled with hassle and stress, despite various articles suggesting otherwise, the truth is we are all stressed to a certain extent. We all want to achieve certain things in life and motivational quotes makes us push harder and faster. We never stop to catch a breath until we are absolutely forced to take one.

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If that’s the case, then Bhutan is the place to be. Bhutan is a land locked country with around 700000 to 800000 inhabitants. It’s a country is small in size but huge in character and beliefs towards calmness and balance of the universe. Interestingly, they are also the biggest followers of the Phallic religion, which features the male genitalia. It represents fertility, growth and prosperity hence if you’re lucky you might catch the once in a life time parade.

Apart from that, you’ll also be able to enjoy beautiful nature and interesting cuisines, that represent their culture and heritage. However, do keep in mind to always respect their traditions and beliefs as it’s the core of their lives.

Asia is an amazing continent, full of surprises, good food and various culture hence this places are a handful of names from my experience. However, if you would prefer to visit other parts of Asia there are various channels that could offer you great help.

Travelling is an amazing feeling, do experience it to the fullest.

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Featured photo credit: pixabay.com 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)

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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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