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Don’t Surrender To Any Definitions — You Can Decide Who You Are

Don’t Surrender To Any Definitions — You Can Decide Who You Are

It’s the ultimate cliché and something we all hear a thousand times over: to be truly happy, you need to start with yourself. But how often do we not live up to this? Media outlets are bombarding us with images of how we should look, society is telling us how we should act, and people with limited beliefs are telling us how we should feel.

A lot of the time, we are forced to define ourselves by other people’s ideas and perspectives. We seem to care too much about what other people think of us and live our lives pleasing or conforming to what society as a whole tells us is right.

Emma Watson may be best known as Hermione from the successful Harry Potter films, but she is much more than an actress — she is an activist and a true role model for women and men. She refuses to define herself through other people’s definitions and stands strong on the importance of making the person you are a reflection of who you truly want to be. She strives to be herself and continues to be an ambassador for equality, education, sense of self, and empowerment.

You Don’t Have To Follow The Crowd

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    How many times have you done or said something just because you felt it was what other people wanted from you? Our need to be accepted by others is a natural human instinct. It’s part of the pack mentality and an almost desperate want to not be rejected by our peers, family, and society as a whole.

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    As a hugely successful child actress, Emma Watson was catapulted into the world’s view. Many opportunities were laid out in front of her that would have earned her millions and gained her further recognition in a media-obsessed world. But she chose to go to university and focus on her education because she wanted to stay true to herself and she wanted to empower herself in a way that the movie industry solely wouldn’t allow her.

    While many child stars struggle to define their identity and lose themselves in the process, Emma took a different path; one that would defy traditional choices because she wanted to grow in the way she wanted to.

    Fight For What You Believe In

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      When Emma Watson made her inspirational UN speech for the HeForShe campaign back in 2014, she showed her true strength of character and her passion to make a difference in gender equality.

      We don’t always stand up and get ourselves heard and, even worse, we believe that we just can’t make a difference in this world. Whether this stems from our own lack of self-worth or the general societal view that if you can’t make a big difference then there’s no point, Emma Watson is a true inspiration that, given the opportunity, you can help change views and situations despite inner self-doubt.

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      “You might think, ‘Who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the U.N.?’ And it’s a really good question — I’ve been asking myself the same thing.

      “In my nervousness for this speech and my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?'”

      Don’t Let Your Critics Define You

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        There are two types of critics: the people who criticise you for the things you do, say, or believe in, and the worst of all — yourself.

        While Emma Watson has campaigned for gender equality for both men and women, she has received negativity from people who’ve decided to define her feminism as “men-hating” despite the fact that she openly wants men to not feel pigeoned-holed by society’s masculine ideals.

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        As a result, she’s received hateful comments and threats of leaking nude pictures of her. But instead of backing down or succumbing to her critics, she used their anger as an example of exactly why she was calling for equality.

        She also believes in the importance of self-love. The bombardment of the perfect body and the perfect image that women feel they have to live up to in order to be noticed is detrimental to happiness and our ability to see ourselves as beautiful people, inside and out.

        “We [women] really damage our confidence when we put ourselves down, so I try not to.”

        Never let anyone criticise you for being who you want to be and doing what you want to do. Be yourself and stick with it. It’s the only way you can be truly happy.

        Live Your Life On Your Own Terms

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        Emma Watson Rocks

          Emma Watson has definitely stayed true to herself in terms of her private life. As many child stars are prone to partying, drinking, and baring their mental fragility unnecessarily, Emma hasn’t entered into the limelight in that regard, opting to keep her life as private as possible. Her decision to go to university, to date non-famous men, and to live her life as normally as possible has always been an admirable quality.

          In this media-hungry age, we are encouraged to post the ins and outs of our lives for all to see on social media and we’re made to feel we’re slightly outcasted if we don’t. This is ridiculous of course; we don’t need validation from others in order to feel fulfilled. Let people wonder about you, be interested in getting to know you, and keep your life within the circle of important people in your life.

          We are all on the search for happiness in our lives and Emma Watson has shown the sort of mindset and perspective we should all try to adopt in order to allow ourselves to define ourselves and no one else.

          Featured photo credit: College Times via collegetimes.com

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          Jenny Marchal

          A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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          Last Updated on October 17, 2019

          How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

          How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

          You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

          But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

          Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

          What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

          Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

          So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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          1. Recognize the Signs

          If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

          Some telltale signs include:

          • You’re always on your phones.
          • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
          • You aren’t together during important events.
          • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
          • You don’t make plans or date nights.
          • You’re not happy.

          If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

          2. Try New Things Together

          Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

          Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

          Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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          Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

          3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

          Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

          Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

          Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

          4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

          One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

          Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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          5. Cook Meals Together

          Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

          One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

          Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

          If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

          6. Have a Regular Date Night

          Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

          The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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          Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

          • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
          • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
          • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
          • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
          • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
          • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
          • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

          Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

          Final Thoughts

          The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

          • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
          • Lowers divorce rates
          • Improves communication
          • Reduces marital boredom
          • Bonds couples closer
          • Improves friendship
          • Boosts health
          • Reduces stress

          These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

          It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

          These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

          Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

          Reference

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