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If You Want To Be Happy, Healthy And Successful, Start Doing These 10 Things Now

If You Want To Be Happy, Healthy And Successful, Start Doing These 10 Things Now
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We all want to be happy, healthy, and successful, but aren’t always sure how to do it. You do things here and there to improve your quality of life, but you seem to lack consistency. For example, if you want to feel happy, you may go for a hike, hang out with friends, or have a weekend getaway. To be healthier you may join the gym, take yoga classes, change your eating habits, etc. All of those things are great to do, however, it might be more helpful to look a little bit deeper than the short-term and find habits that stick.

Take a look at these 10 things you can start doing today to get you on the right track:

1. Make a bucket list and tackle it

Sit down and think about all the things you want to do before you die. Want to travel to another country? Skydive? Learn a new language? Whatever it is, write it down. Make a 30-day bucket list as well as a 5-year bucket list. Often times people tend to live as though they’ll live forever. They sink into “tomorrow” and end up with a lot of yesterdays that are filled with a whole lot of nothing. Don’t plan your ambitions around your life, plan your life around your ambitions.

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2. Do a 24-hour internet detox

In today’s world, almost everything that we do is through the internet or a mobile device. You can become easily wrapped up in other people’s lives and forget about your own. Think about how often you go out to eat and see others on their phone and not talking to the person they’re supposed to be sharing their meal with. By detoxing yourself from the internet for 24 hours a week, you give yourself the opportunity to reconnect with the people you love and care about most. By putting your phone away, you’re able to give your undivided attention to your loved ones and form stronger bonds with them.

3. Be selective in what you read in newspapers

Most times, the media is pumping out information to get your attention and appeal to your fears. If they didn’t do this, most newspapers would fail because no one would be reading them. You can get a lot of accurate information from Google News. When you separate yourself from public news, you’ll be surprised at how much more optimistic your life will become. Occasionally, we fall into perceived realities when we are constantly filling our brain with the information we read in newspapers which can, and often times is, extremely toxic.

4. Do something daily that scares you

It is very easy to live in our comfort zones. It is our safe place, and it is where we escape to when we feel uncomfortable. You don’t need to do something drastic that scares you every day. Small things can make a big difference as well. If you’re able to take 20 seconds out of your day every day to do something that terrifies you, you’ll realize you’ll be in a completely different socioeconomic situation.

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Ever notice how you’re always more nervous for a meeting or an event until it actually happens? The anticipation is far worse than the situation itself when it comes around. It’s important to remind yourself that most things out of your comfort zone are completely safe.

5. Do something kind every day

Ask yourself, “Have I done anything good for the world or another person today?” You’re busy, I’m busy, everyone is busy, I get it. But if you allow yourself to become so busy that you cannot take any time out of your day to help another person, you should make some adjustments so that you can make that a priority. Whether it is spontaneous or planned, you will realize that one of the greatest feelings in life is being able to help others. When you help others, you give yourself the ability to open up to them in a way you may not have been able to before. It can truly put into perspective what really matters in life.

6. Get rid of the things you don’t need

Start with your closet. You have probably looked in there countless mornings and said, “I have nothing to wear.” But you clearly have a ton of things to wear. Inside is probably a ton of clothing items you haven’t worn in months, maybe even years. It’s like money sitting in your closet. When you start getting rid of the things you don’t need, you’ll start to notice how much more motivated you feel. When you get rid of old energy, you open the doors for new and positive energy to come through.

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7. Believe in your dreams

At one point or another, we have all dreamed of a life we’d love to live – from material items to all the things that money can’t buy. When you come to the realization and understanding that the things you seek can occur, the universe will work in very mysterious ways to make that happen.

8. Stop focusing so much on the outcome

Many times we find ourselves focusing so much on what could happen rather than just living in the moment and enjoying it for what it is. We do this because we really don’t want to mess something up. It can either be a relationship or work-related, but we can sometimes create negative outcomes when we focus so much on what hasn’t happened yet. Focus on the things that you can control. Better yet, focus on who you can control – yourself. Do what is right and let the consequences follow.

9. Surround yourself with people who inspire you

Have you ever heard someone say to you that you tend to act like the five people you spend the most time with? That is very, very true.

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  • What goals do they have?
  • What kind of beliefs do they have?
  • Are they a kind person?

These are just a few things that dramatically impact you. Becoming uncomfortable around people you’ve been friends with for a very long time can be very tough to grasp. It’s normal for people to grow, evolve, and realize that they may desire to hang around a different crowd. It’s okay to move on, but don’t detach from the genuine love that you have for those people.

10. Read weekly

It’s very important to always keep learning. Even the smartest and most successful people in the world still feel that they can always learn something new. Try to read one book per week. As time passes, you will have read hundreds of books and you will have gained knowledge on a number of topics. You’ll then have the ability to see the world differently, as well as open the doors to communicate with more people due to your knowledge on various things.

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Erica Wagner

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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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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