Advertising

7 Reasons a Minimalist Approach Can Make You Healthier

7 Reasons a Minimalist Approach Can Make You Healthier
Advertising

We all want to live a healthier lifestyle, but in our attempts to do so we overcomplicate things: trying diets that don’t provide us with enough nutrients, eating supplements, dragging ourselves to the gym everyday where we do boring cardio and lift weights, buying more things than we need thinking they’ll make our lives better, etc.

All of that ruins our physical, mental, and spiritual health.

The solution to all this lies in simplicity. Choosing the simpler version of anything can make you not only happier but healthier too.

Here’s how a minimalist approach can save you from the complex, stressful everyday life:

1. Giving your body only what it needs will make you energetic.

The main principle of minimalism says that less is actually more. According to this philosophy, you should eliminate anything unnecessary from your life, and thus have more freedom, peace, and contentment.

Start with your fridge and menu. Write down what you usually eat and drink so that you can see the big picture, and for each item on the list ask yourself if it’s necessary.

Advertising

You might be surprised by the type and amount of food you consume daily that your body doesn’t actually need. Anything that comes in a package, any drink other than water and tea, special additives while cooking, and most of the snacks you eat — most of these are actually bad for your health. They can make you lazier, less healthy, and moody. And it’s pretty easy to get addicted to such foods because of all the sugar in them.

If you ditch these, however, if you throw away most of what you don’t need so that it’s not in your fridge and easily accessible anymore, you’ll focus on the real foods.

These include fruits, veggies, seeds, proteins, nuts, and herbs. Together with drinking plenty of water daily, they will keep you fresh and energised throughout the whole day and will help your body perform all its functions properly.

2. Fewer worries will make you happier.

Focus on less when it comes to overthinking something from the past or planning something that might go wrong.

Most thoughts connected to yesterday or tomorrow only make us worried and anxious, which lead to many other negative behaviours.

3. By being present you’ll quiet your mind and focus better.

Mindfulness is another important aspect of having a minimalist approach.

Advertising

It’s as simple as being right here, in this moment, without wanting to change it, without thinking about the past or future. Instead, you’re focused on the present moment.

That helps you eliminate distractions, which are a big part of daily life, and thus concentrate effortlessly and finally get things done quickly.

This is beneficial to your work performance and how your mind works in general.

4. You’ll sleep like a baby.

This new mindset you’re developing thanks to simplicity will also allow you to fall asleep fast instead of staying awake for hours unable to get the rest you deserve.

Because you’ll quiet the voices in your head and will enjoy the present moment, you’ll be able to let go of the tension in your mind and body and sleep soundly the whole night.

5. Being outdoors will contribute to your overall well-being.

Instead of going to the gym, or doing any other sport you don’t really enjoy, just go outside.

Advertising

The easiest thing to do is to take a walk or go jogging. Not only will this keep you fit, but the fresh air (or sunlight during the day) will lift you up and raise your energy levels, and you’ll enjoy the view.

You can start biking, too, and explore new areas in your city.

6. Decluttering will lead to less stress.

Living in clutter isn’t healthy. Many belongings at home collect dust, need to be fixed all the time, and require your time, attention, and money.

Having less stuff at home will give you more space and more freedom.

Think about getting rid of things you don’t actually use, even if it means giving away most of your clothes or selling some furniture and the many gifts you’ve received over the years.

You’ll feel relieved once you do that. Fewer objects also mean saving time in the future, being more organised and productive when getting things done at home, and not carrying things from the past around with you.

Advertising

7. Solitude will give you peace of mind.

We live hectic lifestyles and often forget how to relax. That’s yet another reason to be stressed out all the time and to struggle with falling asleep.

Spending some quiet time alone can fix this. You’ll slow down, leave all the anxiety behind, be present, and do things you enjoy.

Reading a book, drinking your coffee in peace, listening to music, organising your desk – all these and many more activities can be done when you’re alone and have nothing else to do.

Even if you’re still doing something, know that your mind isn’t tensed and you’re being at ease.

Create such a ritual and incorporate it into your day. It’s important to be by yourself, in a quiet and peaceful environment, and not thinking about anything else that you’ll need to do later in the day or tomorrow.

Simply enjoy your own company, do things that give you pleasure, and don’t be in a hurry, waiting for the next moment or task on your list to come. The ability to be mindful alone will make your interactions with other people easier too.

Advertising

So that’s how you can live a minimalist life, and improve your health at the same time.

Any other ideas?

More by this author

6 Tips How To Stay Motivated When Training Alone Vacations Are Good For Health And Productivity, Study Finds 8 Highly Attractive Things In Women (That Have Nothing to Do With Appearance) A Good Relationship Is About Give and Take. Never Let It Be One-Sided 12 Ways To Stop Your Addiction to ‘The Next Thing’

Trending in 20-Something

1 How To Go Through College And Stay Sane 2 The Battle Of The Voices In My Head 3 How to Have the Best Spring With Your Pets 4 5 Effective Ways to Increase your Instagram Followers 5 5 Ways to Enjoy Festivals With Pets

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

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)
Advertising

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:

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

Read Next