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Long Distance Love Birds! This Is How Your Screen Help You Stay Sweet Across the Sea!

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Long Distance Love Birds! This Is How Your Screen Help You Stay Sweet Across the Sea!

Relationships can be hard to maintain especially once it gets to the stage where you both get comfortable. Standards may slip or you both could start taking each other for granted. While this can be fixed in a conventional relationship, for those in long distance relationships, this could threaten the union all the more.

Long Distance Relationship Equals to Dead-End Street?

Long distance relationships usually have a bad rep. If you’re in one right now, I’m sure many people have given you their widely-agreed-upon opinion that it just won’t last. While a lot of distance relationships don’t tend to work out for a myriad of reasons – namely that both people must be on the same page and committed to each other – many do stand the test of time because both are willing to use the distance well.

As mentioned before, that comfortable stage in a relationship can creep up on you but easily identified and sorted out. However, for a long distance relationship it can be the beginning of the end if couples can’t devote time and creativity to spice things up.

Stay Connected, That’s the Bullseye You Gonna Hit

The key to a successful relationship is the sense of connection you have with one another. Couples create this by sharing experiences, creating memories and building emotional bonds but if you’re physically apart then this can be harder to maintain.

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But the good news is there are ways you can recreate this connection even if you live hundreds of miles away. It’s all about spending your lives together despite physical distance and making effort to communicate in order to spice things up. So try these out to help you feel closer to your partner and keep that connection alive and well.

1. Let Skype Help You Date

When you can’t speak to each other face-to-face, the next best option is to Skype. While this is a brilliant way to keep the communication open, Skyping too often can cause the relationship to go stale which is why setting up occasional date nights can create a sense of, well, being on a date together!

Set certain days and times to catch up with your other half and treat it like a date. Try not to chat about mundane things too much but make the effort to catch up with each other emotionally. Set up a dinner and a glass of wine so it feels like you’re sharing a meal together. Dress up and make yourself look nice – if you treat this like a special date then you’ll both get much more out of it.

2. We Can Laugh At the Same Movie Scenes!

Everyone loves watching a movie with their loved one. While you can’t exactly cuddle up together on the sofa, the next best thing is to both put on the movie at the same time while either talking on the phone or texting each other. Knowing you’re both experiencing the same movie at the same time can bring a certain connection. You can express your thoughts about the film or laugh at the same scenes. It’s all about creating the feeling and experience of being together.

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3. Go Surprise My Love, Packages!

Sending something to your loved one far away shows you really care and even better if it’s a surprise. It shows you’re thinking of them and strengthens that emotional connection and bond. So why not get food delivered from their favourite local restaurant? Or send them a care package full of their favourite snacks or mementos of your time spent together? If it’s something they’ve mentioned before in passing – something they perhaps miss – throw it in there. This will, again, show you’re thinking about them and putting in that extra effort.

4. Let TV Shows Wire the Two Little Hearts

Don’t you love discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black? If you have a favourite TV series you both love or decide to start a brand new one, then carve out some time to watch it separately and then chat about it, or as with the movie suggestion, watch it at the same time. This can open more lines of discussion which is important to stop communication getting stale. Having things in common will help you both recognise your connection.

5. Couple App Presents: Your Secret Garden

While texting and calling is great, it’s not always that private. Creating the sense of privacy that you get with a traditional relationship is important psychologically and this can be maintained with the Couple app which allows you to create a space to keep all your interactions in one place. This app builds a private timeline of all your special moments whether it’s video calls, pictures, real-time games as well as other cool features just for the two of you to share.

This is aimed at creating something only the two of you can see and experience together making your relationship feel more special.

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6. Fitness Competition and Who Will Be the Winner?

If you’re both competitive and sporty or just wanting to set some health goals, making a competition out of it can be fun. But the best thing about this is that it’s a long-term project which can be helped along by the motivation you give to each other. This in itself can help you with the mindset that you’re sharing life goals and seeing them through together.

Why not make the next time you see each other your results day? This will give you more determination and motivation to share your hard work with each other.

7. It’s Adventure Time!

It can suck not being able to go out and do things together but in an age where internet is so accessible, now is the best time to spice up a long distance relationship. If you want to go out exploring then you can easily bring your partner with you through the power of social media. Whether it’s Skype, FaceTime, Facebook live, Instagram live or Snapchat, you can record a constant stream of your adventures. So next time you go hiking or exploring a city take your loved one with you, experience it together and bring a sense of closeness to the relationship.

8. A Journal of This Long Love-Journey

Sometimes being in a long distance relationship can force you to find things that connects you spiritually – something that can be pushed to the wayside in a conventional relationship. Journaling is a really good reflection tool and you can make this a great way to strengthen that connection for both of you as well as personally.

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Each of you take it in turn to record your life every other day. When you get together you’ll have a really great account of your separate lives coming together and see how they intertwine too. Reading over this will show you that even though you may be physically apart, you are spiritually together.

9. Let’s Have a Throw-Back Thursday, Darling

Put aside a certain day of the week where you devote some time recalling special memories you’ve shared together. Reminding yourselves of the reasons why you’ve chosen each other as that special person is really important and often lost once you live apart. It’s all about keeping it alive in our minds which will prevent that feeling of distance from creeping in – a problem that is often the cause of long distance break ups.

10. Find Your Honey – You Are the Real Surprise!

One of the best things you can do especially if you’re in a trusted and committed relationship, is to arrange a surprise visit. Check with friends and family about their schedules and turn up unannounced. Knowing you made that effort and getting to see you will strengthen your relationship all the more.

Long distance relationships don’t have to be as hard as people say they are. It requires a lot of effort and imagination to keep a relationship fresh when there’s no physical connection but try out these suggestions and make your relationship stronger despite the miles between you.

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More by this author

Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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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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