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How to Spice up Your Relationship and Keep It Fresh and Exciting

How to Spice up Your Relationship and Keep It Fresh and Exciting
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Love and marriage take work. If you neglect your relationship, the connection you have with your partner will wither, and perhaps even get lost.

Needless to say, if you care about your relationship and want it to succeed, you need to work on it. You need to communicate well. You need to work on a solution to any problems that may arise. You need to face any threat to your relationship together with trust and compassion. And you need to try new things to keep it fresh and exciting.

This article is about how to spice up a relationship. I am going to give you 6 things you can do to keep things fresh and exciting for both you and your partner, and keep the connection you have with your partner strong.

1. Talk More Deeply and Openly

The first thing that I recommend most people is to learn to be more honest and open with your partner. If you and your partner already share a deep connection and you already share everything with each other, you probably don’t need to do this.

But if you are like most couples, who don’t talk about everything and don’t have a deep connection, then you will most likely find this extremely helpful and refreshing.

Here’s what you should do:

Imagine having a life where you can share everything with your partner. Your fears, your past, your weird thoughts, your aspirations, your life goals, your work goals, your fantasies and anything that comes to your mind.

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As you were reading the above sentence and imagining sharing these things with your partner, try to notice where exactly did you feel a resistance. In which part exactly your mind was like,

“I can’t share that with my partner.”

For example, maybe you were like, “I can’t share my fantasies with my partner. They are too weird.”

If you feel a resistance towards being a 100% open with your partner about everything, then that’s a weak link in your relationship with your partner. Moreover, it’s also a source of shame or fear for you. Not only are you afraid of your partner finding out about this, you are ashamed of a part of yourself.

If that’s you, I urge you to try to talk to your partner about this. Broach the subject to gauge where your partner stands and tell them how you feel about it. It may turn into a serious discussion or even a heated argument; but in the end, you will be glad you did it because if your partner truly thinks you are special, they will accept you for who you are.

Ultimately, sharing and being honest with your partner about everything is only going to bring you both closer.

2. Share Your Fantasies

This one is quite obvious and an advice you will find pretty much everywhere. This advice is so common because it works.

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When you share your fantasies, not only is it an act of vulnerability that brings you closer to each other, it also opens up the doors to a lot of adventures and sexual pleasures. Both of which brings you together.

The only thing that may go wrong here is if you share your fantasies with too much expectation. A lot of time, people share their fantasies with their partner with a presumption that their partner will want to fulfill their fantasy. And if they find out their partner is not willing to partake in the fantasy, they get upset and feel bitter about it.

When you are being vulnerable to someone, you should do it without any expectations and returns. Being vulnerable is not an act of trade. When you are being vulnerable, you should do it only with the intention of opening up to your partner.

If your partner is not comfortable with whatever your fantasies are, accept it and respect their boundaries. They might open up later, but that should not be something you should push them to do.

3. Travel Together

What better way to keep things fresh than to travel to a fresh new place, with fresh people, new food, new culture and new friendships?

When you travel with your partner, you will experience a new culture together and you will both get to share your experience with each other.

When you experience something new with someone, you associate that novelty with that person. By traveling, you will start associating novelty and excitement with your partner, and that will bring you both together and make you more attracted to each other.

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If you are traveling, make sure you define exactly what you want to do as a couple. If your goal is to reconnect and keep things fresh, then I highly recommend you go to a place that has a different culture from where you are living right now.

4. Games – All Types of Games

Games are one of the best ways to keep things fresh and entertaining for a couple. The best part is that you can choose any type of games that you find appealing. It could be video games, board games, sports, or something fun like paintball. As long as it’s a game, you can get better at and it’s competitive, you can do it together as a couple and enjoy every moment of it.

The reason why games are great at this is because they are relatively cheaper than most other options. You don’t have to spend a fortune traveling. You can just purchase an interesting board game and start playing it with friends and family.

Moreover, games give you something to talk about and do together. Before you know it, you will both be looking forward to the weekend when you can meet up with your friends for game night.

5. Charity/Volunteer Work

It may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about keeping things fresh. But volunteer work can make a huge difference in the way you see things and the world.

When you both dedicate some time to help the society and your fellow human beings, you will both learn more about each other and appreciate each other more. Not to mention you will have some of the most rewarding experience of your life. It will also give you an idea about what’s important for your partner.

The best way to go about doing volunteer work is to speak about it with your partner. Talk about it and discuss what is important for both of you and how to best make an impact in the world. Even if the impact you make is small, you will be glad you did because it will affect the life of another living being.

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6. Challenge Each Other

Couples who challenge each other to improve are the ones who love to play with each other and are involved in each other’s life. It doesn’t always have to be about something serious. You can help each other reach your life goals by challenging each other and keep each other accountable. Just make sure that you are being supportive and not talking them down.

For example, if your partner’s goal is to lose weight; you can encourage them by placing a bet with them to reach their goal weight by a certain time limit. If they win, you give them something that they really want (like that sexual position that they always wanted to try). If they lose, then they give you something that you really want. This way, you keep things fun and help each other at the same time.

But if you take it too seriously, you may get disappointed if they don’t reach their goal weight. And you may end up saying something that hurt them, causing them to feel insecure in the relationship.

So, it’s important to be careful when you are encouraging your partner to grow. Wrong expectations can lead to arguments and sometimes irreparable damage.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of things that you can do to keep things fresh and exciting in a relationship. But it’s always best to start with proper communication and understanding.

Make sure you are not just trying to keep things fresh because there is an underlying issue that’s causing you both to drift apart. If there are issues in your relationship, work on them first before trying new things.

And whatever you decide to do, don’t take it too seriously. Remember, the goal is to keep the relationship fresh and alive, and that should always be your top priority.

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More About Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

Featured photo credit: Jared Sluyter via unsplash.com

More by this author

Kevin Thompson

A breakup and relationship expert who writes about reconciliation and becoming a better person

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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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