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Last Updated on December 14, 2020

17 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself and Be Happy

17 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself and Be Happy

Self love and happiness aren’t found, they are created. It isn’t a switch that is flicked one day and you are in love with yourself and your life; it is discovered, learned and practiced daily.

Loving yourself is the most productive thing you can do for you life because all that doubt, self hate and underestimating is holding you back from reaching your full potential and of course, true happiness.

You can’t truly be happy if you don’t love yourself because no matter how happy everything else in your life is, you will always feel unworthy, like you don’t deserve happiness. To love yourself isn’t arrogant or grandiose, from a young age we have been taught that to love yourself is to be selfish, wrong, arrogant, patronizing, unattractive and unproductive.

Self hate has been a motivator for self improvement for so long and we have been shaming ourselves for showing ourselves even a little bit of love. We shame our peers for being confident and happy by calling them arrogant, conceited, delusional and wrong because they have what we want.

To love yourself is to experience happiness and security on a whole new level. We search for love outwardly because that is how as children, we found love and security. It was rewarded to us when we did good things. But we didn’t grow out of this, we continue to look for love in other people but the truth of it is, the love you are looking for can only come from within. That is why someone else’s love is never enough for you to be truly happy and you can never feel safe if you are not comfortable with your own capabilities.

But how to be more confident and love yourself?

Well, learning to love yourself is a journey, these are short fire lessons you have to learn, activities you should to improve your self love and increase genuine happiness in your life.

Here’re 17 ways to learn to love yourself and be happy:

1. Cast out of the Idea That You Have to Be Perfect

Perfect body, life, IQ… All of it. Perfection doesn’t exist and when you think it does on social media, it is often masking crippling mental health issues.

You are never going to be perfect. But the good news is, you already are perfect, in your imperfection.

2. Understand That Societies’ Expectations of You Are an Unrealistic Standard That Can Never Be Met

It is our human nature to always be hungry for more, even if you hit that unrealistic standard, you will always be unhappy because you want more.

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Don’t compare yourself or your life to that unrealistic standard, it only leads to self hate and depression: The More We Compare, the More We Lose Ourselves

3. Live in the Moment, Just for a Moment Every Day

Take a moment to stop the endless pursuit and just look into yourself. See where you have come from and appreciate the beauty of the moment that YOU ARE ALIVE — Living, breathing, functioning human being and how much of a luxury that is.

4. Daily Gratitude

That is the key to happiness.

Start a gratitude journal, an Instagram channel, a blog or just spend 3 minutes each day, thinking of all the things you are grateful for — Your body, your life, your friends, your country, M&Ms, how great that old pan has lasted you, how that person on the bus let you off first…

When we get comfortable, we get ungrateful. Change that, show gratitude everyday.

5. Embrace the Fact That You Can’t Control Everything

The only thing you can control are things within your control and your reactions. Understand that you can’t control other people, their choices, their behavior just like you can’t control the weather.

Life isn’t about trying to control everything, it is about how you react to it. Instead of trying to control everything and everyone, do the best you can do and then put your hands up and say ” it is in the hands of the God’s now” and leave it to work itself out. Everything works itself out eventually.

6. Self-Care

Society has taught us that self care is selfish and god forbid, our greatest fear is being called selfish. In response, we work ourselves to death so everyone knows how Good we are.

But there is a cost to be “Good” in the eyes of society and that cost is your happiness. Get over trying to be “Good” and take care of yourself. Self care = Happiness.

Start to take up these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

7. Check in with Yourself Emotionally

Find a chair, grab a coffee and ask what is going on with you today. How are you feeling? Feel that feeling.

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Learning to actually feel your feelings instead of brushing them under the rug is the best way forward.

8. Face Your Negative Thoughts

Ask them: Are they true? Are they helpful? Are they kind? Before you say anything negative, ask yourself, does this thought benefit me in any way? Does this thought make me better in some way? Or is it just rude, belittling and cruel.

We are often most abusive towards ourselves mentally, which means one of the most important keys to happiness is to stop with the internal torture. The endless insults, belittling, the “you’re so this and you’re such a that”. Only use supportive and positive language in your head.

Try these 7 Powerful Ways to Stop Negative Thinking.

9. Tighten Your Circle

Your social circle affects your whole life. Learn about The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You.

You are an accumulation of the 5 people you hang out with, so have a look at who that is. Who are they? Are they positive? Loving? Supportive? Or are they negative, rude and abusive?

You don’t owe anyone anything so if someone is dragging you down like a really negative friend, an insulting boyfriend or a rather opinionated overbearing Aunt. You don’t owe them your time. Ditch, Avoid, Move On. It is your life.

10. Eat Healthier

What you put in your body affects your mental health. Not just biologically but if you eat something you consider bad,  you sit and shame yourself.

Don’t shame yourself, life is too short to shame yourself for eating food. Take off the restriction on eating, stop dieting and eat like a human. Eat foods you like and eat natural foods. Your body will thank you.

11. Get to Moving!

Don’t just sign up to a gym and never go. Try out a new form of physical activity, find one you enjoy, that makes you laugh and you have fun. Then do that!

Dancerize, Zumba, spin, mermaid swimming… There is almost unlimited types of sports out there. Go try them and watch your happiness bloom!

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12. Remember Who You Are

You have been through a lot and you have come through it, getting stronger and stronger every time.

I ask you to remember who you are. Adversity is your friend, it challenges you to make life interesting so you can get to the place you really want to go!

13. Give Yourself Permission to Love Your Body

Your body is a beautiful and wonderful tool for adventure. Your body isn’t designed to just be an aesthetic to please other people and society. It isn’t a fancy Vase. It is a tool so that you can do all the things you want to do in this life.

Climb, eat, travel, work, knit… Treat your body as if it was your child. With nothing but love and the understanding that it is perfect as it is.

14. Stop Finding Happiness in a Body Type

We are taught that we will be happy if we conform to the Ideal Body. You know that type, it changes every decade, an impossible beauty standard that is often airbrushed over.

No matter how much weight you lose, plastic surgery you get and many products you buy. Happiness cannot be found in a body because there isn’t where happiness live.

Happiness comes from self acceptance. From realizing that the reason you want a body is to feel safe, accepted and successful, so that you feel like you can do all the things you want to do.

Well, you can do anything you want no matter what your body looks like, so stop wasting time trying to conform to a diet type and actually Go Get Happiness. It is found within.

15. Try Minimalism

True happiness and love isn’t found in stuff, it is found in appreciating what you have and experiences. At the end of your life, you want someone to say how great your life was, how you did everything you ever wanted!

Not that you had a huge collection of stuff and you were a hoarder. Shopping for happiness is like having a McDonalds, appreciating what you have is a homemade wholesome meal.

Here’s an inspiring read recommended for you: If Money Can’t Buy Happiness, What Can?

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16. Learn Continuously

Learn, read, experiment… Find what works for you.

Try. Don’t just read this and go, well I guess that is interesting and walk off. Pick one of these things and practice them.

Happiness isn’t a switch, it is a daily practice.

17. Clear up Your Environment

Clear out all those negative people on social media. All of those relatable memes about underachieving alcoholics.

What you put in your mind becomes your life, therefore it is only logical that you fill your mind with positive information, and you will have a positive life.

Try these tips: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

Final Thoughts

These are the quick fire lessons you need to learn to be happy. As I said, these are for daily practice, it is quite a few so start at the one you find most drawn too and practice that everyday for a month. Once incorporated into habit, your life will improve and happiness has the opportunity to flourish.

Happiness is right in front of you, if only you choose to find it and practice it.

More Tips About Self-Love

Featured photo credit: Giulia Bertelli via unsplash.com

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Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

STOP Procrastinating NOW: How To Prioritize Tasks Or Else Be Productive And Stop Procrastinating! Top 5 Ways To Win Best Brain Workout! Super Learning Hacks How To Stop Failing Your Goal And Achieve Success in 2021 Stop DREAMING, Start LIVING… Why We Need to Take Action

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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)

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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