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Last Updated on December 11, 2020

5 Simple Ways to Be Happy with Yourself Every Day

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5 Simple Ways to Be Happy with Yourself Every Day

The desire for happiness is a universal human emotion. To some extent, you want to learn how to be happy with yourself in some shape or form. However, not everyone knows how to achieve this state.

Unfortunately, society hasn’t helped with this confusion. We have been conditioned to associate happiness with materialistic possessions.

The line of thinking is that, if we have more things, we will be more fulfilled. As a result, a lot of people spend their entire lives chasing happiness, only to be left feeling defeated when they don’t find their version of utopia.

Happiness is not something that you find external to yourself. You won’t buy a new dress or purchase a new car and feel like you’re living on a cloud for eternity.

Sure, you may feel short-term gratification from a purchase, but this feel-good vibe won’t last. Shortly thereafter, you will be looking for the next best thing to fill a void.

There’s no magic pill for happiness. Happiness is an inside job, a choice that you have to make. Try the following to learn how to be happy with yourself every day.

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1. Practice Mindfulness

How you start your day matters. If you begrudgingly roll out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, and rush out the door to work, how do you think your day will unfold?

I don’t know about you, but my emotions end up getting the best of me. If you don’t master your mind, your mind will master you. This is why I’m such a big believer in creating an empowering morning ritual.

When you take the time every morning to nourish your mental and emotional state, you set yourself up for success. Meditate, journal, exercise, recite affirmations, juice, dance. Do whatever it takes to get yourself into a high vibe state.

Yes, meditating is great, but it’s bigger than that. You want to strive to live more mindfully all around. Think of mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience, without judgment[1].

Strive to be more present in every given moment of your life. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, take time to pause and enjoy the little things.

2. Be Grateful

Gratitude is a way of living that focuses on seeing the good, no matter how dire one’s circumstances are. Of course, it can be hard to be grateful when you’re going through difficult times in life.

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However, there is always a silver lining in every struggle. You just have to be willing to look for it. When you adopt an attitude of gratitude, you shift into a state of appreciation. All of sudden, there is no room for sadness because you are choosing love.

Research shows that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, and deal with adversity[2].

If you don’t already, I encourage you to start a gratitude journal. A simple practice like this one only takes a few minutes every day. It has the power to change your life. What are you grateful for?

3. Find Your Tribe

By nature, we are social creatures. Connecting with one another helps us thrive, especially when we are faced with difficult times.

Research shows that people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, and greater empathy for others[3].

I wouldn’t be who I am today without the solid tribe of people that I call family. These are my people. Although my circle is small, I know that these people will always have my back, no matter what.

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You become the five people whom you surround yourself with. If you want to be a happy and successful person, you need to make sure that your friends have the same vision as you.

Strive to find people who empower you to become a better version of yourself. They will naturally enhance your happiness and make you feel good about yourself.

4. Connect to Your Body Intelligence

Where people get stuck is that they live too much of their lives in their heads and fail to connect with their body intelligence. Your body is a vessel that is constantly speaking to you.

When you don’t listen to it, you end up getting into trouble. The body is intimately connected to the gut. The more that you go inward and bring attention to your body, the more you are able to connect with your intuition.

It is the place of inner wisdom that brings you back home to yourself. In actual fact, every cell in the body is intelligent, with the heart acting like a conductor for the cellular processes taking place within us in each and every moment[4].

There are a variety of different modalities that allow you to connect to your body intelligence, whether it’s dance, yoga, or chi gong. When you allow yourself to drop out of your head and into your heart, you come to realize that everything you’ve ever needed is already inside of you.

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5. Don’t Take Life So Seriously

Life is so short. If you spend the entire ride worrying and agonizing about everything, you will miss so many beautiful moments. Not only that, but it will create dis-ease in the body.

An overemphasis on seriousness in life lends itself to a narrow way of understanding what’s worth your time and attention[5].

In childhood, we are encouraged to play and be free. However, a lot of people lose this desire once they become adults. If you can relate to this, let me ask your something… what would happen if you slowed down and took the time to enjoy life more?

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and wish that you had laughed and smiled more often. Nobody wants to live with regrets.

The next time that you’re taking yourself too seriously, step back and ask yourself: “Is this situation worth getting so frustrated over?” If not, move on and get back to enjoying life.

Final Thoughts

You can’t always control the external world. However, you can always control your internal world. Finding simple ways to be happy with yourself every day is a commitment. However, it’s worth the effort because you deserve to live a happy life.

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More Tips on Being Happy With Yourself

Featured photo credit: KAL VISUALS via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] American Psychological Association: What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier
[3] Stanford Medicine: Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection
[4] Unimed Living:The Body Is Intelligent
[5] Thrive Global: For A Calmer, Happier Life, Stop Taking Everything So Seriously

More by this author

Ashley Elizabeth

Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

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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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