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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How To Make Yourself Happy Today And Every Day

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How To Make Yourself Happy Today And Every Day

Make yourself happy and do it with no regrets. Happiness is a gift from life that you should protect daily. Doing this will help you see more of the pleasant things in life even in the face of the toughest of challenges.

Life is a journey full of ups and downs, and everyone will have a share of joys, sadness, disappointment, and other kinds of feelings associated with living. Moreover, each encounter can help you discover how to make yourself happy.

The secret to navigating through life’s challenges is by remaining happy intentionally and always wearing a smile because sadness does not help solve any problems. It only makes a person so miserable that they won’t be able to think up solutions to the issues being faced.

It is important to know ways to make yourself happy irrespective of the situation you are currently facing. James Oppenheim once wrote, “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise grows it under his feet.”

That said, it is no surprise that most of the things you can do to make yourself happy revolve around finding happiness in yourself and not from other people.

When you make your happiness dependent on someone else, you are very likely to get disappointed a lot. Likewise, when you attach your happiness to material things, you will never find happiness until you get that particular material thing you seek.

Here are 11 things you can do to make yourself happy.

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1. Only Say Nice Things to Yourself

Do you know that little voice in your head you have conversations with? You control it even though it feels like a different entity sometimes. You are happy when people say nice things, and it’s the same when you say nice things to yourself.

If you tell yourself that you are miserable, your brain will believe that and that will make you sad. In contrast, when you say nice things to yourself, your mind reads that as a compliment and that will raise your mood and make you happy.

So, to make yourself happy, it is very important to always say nice things to yourself even when you do something silly.

2. Understand That Life Is a Process

People sometimes put a lot of pressure on themselves by setting their goals alongside a certain age. You hear people say things like, “I should be earning six figures at the age of 27,” or “I should be married at 25” and similar things. If these things fail, they begin to hate themselves or feel ashamed of themselves.

This feeling is one of the significant causes of depression. People get depressed because they are unable to achieve unrealistic goals.

It is essential to accept the way you are at every point and keep working towards your goals. No time is too late to achieve anything you want to make yourself happy.

3. Do Not Compare Yourself to Others

This is a very vital tip on how to make yourself happy. Most people make the mistake of comparing where they are at a particular time with their school mates. And when they see them live what they perceive as a better life than them, they begin to hate themselves for that single reason.

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It is vital for people to always remember that every person runs a different race, and one person’s life shouldn’t be used as a yardstick to judge your progress in life.

Social Media, on its own, has increased the pressure people feel when they see their mates posting their success. You should learn to find happiness in the little things life has offered you, yourself, your family, and many other simple things.

4. Always Forgive Yourself

Some people beat themselves up for so long when they make a mistake or do something wrong. When you beat yourself up for too long for a mistake, you begin to hate yourself for the mistake you made, and you can never make yourself happy when you hate yourself.

The right thing to do when you make a mistake is to sit down and have a complete analysis of the whole issue. If you are wrong, admit your fault and ask yourself questions like, “how can I be better next time?” Then, forgive yourself with a promise that when faced with a similar situation, you will make the right choice. This is important to know if you are determined to know how to make yourself happy.

5. Avoid People Who Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

In life, certain people want to make you feel bad about yourself every single time. Sometimes, these are people we hold in high regard and have a lot of respect for. They can be family members, partners, friends, colleagues at the workplace, etc. These people see no good in people and are toxic to people around them.

Such people will only make you unhappy whenever you have close contact with them. Therefore, it is important to stay away from them if you want to be happy. If a person does not make you happy, then it will do you a lot of good if you stay away from them and find more positive people.

6. Prioritize Your Health

The numerous benefits of eating healthy by consuming less sugar and junk, eating more vegetables, exercising regularly, and taking supplements cannot be overemphasized. Apart from making you healthy, they make you look better, and looking better translates to you loving yourself more.

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Working on maintaining overall health is a form of self-love as that is going to benefit you both physically and mentally. However, when you slip up, you shouldn’t go hard on yourself. A good number of people get very angry at themselves when they eat what they are not supposed to eat or drink what they are not supposed to. It is okay to have that less healthy food your body craves as long as you don’t make it a habit.

7. Spend Money on Yourself

This is one very important part of how to make yourself happy that a lot of people skip. Some people don’t believe that there is a need to spoil themselves sometimes. They would instead get the best stuff for their partners, family members, and even friends, but when it comes to spending on themselves, it becomes a very difficult thing to do.

They would buy the cheapest clothes, shoes, and accessories for themselves even though they would instead want a much more expensive one.

If you can afford the best clothing, then buy them for yourself and make yourself happy. You should make it a part of you to always put yourself first. Try to spend money to get what you want regardless of the price today and see how happy it makes you feel.

8. Make the Places You Spend Most of Your Time in as Comfortable as Possible

As a human being, where you spend most of your time should be made to be very neat and furnished to your taste. This may sound unnecessary, but studies have shown that you sleep better in an elegant, beautiful room and comfortable bed than you will in an untidy room. Likewise, people tend to be more productive working in an orderly and neat office.

Aside from these benefits, being in a place that is as comfortable as you want it to be will give you happiness that will affect your total well-being. So, buy that comfortable bed that has been on your mind or that furniture or appliance you have always wanted to buy if want to be happy every day.

9. Take Out Time to Have Fun

In an ever-busy world, it is very possible to forget about fun and just be all about work. Irrespective of how much you earn from your work or how much you enjoy your job, the human brain is programmed to get weary when the same activity is performed day after day without taking time to wind off and breathe.

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Having fun now and then is very beneficial as it gives the brain the much-needed rest it deserves after a while of working, and it also improves your mood and makes you happier. So, take time away from work and go for vacations, the beach, or any other place of interest that will keep your mind away from work for the time being.

10. Always Have Three Square Meals Daily

Some people get so occupied with their work that they forget to eat sometimes, thereby making them skip a meal or, in the worst-case scenario, two meals. This is a habit a large number of people are guilty of today. This is a very unloving habit to do to yourself.

Don’t ever be so busy that you won’t have time to eat. However, the possibility of actually being so busy cannot be ignored, but a meal should not be skipped even if you end up eating something very light. It is better than nothing.

When you stop skipping meals, you will be surprised to see the effect that can have on your overall mood. That said, it is essential to eat every meal as it is essential in knowing how to be happy always.

11. Helping People Who Are in Need

Helping people who are in dire need also has a way of making you happy. It is essential to show love and care to the vulnerable members of society. This act of kindness has a way of making you feel fulfilled and happier after doing them.

Take a portion of your salary and give to the homeless, the sick, and other people who need help around you and watch how the joy you caused them through your gesture finds a way of coming back to you.

Final Thoughts

Learning a new thing is just a tiny part of the work. Applying what has been learned is where the real challenge lies, and that is where a lot of people falter.

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Happiness is something every human should not be deprived of. A life without happiness is a tough one to live. These eleven tips have shown a couple of practices that can be applied to your everyday life to make yourself happy and help keep a smile on your face even when there is nothing much to smile about.

More Tips on How to Make Yourself Happy

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

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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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