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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

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10 Morning Habits Of Happy People

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning people are generally happier than night owls, according to a study. Night owls tend to become morning people as they age. Whichever one you are, it is fascinating to look at the morning habits of happy people because you can be inspired by them. You can also reject what does not suit you at all, of course.

Everyone approaches mornings according to their character. Winston Churchill had a rather lazy morning routine but he still managed to lead the Allies to victory. He used to wake up at around 7.30 a.m. but would stay in bed having breakfast, reading the newspapers and dictating until 11.a.m.

Anne Wintour (editor of Vogue) has a very different morning routine in that she always gets an hour of tennis in before 6.45.a.m.

Here are 10 habits that successful people have for a happy morning every day. Choose the ones which appeal to you and fit your lifestyle.

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1. They Wake up Feeling Grateful

As they wake up, they always feel grateful for being alive, for the gift of life and for the joy of a new day. When things are bad, make a list in your mind of all the positives.

Research shows clearly that people who regularly express gratitude are less likely to suffer from loneliness, anxiety, depression or envy.

2. They Never Skimp on Breakfast

They know that this is the most important meal of the day. It provides you with all the essential nutrients, minerals and energy you are going to need for the day. Planning a good breakfast the night before is also a good idea. You will be able to get some of the things ready so you can save time when you are under pressure during your morning schedule.

3. They Never Forget the Spiritual Connection

“The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe, before it’s gone.” – Sufi, 13th century poet

As they wake up, they dedicate some time to mindfulness, prayer, meditation, yoga, or offerings to Buddha. These are all valuable ways of connecting to the present reality and savoring these precious moments before going on auto-pilot.

4. They Get Exercise Before They Start to Work

“I ride my bike to work because it creates a stress-free time. I get my best ideas on my bike” – Tania Burke, President of Trek Travel

Some people prefer to walk the dog early in the morning or cycle to work, if that is feasible. Other people, like President Obama, start their daily workout at 6.45.a.m. One study reveals how much more beneficial pre- breakfast exercise can be although it might not suit everybody.[1]

5. They Plan Their Good Deeds

“The morning question, what good shall I do this day?” – Benjamin Franklin

It should come as no surprise to learn that when happy people help others it increases their happiness, rather then being a burden. Studies published in the Journal of Happiness Studies illustrate this clearly.[2] Other studies show that these happier and kinder people will live much longer.

“Money doesn’t make people happy. People make people happy.” – Steve Wynn

6. They Rarely Ruminate About the Past

Happy people have one thing in common. They very rarely express regrets about the past. They know that life is for living now and that to-day is the main event. They never let it be hijacked by the past or yesterday’s failures.

7. They Make Happiness a Habit

Did you know that as much as 40% of your daily activities is sheer habit or routine? You are on auto-pilot half the time. Happy people make gratitude, joy and mindfulness a part of that habit and it always works for them, espeacially in the morning..

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8. They Reject the Morning Distractions

Happy people know that they do not want those distractions form news, emails and text messages muscling in too early. They will damage their early morning serenity in getting their gratitude and mindfulness act together. This is what is important. Those messages can wait till much later. This also helps them to approach all the deadlines, meetings and tasks with much more serenity.

9. They Have Set Their Daily Goals

Happy people know what when they do start work, they should try and get the most difficult task done first. It is just part of a list of objectives but they have always clear goals and have prioritized what they want to get done. It increases their happiness.

Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin has researched all this He found that when you see progress towards achieving a difficult task or goal, this increases happiness and also suppresses all the negative emotion.[3]

10. They Have Taken out a Happiness Subscription

When you meet happy people, they give you the impression that they have opted in for a happiness subscription. They are not waiting around or hoping vaguely for random happy events to knock on their door. They are making happiness and spreading it around. That is why they always stand out in the crowd!

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“The happy people are failures because they are on such good terms with themselves they don’t give a damn.” – Agatha Christie

More About Leading a Happy Life

Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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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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