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10 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Giving Feel Good

10 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Giving Feel Good

Giving always seems a very simple thing to do; however, it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially when you feel that you are giving something that you might lack, such as love or money. When you possess a lack mentality, it almost seems impossible to give. You ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” and feel resentful rather than open hearted and good about it.

Life is about giving, and giving one of the many things that should be done unconditionally and with no expectation of return. If you give away what you feel you lack, but give it anyway from an open heart, then you’ll receive more stuff to feel good about, which results in more giving.

Life is meant to feel good, so I’ve come up with 10 points to help make giving feel good again!

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1. Make giving a choice rather than a chore

When giving feels false or forced it can make you feel used, taken for granted, or worse—resentful. All of these feelings do little for the soul and are hardly ways to make giving feel good. Like many things in life—getting up on a Monday morning, for example—when you’ve got to do something rather than it being a conscious choice, it can make it that little bit harder.

So when you’re giving, make it a choice rather than something you feel you have to do. If it’s up to you and you’ve decided when, how and who you are going to give to, it’s going to make you feel more excited about it and you’ll want to do it again and again!

2. Give a little but give often

Giving is a wonderful feeling, especially when you can give little amounts often. It is far better to give what you can than stretch yourself and give a lot in one go. To make giving feel good, it’s wise to start small then build it up as you go along. It’s great to see what you give as you give it, seeing the progress made step by step.

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3. Giving encourages others to give too

Have you ever given someone a hug only to have them hug you back, or paid for a cup of coffee only for a cup of coffee to be paid for and gifted to you? When you give it’s a bit like yawning, it becomes contagious. The only difference is that the person you give to may not always be the one to give back. However, the receiving will be returned, either by someone else or through another gift. Giving opens people’s eyes to the magical feeling it can bring, a satisfaction like no other and that can be repeated time and time again.

4. Giving can make a massive impact on the world

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of giving when you see the impact one gift can make. It can impact on just one person, an entire community or even the planet. To make giving feel good and to see the difference you can make is one of the best feelings ever. Seeing a poor person smile, a child learning to read or a dog being given a new home can change a bad day to a very good day indeed.

5. Giving can make you appreciate all that you have

When you give, it’s normally to help another who is lacking in some way. It can be because there is a lack of money, lack of love, lack of shelter or perhaps a lack of food. Whichever circumstance it might be, when you see how others suffer it can make you look at your life in a whole new light. When you see others in need, giving to them what you already have can make giving feel good because you appreciate what you have a whole lot more.

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6. Giving more of something you wish to receive

It’s amazing how giving love, money, kindness or other such luxuries can make you feel good, especially when you feel somewhat lacking in those things. When you give with an open heart and no expectation the very things you would love to receive, you will receive them back and more so. If you want to receive more money, then give your own money away—be generous and make it a pleasure to give.

7. Giving help to connect with others

When you give it creates a special kind of bond between you and the person or thing you are giving to. It can create an unspoken connection of gratitude, love and compassion, especially if the receiver of your gift finds it hard to express how they feel. Connection is what gives many a purpose in life, that amazing feeling of being understood by another and knowing that you are not alone. Give to connect and you will always feel good!

8. Give anonymously and reap the rewards of doing so

The gift of giving is very special, even more so when you expect nothing from it, not even a thank-you. When you give anonymously there is no expectation at all, other than that you’ll feel good about yourself and about life. This is the ultimate gift of giving because there is no ulterior motive or conditional expectation; you are giving because you can and you want to.

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9. Giving makes life beautiful

Life is beautiful; especially when you put others’ wants and needs before your own. You’ll understand that there are greater things than just what makes you happy, and being mindful of that will make giving feel good. You’ll see life through other people’s eyes and see how making their lives better through giving makes life beautiful.

10. Giving gives you a purpose in life

Ever feel like there’s something missing in your life, or do you ever wonder why you were put on this planet? When you make a habit of giving back, it will instill a sense of purpose in your life and make you wonder why you never started it years ago! It’s only as you grow that you realize what matters in life, that there are other things to consider and to do whilst you live this one and only life. A purpose will make you leap out of bed in the mornings, eager to get on with the day and give it your all. So give like you’ve never given before!

Featured photo credit: Give me love/ Lara Von Lion via flickr.com

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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