Advertising

10 Ways to Immortalize a Loved One

Advertising
10 Ways to Immortalize a Loved One

Losing a loved one is a universally shared experience. However, the pain and emotion we experience is still deeply personal.

It can be difficult to accept that your friend or family member won’t be around anymore, but there are many things you can do to ensure his or her memory lives on forever:

1. Plant a Tree Using Their Ashes

plant a tree

    There is something humanly beautiful about the circle of life. Cremation creates the opportunity to experience this phenomenon first hand. Use your loved one’s ashes to plant a tree in their honor.

    Companies like Bios Urn and Poetree allow you to use the memory of a deceased family member or friend to impact the world in a meaningful and environmentally friendly way.

    2. Name a Star After Them

    Advertising

    stars

      Stars are powerful representations for many of us, both figuratively and literally. If your deceased friend or family member was an astronomy enthusiast or just represented a strong influence in your life, star-naming is a wonderful option.

      The International Star Registry is a company that will allow you to commemorate the name and memory of your loved one beautifully.

      3. Get Their Portrait Tattooed on Your Skin

      tattoo

        If you are a body-art enthusiast, having a portrait of your loved one tattooed on your body can be a very personal way to pay tribute to someone.

        Just be sure to choose a reputable artist to get the best quality work. The last thing you want is a bad experience associated with something so meaningful.

        4. Keep a Diary of Your Thoughts to That Person

        Advertising

        journal

          Sometimes losing someone means being left with unexpressed feelings. Other times it means positive life experiences lose their luster when they can’t be shared with a loved one who has gone on.

          Journal writing can be very therapeutic. Perhaps writing to the person you’ve lost and sharing your emotions, dreams, concerns and thoughts can keep his or her memory alive.

          5. Print and Frame a Collage of Old E-mails or Texts They Sent to You

          collage

            We tend to miss the everyday things about the people we lose. Maybe your best friend would send you funny emails every Friday. Or maybe your husband would send you sweet texts as he thought of you throughout the day.

            Crafting a collage or shadow box with reminders of the person you loved can serve as a source of inspiration.  Or, when you’re feeling down, these beautiful reminders can lift your spirits.

            6. Start a Charity or Advocacy Movement in Their Honor

            Advertising

            charity

              Many people find it fulfilling to advocate on behalf of friends or family members who died tragically or unjustly. Pushing for change in the name of your loved one gives a tragic death an honorable memory.

              The family of Kyle Lewis started an amoeba awareness campaign after the four-year-old died from an amoeba contracted while swimming in fresh water. The family spreads awareness about freshwater swimming and provides nose plugs for free.

              7. Don’t Lose Touch With Their Family

              stay in touch

                Families often become distant when people pass away. Keeping in touch with each other not only keeps the memory of your loved one alive, but also honors the loved one’s desire to see your families stay together.

                It doesn’t take much to periodically call or send a card to siblings or cousins. Just let them know you’re thinking of them.

                8. Remember Their Birthday Every Year

                Advertising

                birthday

                  Birthdays can be really hard for surviving family members and friends. Instead of being sad, though, many people throw birthday parties, visit their loved one’s grave site or participate in some other activity in their memory.

                  9. Write a Creative Nonfiction Story About What They Meant to You

                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/34222973@N08/3402221680

                    Special experiences shared with loved ones are dear to us. After a close friend or relative has passed away, remembering the good times and shared experiences helps keep their memory alive.

                    Write a short story about a particularly inspiring, deep or positive shared moment. It’s a wonderful way to both express yourself and share the memory of your companion with others.

                    10. If You Can, Make Sure They Know How Much They Mean to You Right Now

                    know you care

                      One of life’s hardest lessons is learning that you must show and tell the people dear to you that you love and care about them. Make sure they know how much they mean to you now. Don’t wait until they’ve gone away to appreciate life with them.

                      Advertising

                      While we all suffer greatly at the loss of loved ones (which speaks volumes for the strength of love), we can channel that grief into something beautiful by focusing on honoring their lives and memories.

                      Featured photo credit: pamhule via flickr.com

                      More by this author

                      Kayla Matthews

                      Productivity and self-improvement blogger

                      10 Best Free Job Apps You Need For Effective Job Hunting 41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About 50 Best Documentaries Of All Time That Will Change Your Life Try One of These Nighttime Routines for a Better Morning 10 Self-Improvement Tips for Winter (None of Which Require Leaving the House)

                      Trending in Communication

                      1 10 Signs You Are in a Codependent Relationship (And What To Do About It) 2 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 3 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 4 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 5 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                      How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                      Advertising
                      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:

                      Advertising

                      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.

                      Advertising

                      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.

                      Advertising

                      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.

                      Advertising

                      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:

                      Advertising

                      • 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

                      Read Next