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15 Beliefs Happy Couples Hold

15 Beliefs Happy Couples Hold
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We’ve all known that one couple that seems to have it all: the couple that still looks at each other with a sparkle in their eyes, and who you can tell are truly happy together. My grandparents have been married for over 50 years. Every time my grandma leaves the room my grandpa comments to me about how lucky he is to have her. Their happiness is what I strive for in my relationship. Any long lasting happy couple has been through thick and thin together, and has outlasted the hard times. Having a happy and working relationship doesn’t come without effort. These 15 beliefs of happy couples don’t just apply to marriage. It applies to any romantic relationship that’s worth fighting for.

1. They believe that communication is key

Communication is hard work, but it is an essential part of any relationship. When you are able to communicate openly and effectively with your significant other it leads to growth in your relationship. Keeping emotions or concerns bottled up because you haven’t learned how to communicate with each other will only damage the relationship. Communication is the first step to a lasting relationship.

2. They believe it’s good for their partner to change

Life is all about changes, so why would you expect your partner to stay the same? Change is good for a relationship, it helps you grow together. Don’t be afraid if you see your partner changing, instead accept and learn with the changes. Happy couples grow stronger through personal changes. Something that once made your partner mad, might one day make them smile, and that’s just how life goes. So roll with the changes, don’t turn away from them.

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3. We’re only human. Mistakes happen, and so do arguments

Neither one of you is perfect, and mistakes are going to happen. Happy couples understand that, and they know there’s a difference between having an argument about it, and having a fight about it. Arguments are normal in any relationship, but it’s the way the arguments are handled that matters. Happy couples talk about the problem instead of placing blame, intentionally trying to hurt the other person, or being vengeful.

4. Honesty is the best policy

We’ve all heard this one before – but it’s the glue to any long term relationship. There’s no good reason to hide something from your partner. Being open and honest will bring you closer as a couple. Lying and keeping secrets from them will only tear you apart. Plus, you should be able to tell your partner anything without them judging you. When something goes wrong, just stick to the truth.

5. They are best friends

A study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that one of the keys to a happy marriage is having your best friend as your spouse. Happy couples share everything with each other, they spend a lot of time together, and they truly enjoy each others’ company.

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6. They believe in having fun together

Relationships might be a constant work in progress, but what’s the point if you can’t have fun? Happy couples believe in the importance of having fun together. Life is too serious to not stop and have some fun together. Make sure to spend some time laughing and trying new things together. Make memories together that you will be happy to look back on later.

7. They believe in the importance of sex

Sex is important to a happy relationship. Happy couples don’t withhold physical attention from each other, especially as a punishment. They talk about sex openly with each other and without criticism from the other. Happy couples have sex often and regularly, and both people participate equally. No matter how busy your life becomes, there’s always time for sex.

8. They believe in putting each other first

Friends, family, work, school, children, sports, so on and so forth. There can be so many things that take up our day. No matter how many things are going on in their lives, happy couples always put each other first. They don’t neglect each other because something else comes up. They make time for each other, and do little things to show the other how much they are appreciated.

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9. They believe in alone time

Happy couples enjoy spending time together. However they know the importance of having some alone time as well. Alone time can help keep you sane, and help keep your relationship strong. Reflection is an important aspect of personal growth, and you can’t reflect on yourself if you are constantly with someone else.

10. They believe in being realistic and living INSIDE their means

Money is one of the most common things couples argue about. This is especially true if one person is less realistic about their money situation. Being realistic and having the ability to live inside of their means is another way happy couples have lasting relationships. Living outside of your means can cause unnecessary stress in the relationship, so be open and communicate with each other about money and spending habits.

11. They share the same values

Whether it’s the importance of family, career, ambition, or something else, happy couples share similar goals and values in life. A couple can be of different religious backgrounds or cultural backgrounds and still have a happy relationship; as long as they have the same goals and values. If both individuals believe in the same thing it will help make the relationship stronger. When couples have different values in life, it can cause a divide. Happy couples push each other to reach their goals, while staying in line with their values.

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12. They respect each other

Respect is something that everyone strives for in life, and often times you have to earn it. Happy couples have a mutual respect for each other. This isn’t because they believe in everything each other says, but rather they have a love and understanding of the other person that is held above all else. They respect each other enough to agree to disagree on some issues, and there isn’t any hostility left over. If you don’t respect each other, then you’re in for a struggle.

13. They support each other

Happy couples know that when shit hits the fan, the other person will be there for them. They support each other to follow their dreams and believe wholeheartedly in their partner’s abilities. When things get rocky, or something devastating happens, there’s no question – their partner will be there for them. They can count on each other to be the support they need to get through anything.

14. They believe in the importance of having your own life

Happy couples aren’t attached at the hip. They spend a lot of time together because they want to, but they also have their own life. One person’s passions or hobbies may be extremely different than the others, and that’s okay. It’s those differences that made you fall in love with them, and are what keeps you amazed by them. Happy couples support the differences they have. Having your own life keeps you interesting to your partner.

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15. They believe that a happy relationship takes work

A worthwhile relationship isn’t always sunshine and roses. It takes work to make a relationship last. Any happy couple understands that at times their partner is going to annoy them, anger them, disappoint them, and frustrate them. People make mistakes and your partner is only human. It’s your ability to get past those feelings and communicate openly and honestly that will lead to a happier and more fulfilling relationship. Happy couples cherish each other and work through the hard times – they don’t just give up.

Featured photo credit: happy couple via i.ytimg.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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