Advertising
Advertising

5 Reasons Why You Should Let Go Of Things That Won’t Make You Happy

5 Reasons Why You Should Let Go Of Things That Won’t Make You Happy

With every cliché that has been said about happiness, as well as the handful of films and literary pieces that it inspired into creation, it is clearly one of the things people yearn for and go great lengths to achieve. Some take one day at a time, while others take on full-blown transformations synonymous to their definition of happiness.

However, there are many who view happiness as some form of finish line that not everyone is lucky enough to reach. What they don’t realize is that happiness isn’t always about the destination. More often than not, it is in the trip itself where you find what you’re looking for and that anyone can make it there.

But here’s the thing. Sometimes, before we get to the first step of our quest for bliss, we are confronted with major building blocks that we can mistake for happiness. For instance, having a job may make you feel content, but if it’s a job that you don’t exactly like doing, is it really worth calling a source of happiness? The harder part is that it’s difficult to call futile things as they are, much less let go of them completely especially if they have become an integral part of your comfort zone. But hey, don’t they also say that life begins right outside it?

Advertising

So to get you started on your road trip to happiness, here are five reasons you should let go of the things that don’t make you happy now, because guess what? They probably won’t make you happy in the future either.

 1. A healthier you.

If you think that your unhappiness doesn’t have an impact on your well-being, think again. In a study conducted by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, it is stated that constant exposure to stress, especially as early as childhood, can inflict harmful effects on a person’s brain and other systems of the body. This can cause a person’s stress hormones to jump faster than normal. Even worse, he or she might develop heart-related ailments. Stress caused by negative emotions can affect bodily functions and aggravate diseases that a person already has, even a common cold.

On the other hand, stress is almost always inevitable, but it pays to channel it to constructive ways. You can start by simply being enthusiastic and positive about a stressful situation. You should also seek support from family and friends so that you don’t carry the whole weight of your burden. However, if you’d rather spend time alone, you can channel your stress through relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, or even painting.

Advertising

2. Better relationships.

More often than not, it is those who are close to us that can sense if we are upset or if we are in a good mood. However, there are some who would rather deal with their issues alone that they tend to push people away. While isolating yourself for a while can be helpful, deliberately refusing comfort or help from, say, your partner or a close sibling can cause strain on your relationships.

Instead of figuring out the solution by yourself, consider reaching out to a loved one or a trusted family member. You don’t necessarily have to ask for advice; if it’s only a sympathetic ear you need, the people who truly know you and care about you will respect your choice. However, if you find your relationship going through the adverse effects of negative emotions, you can always seek professional help such as marriage counselling.

3. A thriving career.

One of the most common but downplayed symptoms of unhappiness at work is mentally holding on to the weekend for dear life and wishing you could delay Monday’s arrival.  Such a scenario might be easy for some to shrug off and just get along with work, but if you have a serious case of procrastination, it’s time you do something about it.

Advertising

Being stressed at work is all right as long as you still get the satisfaction of doing your job the way you did when you started. Whether it’s the corporate ladder you chose to climb, or started your own enterprise, or pursued your calling in the arts, it’s important that you are genuinely happy about your work. Otherwise, you risk doing half-baked tasks and recording a poor performance–all of which can severely affect your career.

Find ways to rearrange your work routine that will help you accomplish more tasks faster and smarter. If all else fails, you might want to consider quitting, because there is no point in staying in a job that you don’t look forward to doing.

4. A strong bond with your kids.

If your partner is on the front line of your domestic stress absorption committee, your kids come in as close second. For instance, you had a long day at work and you’re welcomed by your son badgering you to play with him. While it’s possible that you’ll give in the first few times, it’s also possible that you won’t when you become more and more tired in the office. On the other hand, if you have any inkling that your unhappiness affects your relationship with your children, take some time to look into the situation and see what you can do to avert a potential crisis.

Advertising

Exposing kids to stress can influence them to develop anxieties at an early age and have a conflicted relationship with you. What’s worse is if they develop an unhealthy point of view with having kids of their own in the future. So before you put your kids at risk of such behavior, take it upon yourself to foster between you and them the kind of bond that overlooks stress—a loving one.

5. Life is short.

Not everyone gets a chance, let alone a second one, at things, such as literally and figuratively having a life. If you take into account the reasons listed above and your future, you have more than enough reasons to let go of the things that make you unhappy and pursue what your heart is telling you to. Besides, sticking up for something that doesn’t make you happy only prolongs your agony.

But here’s a fact–you never know how much time you’ve got on your hands. The question is, are you really going to let whatever you have slip by just because you’re too busy griping over things that don’t even make living worthwhile?

Advertising

Letting go of things that you’ve become used to can be really tough. However,  if you want to be truly happy, you need to let go of the good things to make room for the better ones. Just think—if you don’t see yourself doing something in the next five years, why do it at all? But if you’re searching for happiness and you have your loved ones in tow, don’t settle for things you know are holding you back.

Featured photo credit: surfer via megahdwall.com

More by this author

20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree The Challenges of being an Online Entrepreneur 10 Full-proof Ways to Improve Your Productivity and Balance Website Security And Why It’s Needed For Small Businesses 10 Must-Do Things to Prepare for an Awesome Road Trip

Trending in Communication

1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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)

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