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5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

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5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

Life can get monotonous with the daily grind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are easy, simple ways that you can make life fun everyday. Before I give you the 5 tips to bring more adventure and joy into your life, I’ll share with you how I realized how important it is to integrate these tips into your life.

Over a decade ago I was enamored with the Jack Kerouac road-trippin’ adventurous lifestyle. I got on a plane to Costa Rica with only a small backpack and a guide book. No plans, no reservations and barely a word of Spanish on my tongue. That same year I traveled across Canada with a friend and spent my summer picking cherries in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. These adventures sparked freedom and joy into my life. I knew I had to maintain this feeling.

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When I moved to Vancouver to pursue my studies in nutrition, I knew I had to bring that quality of adventure into my everyday life. I thought about how when you are traveling, or on the road, every new landscape is breathtaking. Every moment is a joyous surprise. I received pleasure from walks through unknown streets and forests on my many travels, and realized how simple it could be to bring this joy and adventure into my every day.

That was 8 years ago now, and to this day I still look for the adventure and joy in the everyday. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to keep life exciting:

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1. Follow Your Feet

Let your feet guide you. When you go on a walk that is meant for enjoyment, instead of having a pre-conceived route of where you think your walk or run will take you, let your feet speak for you. It is an intuitive practice of allowing your body to guide you, and often leads to the discovery of new streets, parks, and a total sense of adventure. As you set out on your walk with the intention of your feet being your guide, you will find that your body will have a pull to a certain direction—go with it. To this day I still discover new roads, routes, and gorgeous havens that amaze me all the time. I recently found a magical forest near one of my favorite beaches. I couldn’t believe that 8 years went by and I hadn’t discovered it until about a week ago. That’s the beauty of adventure and following your feet!

2. Take Mini-Trips

Month-long and year-long adventures are not realistic for many people. But most of us can find a day or a weekend to get out of town and explore. Getting out of your city and exploring a new city or quiet rural village, or island, is an adventurous way to spark joy into your life. Out here in Vancouver, there are many islands near the mainland that feel like I am far away from the bustle of my own city and transport me to a whole new life, if even for just a weekend. Whether you live near some islands, or are simply a few hours away from another gorgeous city or town, getting out of your everyday surroundings helps to spark your spirit and rejuvenate your sense of appreciation and joy for the little things.

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3. Use a different route to work

If you are not in a huge rush and can afford an extra 10 minutes to give a new route a try, do it! Through walking or driving down a different street you may discover a new shop or park that you never knew existed. So many treasures often lurk just meters away from us. If you always stay on the same path, you will never know what wonders are just around the corner. Since not taking your regular route can throw your timing off balance I recommend leaving your house a few minutes earlier to account for the minor time difference it may take. It is incredible how just one block over you may discover the place you dreamed of.

4. Shop for groceries somewhere new.

I find when I travel, the supermarkets and stores are always so different than what I am used to back home. Usually it’s because I am in some mega store in the USA where there is ten times the options as here in Canada, or I’m in Mexico astonished at their wide selection of tropical fruits and tortillas, and small overall assortment of food through the aisles. Nonetheless it contributes to the adventure of discovering a new place. I do the same thing here. There are a few major chain stores and several mini-marts. I find that when I go into a store I rarely visit, I discover an exciting and different array of options, and it contributes to a sense of adventure in my discovery of something new to try. It’s amazing how these little things really add a sense of adventure to your day.

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5. Do something out of the ordinary.

When I travel I am always checking out new cafes and restaurants. My daily routine changes and I am living more in the moment. When I am lacking adventure, I’ll purposefully get out of my regular routine, and head off to a new café as if I was traveling, or start my day off in a slightly different manner. If you find that every Saturday you have the same weekend routine, splash it up by deliberately changing what you do. It may involve going out to eat somewhere different, or putting your chores on hold while you craft up something new and fun to do. During the week you might decide to set your alarm a little earlier so that you can start your day differently, perhaps with a little walk or reading a book. The little changes that you make to your daily or weekend routine create a sense of novelty and joy.

Now it’s your turn. Did this article inspire you? Then put it into action! Take one of these tips and mark down in your calendar when you plan to engage in your first adventure. Then have fun with it and see where the adventure takes you. Report your plans and insights in the comments below. Let’s all live with a little more adventure and fun in our lives.

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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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