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7 Ways Doctor Who Makes You A Better Person

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7 Ways Doctor Who Makes You A Better Person

Doctor Who is one of my favorite shows, and has been since about a year ago (I barely knew anything about it until one of my obsessed friends told me to give it a chance). Though I haven’t yet had the pleasure of watching the entire classic series, I am very familiar with the modern continuation of it, having watched and re-watched all eight series multiple times.

One thing I like to stress to people who both have and haven’t watched Doctor Who is that it literally made me a better person, or at least gave me a template for what a “good person” should be. Not to say that the Doctors are perfect, but they are heroic figures that one can usually look up to. So, you ask, how exactly does Doctor Who make you a better person, specifically speaking? I’ll tell you below (watch out for the spoilers, there are a bunch of them)…

1. You Will Acquire A More Whimsical Outlook On Life.

Doctor Who Playing Game

    The amount of emotion I exude on a daily basis often gets, more often than not, compared to a character like Dexter from the show Dexter more than anything else. So, you might find it surprising that my favorite modern doctor is 11, portrayed by Matt Smith. This Doctor is known for his constant cheerfulness, whimsical attitude, and brief flirtations with supreme anger and sadness. Whenever I watched 11 I thought to myself, “Man, I wish I was more like that guy!” 11 wasn’t exactly the person I aspire to be, but he embodied everything that I usually lack, what with his ability to exude energy and optimism at all times, connect with all kinds of people, and easily handle every situation with a grin, a fez, and clever one-liners.

    Even his theme music, from the classic “I Am The Doctor” to “The Majestic Tale of a Madman in a Box” emotes a sense of wonder, zanyness, and heroism that I envy. I give 11 credit for giving me the bravery to take theater classes in college, and convincing me to be more “out there” in my social interactions. Thanks Matt, you’ll be missed!

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    2. It Will Open Your Mind To Endless Possibilities.

    DWBP#2

      Well, this is a show about an alien who travels all of time and space, isn’t it? Nothing is impossible here, even the rules of time can be broken if the plot demands it (looking at you Stephen Moffat). This can be said of a few other science fiction shows, but Doctor Who is the only one that truly has no limits in what kinds of stories or situations it can present to you. It’s a good reminder that there’s a nearly endless universe out there to explore, which helps especially when you’re being brought down by the drudgery of daily life.

      3. It Will Teach You About Relationships.

      DWBP#3

        Doctor Who, at its core, is essentially a show about relationships, whether they be between the Doctor and his companion or the companion and another love interest. I’m sure all of you know about the 10th Doctor and Rose, or 11 and River, or Amy and Rory, or Clara and Danny (I guess I’ll throw Rose and Mickey in there too). The relationships on this show aren’t exactly the most stable, and they usually always end in some sort of catastrophic tragedy, but for the most part they are rather realistic and heartwarming, and provide a kind of blueprint for a real life relationship (especially Amy and Rory).

        4. It Will Help You Deal With Loss.

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        DWBP#4

          Doctor Who is one of the only shows I can think of that replaces its lead protagonist with a new actor every few years. While this keeps the show fresh, it also means that you have to see your favorite Doctor die/regenerate. I know I’m not the only one who felt a few tears welling up in their eyes when Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith left the stage. Tennant’s departure was especially jarring, since the show dragged it out so long and pulled on so many of the audience’s emotional strings that a large portion of the Doctor Who watching population refused to give Tennant’s successor Matt Smith a chance.

          Eventually though, most got over it, and came to enjoy the 11th Doctor regardless of the insanely tragic way that 10 left us. As most of you probably know, the 11th Doctor regenerated in a bit more of an optimistic manner, which stayed true to his character and made accepting 12 (Peter Capaldi) much easier. Not only does the Doctor change every few series, but so do the companions. Doctor Who helps you appreciate what you have while it’s still there, as you know that it can and will likely be gone in just a handful of episodes…

          5. You Will Become More Sociable.

          DWBP#5

            The best thing about Doctor Who for many is that it has such a large fanbase. I’ve worn a shirt that says “Bow Ties Are Cool” in several states across America, and everywhere I’ve gone I’ve had fellow Who fans high five me or comment on my apparel. It’s like being part of a secret club. It takes a peculiar person to like Doctor Who, and so right off the bat, if you find a fellow fan, you know you’ll have a ton in common. I will say however that it’s a bit of a strange fanbase, demographically speaking. Teenage girls and middle-aged men alike find something to like about the show, which I suppose says something about its magic.

            6. You Will Be More Inspired (Thanks To Its Soundtrack).

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              “I am the Doctor, and I name you THE BONELESS!”

              Doctor Who‘s music has a strangely satisfying effect on me. All I need to do is listen to one of the many versions of its theme song, or any of the Doctor’s themes, and I’m instantly pumped and ready to go. Even right now, as I type this, I’m listening to one of the Matt Smith era songs “A Mad Man In A Box,” which, while being slightly tear-inducing, is also highly motivational. The 12th Doctor’s theme music doesn’t have a name yet (at least not that I can find), but it’s equally inspiring to listen to.

              The 10th Doctor’s themes were a bit on the sad side, but also had heroic flourishes of their own. Maybe I’m just incredibly nerdy, but I often make a playlist of songs from Doctor Who’s many soundtracks and listen to them to push myself just a bit harder during my runs or other exercises. Nothing like reaching mile number two, feeling drained, and hearing the familiar intro to “I Am The Doctor” stream into your ears!

              7. You Will Be Able To Stand Up For Yourself.

                “I’m the Doctor. Basically…run.”

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                The modern iteration of Doctor Who has had its darker moments, and such times have required the Doctor to take things into his own hands and not let anyone or anything stand in his way. The 9th and 12th Doctors have been particularly harsh when it comes to dealing with enemies and allies alike, when it serves their purposes. 10 and 11 were a bit more on the whimsical side, especially the latter as noted above, but they too could turn on a switch inside their Time Lord minds and become absolutely scary in terms of how brutally they dealt with their enemies. The bottom line here is that, while you can be whimsical like 11, emotional like 10, or stubborn like 12, what truly matters is that you are able to put your foot down when it counts and not allow yourself to be stepped on, by anyone or anything.

                It was about a year ago today that I started watching Doctor Who on a daily basis, and it only took me about a month to catch up (actually, Matt’s last episode was the first one I caught live). While it didn’t teach me everything I know about life, it did make me a better person in a multitude of ways, more than I can even list here. They do say opposites attract, which is why I think I was so enamored with 11 and his out-of-the-box way of perceiving just about every situation. While I miss the man with the big hair, and all of his predecessors, I have enjoyed his successor as well (though this past Saturday’s finale was a bit too Clara-centric for my liking). Did Doctor Who change your life, or at the very least, change your perception about something? Please share in the comments below!

                Featured photo credit: Matt Smith’s Bow Tie/Paul Hudson via flickr.com

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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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