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8 Ways To Cultivate More Love in Life

8 Ways To Cultivate More Love in Life
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As we grow more connected to the outside world, we also paradoxically distance ourselves from the “real” people right in front of us. Between Twitter, Facebook, email, and the ever-increasing prevalence of the computer in our lives, it’s becoming increasingly rare to have a face-to-face conversation about anything at all, let alone anything of real substantive value to ourselves and our loved ones.

I advocate a “back to basics” approach that cuts off the ongoing encroachment of technology and reminds us that we’re not cyborgs, but fully functioning human beings. Here are 8 ways to cultivate more love in life that will help you “ground” yourself and interact more completely with your life, instead of just reporting on it on social media.

1) Take a technology detox.

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technology

    You mean…

    Yes. I mean.

    Take a full day. That’s 24 hours. From the time you get up to the time you go to bed, no computer, cell phone, email, or “just popping on to check out what Miley Cyrus did today.” None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Instead of watching TV, radio (music’s still okay, but try to steer clear of the computer to get at it, hmm?), or playing on the computer, take a walk, call some friends, or do something‒ANYTHING!‒but avoid messing around with social media or anything that might somehow tempt you to do so. Post a sign if you have to, so all your friends will know that NO, you haven’t seen Charlene’s latest Facebook update about her breakup with her boyfriend. You can catch up tomorrow. Promise.

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    2) Read a good book.

    This is perhaps one of the most overlooked “simple pleasures” we have. A Kindle’s great, a PDF will do in a pinch, but there is just no substitute for the feel and smell of wood pulp in your hands and actually, physically turning the pages of a book. Many people say that, although e-reading is great, there’s just something about being able to physically touch a book that gives a deeper connection to it. I don’t know how it works, since I’m a writer and not a psychologist, but I can tell you with absolute, 100% certainty that it does. Make today the day you rediscover an old favorite, or support your local independent bookstore and see about scoring some new ones!

    3) Meditate on who you are.

    meditate

      It’s almost a cliche that although we can look back through Facebook and tell you what we ate for breakfast three years, two months, sixteen days and ten hours ago, we have no idea who we really are today. You can counter this tendency by taking a little time to quietly ponder who you are and who you’ve become. Do you like what you see? Are some changes in order? This is a great way to inject some love into your life, because if you don’t like who you are, now is the time to change it. Not on New Year’s Eve, not next week. If you really want to change, the time is now.

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      4) Remind yourself that you, and others, are worthy of love and attention.

      If you feel like you’re being ignored a lot, ask yourself if you’re giving what you’d like to receive. If you are, then it’s time to seek out a new social circle, because the people you’re hanging out with are clearly too self-absorbed. If you’re not, then this is a good time to start giving out what you want to receive. You’ll be liked a lot more, and people will be more likely to pay attention to you when you need them as well.

      5) Ask, “How was your day?”and LISTEN to the answer.

      How To Be A Good Listener That Others Want To Talk To

        “How was your day?” is almost a pro forma question these days. We hear the answer, but don’t really listen because we just can’t wait to get on to the really important topic of OUR day. if you’re not willing to listen to the answer, don’t ask the question; conversely, if you’re going to ask, you owe it to yourself and the other person to listen. Otherwise you’re just wasting your breath asking, and they’re wasting their breath telling you. You can tell if this is happening in your life because when you ask, the other person is reluctant to say anything at all. The more love, attention, and respect you give, the more compassion you’ll receive.

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        6) Touch.

        beach_kiss_250x167.jpg

          This is such a simple thing, but too often it goes ignored. The act of touching conveys much more than simple physical contact. It is a sign that you care about someone enough to get in their space, and to allow them into yours as well. Human beings need touch in order to feel secure and comfortable; it is a social and spiritual act. This can be a friendly or amorous touch, familial or comradely, but everything from a high-five to sex with your lover shows that you care. If you feel lonely, isolated, or unloved, try touching someone you care about. You may be surprised where it leads.

          7) Schedule a game night.

          No, I don’t mean watching football, hockey, or soccer. I mean an old-fashioned table game. Whether you like to play dice, cards, Monopoly, or even beer pong, a game night is a good way to break up the routine and allow some real socialization with friends or family (Sorry, online versions don’t count here). This is an excellent way to reconnect with others and disconnect from the Internet for a night. You’ll be surprised at how much warmer and more cared-for you’ll feel at the end of the evening, too!

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          8) Watch the sunset.

          20090107-sunset1

            There are just some things that cannot be simulated or duplicated. Why not take your lover out around sunset and watch the sun go down? Not only is it a great, intimate way to spend a little time, but it will also help you think about some of life’s bigger questions, like why the things we place such a premium on really don’t matter much in the end. This is a perfect time to tell your partner, “I love you and I’m so thankful that you’re in my life.” You’ll also feel more at peace, which is always a worthy outcome!

            More by this author

            J.S. Wayne

            J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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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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