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How To Get Over A Breakup And Move On With Life

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How To Get Over A Breakup And Move On With Life

Maybe you just got dumped, or perhaps you had the unfortunate task of breaking up with someone. Whether it was long or short term, the end of a relationship can be heart breaking. Someone who was once so close to you is now gone, and that can almost feel like a death sometimes. And in a way it is—it’s the death of love. It may feel like you’ll never get over it, but I can assure you that you will in time. One thing you can do is try and make it easier on yourself by applying some of the following tips to your post-breakup life. I’m not saying that they’ll make you feel spectacular in ten minutes’ time, but they’ll certainly make it easier to move on.

1. Allow Yourself a Break

You’ve just been through something traumatic, and proper attention must be paid. It’s okay to give yourself a little break from life for a while. Before you start running for the kitchen knives, I mean that you need a holiday away from normality. Give yourself permission to focus on yourself and neglect some things that can handle it. Just make sure it isn’t your hygiene. Take a few days off work if you can. Indulge in some of your ‘sometimes’ foods. Do what you need to do on your vacation from the real world. Just don’t break any laws or engage in stalking.

2. Think, But Don’t Obsess

We all need time to wallow after a breakup, but you should only allow it up until a point. What you don’t want to do is become Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Eventually you need to think about the breakup and the relationship reasonably. There are reasons why it didn’t work, and whether they were good ones or not you need to accept them. Think rationally about them and know that things wouldn’t be better if you were still together if you weren’t both happy.

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3. Give Yourself Space

Even if you guys decided to remain friends, you simply have to give yourself time away from each other. If you don’t, someone is bound to get hurt further and you’ll have to deal with two emotional melting pots. Believe me, one is more than enough. Give yourself a chance to get over the person. Or, if you were the dumper, give your ex the chance to get over you. You don’t want somebody to take something the wrong way. In addition to making the healing process easier, it will also give you a better shot at being friends later down the road.

As a guideline, standing outside the person’s bedroom with a boom box would not be giving yourself space.

4. Let Yourself Feel

Bottling your emotions up simply isn’t healthy. I know it isn’t fun, but you need to have your mourning period. Let yourself cry and yell. Assume the fetal position on the couch whilst watching your RomCom of choice. That goes for you too, gentlemen. I’ve seen you do it with my own eyes. Doing these things are good methods of catharsis.

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5. Feel in an Appropriate Way

Again, wallowing is a necessary step in the healing process but you must not let it get out of hand. You need to let both your ex and yourself move on. This can be particularly difficult if the other person finds somebody else, but you simply need to accept it. Don’t let negative emotions rule your life forever, because the only person you’re actually hurting is yourself…unless you plan on boiling some bunnies, but I strongly advise against that.

If nothing else, do you really want to be branded as the crazy ex? Even if the other person was or is a complete douchebag, you shouldn’t give them the satisfaction or power of letting them rule your life well after the relationship is over.

6. Don’t Go Through It Alone

Surrounding yourself with supportive, loving people is one of the best things you can do during a breakup. They will restore your self-esteem and remind you how to have fun. Also, it’s always better to have someone else to yell “bastard” with.

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7. Cleanse

I don’t mean your face, but that’s always a positive thing too.

Take the time to get organized and get rid of any unwanted stuff lying around your home. This means absolutely anything of your ex’s that you’ve been holding on to for the sake of memory. You can do the mature thing and ask if you would like them back, or you could build a ritualistic fire and burn them. Your choice.

In addition to keeping you busy, getting rid of old junk, particularly ones with bad memories attached, will also make you feel clean and refreshed on the inside too. It’s a much cheaper option to colonic irrigation.

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8. Eat Well

Although ice cream is imperative for proper breakup wallowing, at some point you need to put it back in the freezer and start eating healthy. Although it may sound like it, this has nothing to do with ‘looking hotter’ for the opposite sex. Screw them. This is all about you. Adopting healthy eating habits has been scientifically proven to help boost your mood. Although it may seem like chocolate will always make you feel better, some lovely fruit, vegetables and smoothies will do a much better job. You’ll also feel less drained and be far less likely to spiral into a depression.

9. Exercise

It’s all about endorphins, baby.

It seems like all of your happy feelings go screaming for the hills after a breakup, and it’s about time you go and chase after them. The endorphins released during and after a workout will make you feel elated, energized and even happy again. If you’re not much of an exerciser, you can always start small. Take the stairs instead of an elevator or maybe go for a walk. Try doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to get rid of the blues. I would personally recommend boxing so you can imagine that the bag is your ex’s head.

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10. Be Thankful

I know that you’re feeling hurt, perhaps even crushed, and that being thankful for anything may seem impossible. Despite how you might feel, there are things in your life to be grateful for, and now is the best time to dwell on them. As an exercise, write down all of the things in your life that you’re thankful for. If there are people on the list—tell them. Doing so may just pull you out of your gloom.

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle 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)

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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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