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Simple Ways You Can Be Happy Every Day

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Simple Ways You Can Be Happy Every Day

We all strive to be happy. To have happiness resonate from our very being and to then spread that happiness to our loved ones every day. But often we don’t know how. We do know what it’s like to be happy, but how can we be happy every single day? We’ve read advice, yet we don’t have solutions. Well, here is your personal solution list to being happy every day!

1. Love yourself

You’re studying, you’re working, you’re worrying, you’re sorting out your life and seeing where you need to be next, you are just trying to make the best out of your life. But have you made yourself the best you’ve been? When did you last buy those roses you eye everyday? When did you last be your own best friend? Can you remember the last time you took care of yourself? If it’s been longer than a day, it’s time to change that. You are the best friend you can have. Give yourself the best love you can every day. Be it a longer shower, a ridiculous movie, a pastry you know you shouldn’t be eating, a walk in the park, a day at the beach, a quick preview of that book you haven’t gotten to, writing that article you’re so passionate about, or watching a scandalous reality show, whatever it is, as long as you love it. For, to love yourself is the first step to life long happiness.

2. Say Hi to the Outside World

The phone has become our instant mini world. We keep it out so often that we miss out on the real world. Every morning or evening or night put away your phone consciously for about 15 minutes and look around you. Notice the trees, the cars, the fountain, the houses and every time you do, I can bet that you’d see something you’ve never seen before. If nothing else, just walk or drive or take the subway and notice things around you, just for the sake of it, just because you can and because Facebook will always be there (presumably) but your surroundings might not.

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3. Absorb Like a Child

We look so much yet we gather so little. Every time you are out and about, don’t just ‘look’, observe. Observe the things around you, nature, concrete, humans, everything! The tilt of the trees, the fashion on the streets, the building in despair and everything in air. Observe like a child would. Why? Well, why not!?And when you do, you’ll realize that there is so much more life in the concrete, so many more emotions in nature and so much more warmth in humans than we thought there was and there is so much more to the way back home than just a subway stop

4. Sing to the Tunes of Your Body

Listen to your body, closely and carefully. Listen to your mind, your gut, your intuition. Everyday your body talks to you, responds to you. The sleep it gets, the food it consumes, the surroundings it faces, with every passing minute your body responds. Listen to what it says, is it telling to slow down? To take a break? To eat? To sleep? The more you push yourself the more you tire your body, the lesser you listen to yourself.If nothing else listen to your body to be the best at work. Respond to its needs and your body in turn will reward you with healthy system and sharper brain and a happier mind.

5. Let Go of Your Mistakes

So you made a mistake. That time you shouldn’t have called, the best friend you no longer talk to, your mom who you might have ignored or that dog you couldn’t help. It’s been days, if not weeks and it’s still eating at you. We all make mistakes some grave other small but a mistake none the less. Forgive yourself. You are much more than your mistakes. Your mistakes never have and can never define you, you are the only one who can define yourself. So let go of that burden you have to live with and make space in your heart and mind for better memories and maybe different mistakes because with every mistakes and every lesson, you’ve learnt to do something right. Happiness is not just about your achievements, it’s also the lessons your learnt from your mistakes.

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6. Love Yourself for Who You are Today

Wherever you are in life right now, is what you have and what you can work with, what you can change, what you can improve. Love yourself, your perfect, flawed self. Yesterday is mere memory and tomorrow is a hope, a plan but still just a figment of your imagination. Today, wherever you are, however you are, you’re one step closer to tomorrow. And if you want, one step closer to where you want to be. Don’t let yesterday, a mere figment of your memories hold you back. Recognize the power of today and live in the present for there is no force more powerful than a happy mind working today.   

7. Cut Out the Negative Baggage

Every negative vibe that you’ve felt, for every snarky criticism that you didn’t deserve, every unprompted shaming or name calling that you’ve endured, leaves you a little scared, a little hesitant, a little unsure. A lot of these, tear down your spirit and cut short your creativity, even hampering with your self-worth, and your self-esteem. Shun them. Let go of all the people in your life who make you feel anything less than the perfect and able individual that you know you are.  It might be difficult to do so, but do it for your happiness, for we all deserve nothing but the best and we owe it to ourselves to surround ourselves with people who believe the same.  

8. “Health is Wealth”

Work will always be there. Be it at home, in college, at the office, wherever it is, there will always be something to do. Another sad truth of life is that at a work place no one is indispensable. Working hard just enable us a little more security of our ability and bank balance but that’s it. The only thing that is indispensable to you is your health. Going back to the adage ‘no health, no wealth’, without a healthy lifestyle, a healthy body, mind and soul,  your work, your home but more importantly you suffer. Take up habits that enable you to have a healthy lifestyle and a healthier body,mind and soul.  The healthier you are the happier you’ll be. Eat right, exercise more, take breaks often to relieve stress and take up a hobby that give you joy. The healthier you are, the happier you’ll be.

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9. Listen to The Food Gods

With every meal you skip a blood cell dies. No, that’s not at all true, but it could be. The point is you need to eat to be productive and happy. Eat anything but eat something. A fruit, a sandwich, a burrito, whatever you fancy, but eating makes you healthier and happier and then you can kick ass at work! Every time you get an urge to skip food, think of how awkward it would be to have your tummy growl loudly when you’re presenting the material that you skipped food for.

10. Breathe

Every day is a cacophony of motion. The bus, the neighbor, the work place, the colleagues, the deli, everything is loud screaming to be heard and yearning to be ahead. It’s overwhelming and constantly in your face.Well then, how do you get ahead, how do you get happy? By breathing. One breathe at a time. Tune everything out and breathe. Just give yourself a minute and breathe, live in that minute and breathe. To live is to hear the noise, to live happily is to be able to breathe and flourish in those noises, to be loud enough to be louder than the other voices, and breathe enough to be ahead of them all.

11. Find your Happy Place

Remember when as children we used to hide inside our forts? We used to be so happy, so content. What happened to that? Why did we let go? Not because we got older, but because we got busier.We found excuses to escape feeling.  Find your happy place, it could be your home, a park, your room, your kitchen anything, as long as it makes you happy.  The ‘Happy Place’ as ridiculous as it may sound, is simply a space that lets you be vulnerable, insecure and emotional. For you, to be able to put aside your brave facade and let it all out. Every day visit your happy place,let go of everything that’s made you unhappy and feel the happiness seeping into your body. Let your happiness, your happy memories, your happy smiles just infiltrate every part of your body and then quipped with happy thoughts and a happy place go and face the brutal world.

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12. Go Out and Play

The sun, unless you’re in India, in 49 degree weather, makes everything happier, even your body. You get vitamin D, you can ditch the tanning salon, and most of all you get to connect with Mother Nature, be closer to the system that provides for all your basic needs. Be it a walk, or exercising or soccer or taking your dog out, whatever it is find an excuse to embrace the sun. To feel it’s warmth and the light it spreads to everyone on the planet.

13. Acknowledge Your Emotions

When you’re upset, or angry, or sad recognize it, acknowledge it and eliminate it. Most of us recognize our emotions but tend to ignore then in a pursuit of  being ‘cool’. Today the idea of emotions has become so overwhelming that we hide from them instead of acknowledging them. They get so bottled up that then we lash out, especially at our loved ones and then wonder ‘where did all that come from’. The trick to avoid that is to face your emotions everyday, resolve them everyday and then let go of them everyday. Everyday till you start doing it subconsciously, making you happier, more aware and a little more in control of your life.

14. Stop Comparing

Everyone has their shares of trouble, failures and success. More often than not we see people only at the peak of their careers, in less than a moment we assume that they are in some way ‘better’. That they did something that you haven’t, or that they are generally better than you. Take that thought and dump it out in the farthest garbage truck and never look for it again. Everyone is different. Some blossom faster, some slower, but everyone is unique and so are you. If you’re not where you want to be just yet, well, then work towards it. Success is never the end goal, it’s just a perception. Some people see success in raising happy kids, some see it in that bird house they made, some see it in the grades they got, some see it in their bank balance. Your success is how you define it and that defines your path to your happiness.

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15. Be Content

Always remember, especially if you have the means to read this article, that you have something more than someone else. That, whatever you have, no matter how little it may seem to you, is more than what someone else has. No matter what your gender is, what your ethnicity, where you’re from or what you believe in, always be content with how much you have.  Be content with what you have and move forward. Being content is not synonymous with being complacent. To be ahead you cannot be complacent but to be happy you must learn to be content.

More by this author

Sanah Rizvi

Sanah is an influential public speaker and a devoted advocator of female rights.

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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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