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When Feeling Down, These 22 Things Will Put A Smile On Your Face

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When Feeling Down, These 22 Things Will Put A Smile On Your Face

When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to turn your mood around. Whether you’re stressed, dealing with professional or personal problems, or just plain in a rut, simple pick-me-ups can make all the difference. Just take a deep breath, and let our favourite smile worthy topics ease the negativity from your mind. No matter why you’re feeling down, these 22 rays of sunshine will help you pick yourself back up. 

 

Anjana The Chimpanzee Raises Tiger Cubs

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    At The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in South Carolina, a two year old chimpanzee is inseparable from her human caretakers. Named Anjana, this adorable chimp has learned how to care for others. Most notably acting as surrogate mother for two white tiger cubs, Anjana’s selfless love will make any day brighter.

     

     This Genius Artist

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       Never underestimate the power of laughter when you’re feeling down.

       

      COMACO Helps People And Animals

      At Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO), conservationists struggled to fight poaching in Zambia. However, in 2001, the group changed tactics. Instead of focusing on how to beat poachers, they tried to understand why people need to poach. What the organization uncovered was villages deeply struggling with poverty. The group changed their approach and started looking at how to employ poachers in other markets. Since 2001, COMACO has helped over 650 poachers train in other industries, mainly farming. This has increased employment and income for the villagers, while drastically decreasing the number of slain endangered animals. A small start, that’s making big waves, towards a brighter future for everyone.

       

      This Guy’s Jig

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        Though it’s short, this little dance gets funnier the longer you watch.

        This Dog’s Jig

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          Don’t forget to do a little dance when you’re feeling down. It’s seems silly, but sometimes silliness is the best antidote for the blues.

           

          This Pig Adopted Tiger Cubs

          At the Chimelong Xiangjiang Safari Park in China, this pig adopted three tiger cubs abandoned by their biological mother. There is nothing like a tiger cub cuddling up to it’s baby pig sibling to make you go “Aww”.

           

          Stylish Matrix Moves

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            This guy’s endless Matrix ollie is one of the better internet edits. Focus on his smug head nod for an instant chuckle.

             

            Neighbors Really Do Care

            In Chesterfield, Virginia, a community rallied together after a local young man delivering pizza was robbed. Stopped at gunpoint, he lost a little over $100 dollars. After hearing about the incident, some neighbors pitched in and ordered a pizza. When he arrived, they gave him a mega tip, more than doubling the amount he lost. More simple proof that humanity shouldn’t always get you feeling down.

             

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            Even When You’re Feeling Down, Little Miracles Happen

            A young girl in San Francisco is a hero after she remembered an important rule during a house fire. When a fire broke out in the kitchen, Galaxy Kong was the only one who woke up. Only 9 years old, Galaxy calmly woke up her dad and led him to safety. The two escaped out of a second story window before the blaze spread upstairs. Most importantly, Galaxy remembered to block the bottom of the door with a towel. This stops smoke from pouring into a room, saving crucial oxygen. In this case, this rule likely allowed Galaxy and her dad enough time to escape.

             

            You’ve Never Been Pranked Like This

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              …Or This

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                …unless you’re the ones in the GIFs, in which case, our condolences.

                 

                Internet On The Moon

                Not only are we now in an age where you can get internet on the moon via a giant laser, this leap in innovation will have important applications. The new means of transmitting data is much faster than our current ways of communicating in space. This means our weather monitoring, storm prediction, and wild fire data will soon reach us much quicker, and be much more advanced. At the very least, giant moon lasers should help you feel better.

                 

                333 People In A Row Pay It Forward

                When you’re feeling down, remember that at a Florida Starbucks, 333 customers in a row paid for a stranger’s coffee. The chain of generosity started when one customer in the Drive-Thru opted to pay their bill, as well as the car’s behind them. The next car received their order for free, so decided to pay for the car behind theirs too. The kindness continued for around nine hours, all between total strangers. No word yet on how the 334th person managed to miss the memo. 

                 

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                The World’s Smoothest Goat

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                  A little proof we can ride out our mistakes.

                   

                  #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies

                  No matter how bad things get, it’s an instant mood boost to see unconditional love. Despite conflicts in the Middle East, Jews and Arabs around the world have taken to Twitter to express their love for everyone. The hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies became popular in July this year, showcasing beautiful sentiments and understanding. Watching others come together during troubling times can turn even the toughest day around.

                   

                  Sometimes, The Timing Is Perfect

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                    Even though you’re feeling low now, things in the future might align better.

                     

                    Sometimes, Everything Works Out

                    Despite huge odds, this minor league baseball player’s dad caught his first home run. What is the likelihood the ball would be anywhere near his dad’s side of the field? When feeling down, don’t forget that incredible things do happen.

                     

                    Sometimes, The Stars Do Align

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                    Similarly, don’t forget that lucky breaks do happen.

                     

                    Karma Can Come For The Jerks In Life

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                      When other people have you feeling down, try to remember that what goes around, comes around.

                       

                      Hard Work Pays Off For Formerly Homeless Valedictorian

                      If the challenges you’re facing have you feeling down, don’t forget that your potential is infinite. A high school student in Florida recently showcased this when he overcame homelessness and personal tragedy to graduate top of his class. Not only is he valedictorian, the student gained enough money to attend college debt free through online fund raising efforts. Proof we can all overcome the challenges we face, even if it looks impossible.

                       

                      Selfless People Still Exist

                      When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to paint everything the same negative color. Keep in mind that lovely people just like you are still out there, making the world go round.

                       

                      Selfless Cities Still Exist

                      Last year, tens of thousands of people showed up to make a San Francisco cancer patient’s wish come true. With the help of Batman, the little tyke rescued the city several times over as Batkid. The police, local sports teams and everyday citizens all got involved to make this dream come true. When you’re feeling down, remember that society still has plenty of bright spots.

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                      Featured photo credit: fauxto_digit via flickr.com

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                      Alicia Prince

                      A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations 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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