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You’ve Been Tolerating These 20 Stressful Things Too Many times, Even Though You Don’t Feel like You Are

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You’ve Been Tolerating These 20 Stressful Things Too Many times, Even Though You Don’t Feel like You Are

We all go through our day-to-day lives tolerating things that stress us out. To make things worse, we have been doing this for so long, that we don’t even notice anymore. Stress is man-made, and we can make changes in our lives to live a more stress-free life, and a happier one at that. Here is a list of 20 things you’ve been tolerating for too long, and some helpful solutions to take away the stress they have been causing.

1. Tolerating comparing yourself to others.

It’s in our nature to look at what others have and compare it to what we have. This causes unneeded stress and can even make you feel like you aren’t as good as the other person. This is simply not true, and the sooner you can stop doing this the better. Instead, compare yourself to you. Look at who you were just a few years ago, and then look at where you are now. Use yourself as both motivation and inspiration to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

2. Tolerating an unhealthy lifestyle.

It looks as though the healthy kick is here to stay, so jump on it! Being unhealthy leads to a shorter lifespan, and can lead to serious health risks. An unhealthy lifestyle can also cause extreme stress and lowered self confidence. Instead of continuing with an unhealthy lifestyle, take the jump and start now. If you keep waiting to get healthy it will only get harder. Making a serious lifestyle change can be intimidating and challenging, but it’s okay to take small steps and ask for help. As long as you are taking steps forward you are heading in the right direction.

3. Tolerating dwelling on the past.

It’s hard not to think about things that happened in the past, and what you could have done differently. Which is why you haven’t noticed that you have been tolerating this stressful act for far too long. Dwelling on the past can end up holding you back from current experiences. Instead, let go of your past, and stop living there. Focus on the now and the future. These are the things that you still have control over. What’s done is done, and you can’t go back and change it. Learn from your past experiences, but don’t dwell on them.

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4. Tolerating keeping people around who aren’t real friends.

Friends are the ones we turn to in times of joy and trouble. That’s why it’s important to have true friends in your life. At some point you will have to end a friendship because it doesn’t contribute anything to your life anymore. Sometimes we keep people around us for longer than we should. Don’t tolerate people who cause more stress than relief in your life. Instead, get rid of the drama in your circle. Focus on spending more time with those who make you a better person, and who contribute to your life in positive ways. You don’t need a million friends, as long as you have two or three true ones. Keeping only those around that make you happy will rid you of unnecessary stress.

5. Tolerating dishonesty.

Life is too short to put up with anything other than the truth. Knowing someone is being dishonest with you is one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s also important to stop tolerating dishonesty from yourself. Why bother lying to yourself anyways? Instead, tell the truth and only accept the truth from others. It might cause more conflict than telling a lie, but in the end your conscience will be clear. Relieving you from stress you put on yourself. Don’t just accept someones dishonesty either, hold others to your standards as well.

6. Tolerating negativity.

Whether it’s personally, or those around you—do not tolerate negative vibes. Negativity can change your overall mood, ruin experiences and opportunities, and hurt relationships. Instead, stay positive. Easier said than done, right? Wrong. When you start to focus on the positive side of things it becomes more of a normal habit. Forming this habit will help you stop being negative, and get rid of the negativity in your life. This will lead to a happier, less stressful lifestyle.

7. Tolerating not appreciating what you have.

Sometimes we forget to cherish what’s in front of us. We get caught up in what’s going to happen, that we forget to live in the moment. It’s easy to think about how things could be, or how we want things to be. We forget to stop and smell the roses. Instead of always rushing for more, take some time each day to focus on what you have now. When you take time to step back and appreciate everything that’s in your life, it’s a good feeling.

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8. Tolerating being focused on your future for happiness.

Life can be stressful when you are constantly telling yourself that everything will be better tomorrow. You miss out on being happy today when you push that happiness off in hopes of tomorrow. Some days are long and stressful, and we just want them to end. But hoping tomorrow will be better takes so much away from today. Instead, think about what you can do today to make things better. It’s not always an easy fix, but putting it off until tomorrow doesn’t help either. We all strive to be happy, so don’t push making yourself happier off until tomorrow.

9. Tolerating procrastination.

Oh how well some of us know procrastination. Myself included. There’s nothing more stressful than having a deadline come up and not being 100% sure you will make it. Instead of putting things off until the last second, as crazy as it sounds, give yourself more time to accomplish a task. When you procrastinate you tend to set aside a certain amount of time to complete a project. It’s usually the exact amount of time you believe you will need—no more—no less. Old habits die hard, but when you start to give yourself more time, you will start to wonder how you ever though procrastination was a good idea.

10. Tolerating letting your previous failures define you.

Everyone has gone through rejection or failure at one point or another in life. It can be difficult to move forward once that happens. Sometimes you can get stuck and focus too much on your failures, that you forget to look at your success. Instead, don’t let your failures define who you are. Take your failures and really learn from them. Use them as a guide to better yourself, or to succeed in something you once failed at.

11. Tolerating not being true to yourself.

Who knows you better than yourself? No one, so don’t stray from who you are and what you believe in. When you tolerate doing things or acting in ways that aren’t true to you it can cause extreme stress. Instead, when situations arise that could put you in a position to change who you are, don’t follow along. Stand up for who you are and respect yourself. Staying true to yourself will take a world of stress off of you. You won’t have to wonder if what you are doing is right or wrong, because you will already know the answer.

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12. Tolerating holding onto grudges.

It takes a lot of negative energy to hold onto a grudge. A grudge will get you worked up and stressed out before anyone else. You might not always be able to forget an incident, but you have full control over how it affects you. Instead of holding onto a grudge, forgive the feelings you have about the grudge. We can’t always forgive and forget, but we can move on. Move forward in your life and leave that negative energy behind you. You will feel a weight lifted from you, and acceptance is easier to handle than grudge.

13. Tolerating excuses.

But I can’t… Yes you can. When we don’t want to do something or want to get out of a situation we make excuses. What you have stopped noticing is how much stress coming up with an excuse can cause. Instead of coming up with an excuse, just be honest. Say what’s real. Own up to your choices, actions, or feelings and cut out the excuses. You will find that life is so much easier without excuses.

14. Tolerating believing in perfect.

Perfect doesn’t exist. Putting too much emphasis on wanting something or someone to be perfect can not only be stressful, but it can take away from your experiences in life. It’s ok for things not to be perfect, that’s what makes life so beautiful. Instead, accept things for what they are, and people for who they are. You might just find that perfect wasn’t what you were looking for after all.

15. Tolerating self-loathing thoughts.

You are the one who has to live with who you are. Sometimes we aren’t always happy with the choices we have made, or the things we have done. However, putting ourself down only hurts us, and prevents us from moving forward. Instead of allowing yourself to have these kinds of thoughts, focus on the vision of who you are. Focus on the good in yourself, and leave out the negative. Build yourself up instead of putting yourself down.

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16. Tolerating keeping a job you hate.

Waking up every morning and dreading going to work puts unnecessary stress on you. Each and every day. We spend more time at work than anywhere else, so you shouldn’t hate what you do. Instead, figure out something that you truly enjoy doing. Keep searching for a job you can see yourself at until you find one. Times are tight, so you might have to stay at your current job longer than you would like. That should be your driver to find a new job in which you would enjoy.

17. Tolerating being financially uneducated.

Money makes the world go round, and it can make your head spin too. Stressing out about money is one of the top problems that keep people up at night. A lot of the headache with your finances can come from not understanding your situation. Instead of continuing down the same path, get yourself educated. Do some of your own research, get your credit score figured out, talk to a financial planner, do whatever you have to do to get financially educated. Put yourself on a new path.

18. Tolerating empty complaints.

There’s a difference between venting and complaining. Empty complains get absolutely nothing accomplished, and bring out negativity. Complaining about something wont make it better. Instead, do something about it. Take action and change whatever it is you are currently complaining about. Being annoyed won’t get you far, but doing something it will.

19. Tolerating feeling guilty for not being able to complete everything.

We all have enough pressure in our lives as it is. Putting more pressure on yourself because you feel guilty won’t help get things done. Sometimes we commit to too much, and end up making things worse on ourselves. Instead, understand that everyone, even you, has their limits. You can’t possibly be in three places at the same time—and that’s okay! Don’t commit to something that you know is a stretch for you to fit in. Either say no, and maybe suggest who else could be counted on, or ask for help. Either way, don’t feel guilty for only being one person.

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20. Tolerating other people’s opinion of you.

How many times have you second guessed something you were wearing or doing or saying, all because you were worried about someone else’s opinion of you? If you are like most people, at some point in your life you probably did this more times than you can remember. Instead of caring so much about other people’s opinion of you, just be you! No second guessing, no overthinking, no changing into something you don’t like- just going with what you feel is right. Take control of your own life and make decisions for yourself.

Featured photo credit: Teenage girl depression – lost love via shutterstock.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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