Advertising

Last Updated on December 4, 2020

10 Things You Need to Learn to Live a Truly Happy Life

10 Things You Need to Learn to Live a Truly Happy Life
Advertising

The older we get, the more that we experience life and the more that we learn what truly makes us happy.

“Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object.” — Herman Hesse

Personally, happiness has always been an intriguing point of interest for me. I have always seen happiness as the epitome of all success that life can bring. If you’re happy, then surely you’ve got everything sorted, right? What more could you want?

Happiness comes in many forms. The good thing is it can be extremely different from person to person. Why is this a good thing? You can tailor everything you do in your life to bring out the happiness in you. You can actually learn to be happy. There are however, a number of key themes that span across all individuals for finding happiness.

To bring out the best in you and help you live a happy life, there are 10 things that you need to learn.

1. Learn to Say I Love You

For some reason, this can be a hard one for many people, particularly with immediate family members. Generally, as you grow older you will come to realize what your family (particularly your parents) have done for you throughout your life and you will learn to become more grateful for what you have. Learning to say “I love you” can make your relationships blossom, and it builds transparency, honesty and trust, ultimately helping you in becoming a happier person.

Advertising

2. Learn to Forgive

Have there been times in your life where you have felt betrayed or let down? Have there been times when you have felt that you have let others down? Although sometimes hard, forgiving others and being able to forgive yourself is essential for being able to move forward and regain a positive outlook in life.

Learn in this guide: How to Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Learn to Say No

Do you struggle with saying no to people, events or situations? Without saying no, you can become overwhelmed and experience imbalance in your life.

Learning to say no is essential for being able to focus on what you truly believe in, what you value and what is important to you in your life.

Take up The Gentle Art of Saying No.

4. Learn to Live Your Passions Every Day

Do you currently incorporate your passions into your everyday life? Spending even the smallest amount of time living your passion each day can have a huge impact to the way you feel and to what you want to achieve in your life.

Advertising

Don’t know where to find your passion? Try this: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

5. Learn to Eat Healthy And Exercise Regularly

The old saying goes ‘you are what you eat’ and even in this day and age the saying is truer than ever. The amount of information on health and wellbeing these days is absolutely enormous.

Scientifically proven through the release of endorphins, eating healthy and exercising regularly can help you live a more fulfilled life and help you feel happier on a daily basis.

Take up some of these healthy habits that will drastically improve your life.

6. Learn to Connect Deeply

Are you afraid of connecting deeply with others at the thought that you may be making yourself too vulnerable in doing so?

Making yourself vulnerable and connecting deeply with others is actually not that hard. Connecting deeply with others can help you become more relaxed, open and honest, helping you to be yourself and ultimately help you become a much happier person.

Advertising

7. Learn to See Life Differently

What’s unique about you? Are you creating your own life and your own lifestyle? Life is not meant to be taken so seriously. Life is simply about enjoying the time that we have.

We only live once. The older you get the more you will realize how fast time slips by, reminding you to slow down and appreciate the moment.

8. Learn to Set Your Goals

Do you set your own goals and work towards them? Or does the World around you do it for you?

We normally get brought up in a society where parents tell you what grades you should aim for, the media tells you how you should live your life, and your teachers tell you how to go about your schooling.

Setting your own goals, focusing on them and pursuing them will enable you to follow what you truly believe in, live by your values and ultimately help you live a much happier life.

This article can help you to set goals: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully

Advertising

9. Learn to Count Your Blessings

What do you take for granted? As you grow and become more aware of the world around you, you will come to realize that you are extremely blessed. Perhaps you are blessed with good health, a good community or the freedom to live a life that you choose. The fact that you have the ability to connect to the internet right now in your leisure, read and learn is a blessing that many do not have.

What do you have in your life or what experiences have you had that other people may have not? Remind yourself of this every day. Counting your blessings will help you take to the World with a positive outlook and a mindset to make a difference.

If you need some reminders on what to be grateful for, here they are: 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

10. Learn to Give

Giving is a fundamental and essential ingredient for happiness. There is no doubt that the more you give the more you get in return.

Giving to others can enhance your relationships, build trust, but most importantly, it can make a difference in the life of someone else, and this is the ultimate in happiness!

Final Thoughts

Have you mastered the 10 key ingredients for happiness? Which ones do you feel would benefit you the most? What can you do today to ensure you go to bed tonight feeling super-happy? Start to take action and live a happier life from now on.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

More by this author

Brendan Baker

Brendan helps people who feel stuck doing work they don't like start to make a difference and an income doing what they love.

3 Strategies to Build Momentum in Life and Find Success 10 Things You Need to Learn to Live a Truly Happy Life You Should Know These 8 Answers Before Your Job Interview Catch Public Transport! A Hidden Gem for Heightened Productivity How to Make 2013 The Best Year of Your Life

Trending in Happiness

1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

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)
Advertising

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:

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

Read Next