What Will You Do When Facebook Jealousy Strikes?

If you’re feeling blue, Facebook could be the culprit. Those hours spent on social media looking at other user’s exotic vacations, new sports cars, and adorable children could be making you depressed about your own circumstances.

That’s the conclusion a number of studies have reached. After all, social media is like a movie trailer that includes all the funny lines and memorable scenes without any of the boring moments. How can real life measure up when it looks more like the footage from a security camera at the mall?

If you want to stay connected on social media without developing an inferiority complex, study these tips. What you do on and offline can protect you from Facebook envy.

Steps to Take Online to Fight Facebook Jealousy

1. Hit the like button. When you notice a twinge of resentment creeping up, turn it into appreciation. Vote up those announcements from friends who received a promotion or bought shoes you wish you could afford.

2. Limit your hours. Track how much time you spend on Facebook, and how you feel afterwards. You might prefer to check your notifications just once a day.

3. Browse elsewhere. Search for more enriching content. Keeping up with news stories and research studies may give you more helpful information to share.

4. Weed out your news feed. Are there some posts that turn you green with envy? Consider hiding messages from some users, especially if you have little contact with them outside of social media.

5. Put away vacation photos. Vacation photos are the leading cause of Facebook envy, according to one study done in Germany. A whopping 56% of users said they sometimes resent seeing others frolicking on sandy beaches. You can stop the envy spiral and have more fun by sharing your vacation shots over coffee.

6. Respect privacy. Creeping or facestalking can be an especially intense form of jealousy. If you’re tempted to monitor the activities of a romantic partner, try communicating directly instead. If it’s an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s probably time to move on.

Steps to Take Offline to Fight Facebook Jealousy

1. Be yourself. Social media can be a happy place as long as you avoid comparing yourself to others. Understand your purpose and be guided by your own definition of success.

2. Count your blessings. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to Facebook envy. Start a journal listing the good things in your life.

3. Meet in person. Put down your phone and turn off the computer. Spend more time interacting with loved ones face-to-face. Attend a concert together instead of looking at each other’s pictures the day after.

4. Set goals. What triggers Facebook jealousy for you? The answer could teach you something about your priorities and the areas in your life where you may want to make an extra effort. If you’re stewing over the wedding plans of an acquaintance, it could be time to go out on a few first dates yourself.

5. Pursue a hobby. There are more productive ways to fill your leisure time if you decide to cut back on social media. Practice playing a musical instrument or start a flower garden.

6. Focus on giving. True happiness has more to do with serving others rather than trying to impress them. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day with a helping hand or a sincere compliment.

Facebook is a great platform for staying in touch with family and friends. Focus on sharing happiness and support instead of comparing yourself to others. You’ll be so busy enjoying the conversation that you’ll forget about being jealous.

Waiting for an Apology? Do This Instead

Let’s say a friend throws a party without inviting you, or a co-worker misses a deadline that’s crucial for your pet project. You may be gracious enough to forgive if you receive a sincere apology, but what happens if the other person refuses to say the words you long to hear?

You can forgive others in these tough situations without feeling like a doormat. Learn why it’s wiser to move on instead of waiting for an apology, and how to make the first move.

Benefits of Forgiveness

The advantages of forgiveness are the same whether the other person apologizes or not. Think of pardoning others as something you do for yourself rather than for them.

1. Lighten up. Grudges are a heavy burden. When you release your anger and disappointment, you’ll free up energy you can devote to the things you love.

2. Show compassion. Each of us makes mistakes. When you give someone a second chance, remember that you’ll probably need one yourself someday.

3. Strengthen your relationships. Family and friends are precious. Develop connections that can withstand conflicts. Resolving your disagreements can even draw you closer together when you cooperate on finding solutions.

4. Take control. You’re in charge of your own happiness. Start feeling content right now instead of checking your phone to see if your boyfriend apologized yet.

5. Promote healing. Most of all, a loving and forgiving heart is good for your mental and physical health. You might even live longer.

How to Move On Without an Apology

Sometimes you want to forgive, but resentments still linger. These steps will help you overcome the barriers to reconciliation.

1. Wish others well. Imagine yourself celebrating the good fortune of someone who offended you. Force yourself to speak kindly to them, and you’ll eventually start to cherish them for real.

2. Hold yourself accountable. In most cases, you probably played some part in the conflict. Acknowledge your actions and figure out how to make positive changes.

3. Put yourself in their shoes. When someone fails to apologize, it usually has more to do with them than with you. They may feel ashamed or vulnerable. When you think about their pain, you may feel like you have more in common.

4. Resist all-or-nothing thinking. Distinguish between the human being and their actions. If your boss criticizes you unfairly, list the things you still like about her.

5. Write it down. Venting your feelings in a diary or an imaginary letter helps to sort things out. You can express yourself freely without worrying about widening the divide.

6. Reach out. If someone close to you has trouble apologizing, you may need to make an extra effort. Let them see how you apologize and take responsibility for your actions so they can discover more options.

7. Set boundaries. On the other hand, you may decide to limit contact if the relationship is dragging you down. You can still have affection and respect for someone you may need to keep at a distance at least temporarily.

8. Cultivate your peace of mind. The more secure you feel, the easier it is to focus on helping others rather than judging them. You’ll understand that your future depends on your choices rather than real or imagined insults.

Forgiveness allows you to let go of the past and free yourself from anger and resentment. It’s a decision you can make on your own regardless of whether others apologize or show little remorse. You have nothing to be sorry about when you give yourself the happiness you deserve.

Top 10 Things You Must Avoid to be Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise

There are countless lists of things you should do to accomplish a particular objective. It’s just as important to avoid the things that will derail your efforts. There are many aspects of everyday life that make it more challenging to be healthy, wealthy, and wise. Avoid these items whenever possible.

Make life easier by avoiding those things that make it harder:

1. Processed food. There are plenty of things to eat that occur naturally. Fruits, vegetables, beans, rice, quinoa, nuts, and berries to name a few examples. The number of health challenges caused by an unhealthy diet is staggering.

2. Debt. Debt is bad on multiple levels. It’s not only bad for your bank account, but it’s also bad for your mental health. Debt creates financial challenges which lead to stress. Avoid debt if you want to be wealthy and happy.

* If you’re currently in debt, make a plan to pay it off. It’s worth making a few sacrifices to speed up the process.

3. Sitting. Those that spend too much time sitting are at a much higher risk for a wide range of health issues. Try to spend more time standing than sitting each day. There are desks designed to be used while standing. At the very least, get up and walk around for a few minutes each hour.

4. Sleep deprivation. It’s bad for your health, your mood, and your productivity. Arrange your life so you can get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. A short nap never hurt anyone, either.

* Strive to get to bed at the same time each night. Your boss already decides when you have to get up.

5. Obesity. The average person eats too much processed food, sits around most of the day and evening, and fails to get enough sleep. This leads to obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other health issues. Stay slim and trim.

6. Anger. It’s not just anger. Any negative emotion can create issues. Anger, hate, fear, resentment, and sadness are hard on the human body over a long period of time. They’re not good for your sense of well-being either.

7. A lack of direction. Know what you want. Know what’s important to you. Have goals. Choose a course for your life. Where will you end up without a direction and purpose?

8. Wasting time. Most of life in the U.S. is a trap that saps your happiness and success. There are countless ways to waste time that accomplish nothing. TV, internet, fast food, video games, bars, and texting are just a few examples. Imagine what you could accomplish if you stopped wasting your time and used it wisely.

9. Failing to learn something new. There’s never been more information available, and most of it is free. Keep your mind active by learning something new each day. You’ll also increase your knowledge which can be applied in multiple areas of your life.

10. Repeating mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, but most people make the same mistakes repeatedly. Be determined to never repeat a mistake. You went through the pain of making the mistake. Learn from it and avoid it in the future. Life will be easy.

Life is challenging enough without making it harder than it has to be. Avoid those things that make life more difficult. Eat well, avoid debt, use your time wisely, and avoid repeating mistakes. If you could just do those four things, would your life be easier? Those four things provide an excellent foundation to becoming healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Top 10 Misconceptions About Success

Success is the result of good habits and effective actions. Anything can be accomplished with enough time and focus. Yet many believe there are other requirements to be successful, and that these requirements can’t be met by the average person. Learn to avoid such misconceptions and seize the success that can be yours!

There are many misconceptions about success:

1. True success is achieved alone. Actually, success is rarely achieved alone. Tiger Woods had his father and many coaches. It would be hard to find a billionaire that didn’t have a mentor. If you’re trying to be successful on your own, you’re dramatically slowing your progress.

2. Only a certain type of personality can be successful. You might believe that success requires a car salesman-type A-personality. However, many successful people are introverted. Any personality type can be successful.

3. Success requires luck. Many successful people did experience a lot of luck. But the key to receiving good luck is consistently putting yourself in the position to receive. If you deserve good luck, you’ll get a lot more of it. The harder you work, the more luck you’ll find. You can be lucky, too.

4. Success requires an original idea. It’s not necessary to invent the iPad or discover a cure for cancer to experience success. You can be successful owning a gravel pit, manufacturing pencils, or flipping real estate.

5. Success is determined at birth. It’s common to believe that you must be born into the right family or attend the right school if you want to be successful. But there are too many examples of successful people that never finished high school or grew up in poor families. Many of the most successful people had the fewest advantages in the beginning.

6. Successful people end up alone. It’s true that there are more unsuccessful people than successful. However, the social opportunities for successful people are mind-blowing. You can have all the social activity you desire if you’re successful.

7. Success requires a lot of hours each week. Actually, you can be incredibly successful and maintain a reasonable schedule. The key is to spend your time on the most important tasks. Most people spend too much time on activities that don’t matter.

8. The most successful people don’t make mistakes. It’s common to hear successful people state that they make more mistakes than anyone else they know. Successful people take a lot of action, make a lot of mistakes, and then make corrections. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll be successful.

9. Success is complicated. Success can often be achieved with simple actions. It’s a matter of determining what works and then working hard to repeat it.

* For example, cold calling isn’t complicated. Once you can do it, it’s just a matter of making enough calls. Practicing the piano isn’t complicated, but it needs to be done intelligently and for many hours to be maximally effective.

* Success is more about persistence than brilliance.

10. It’s too late. Many over the age of 40 think they’ve missed the boat. But there’s still plenty of time to be incredibly successful if you make the commitment. How hard are you willing to work?

Many of your beliefs regarding success may be false. Do you believe that only a few people are capable of being successful? The truth is that success is available to anyone with the focus and determination to be successful. Avoid these common misconceptions, make the decision to succeed, and enjoy the results!

The Secret to Working Out Without Increasing Your Back Pain

Today, your doctor is more likely to recommend exercise rather than bed rest for treating a sore back. Numerous studies have found that yoga or weightlifting can reduce back pain and disability dramatically. On the other hand, if it hurts to move, you could be afraid to even lace up your gym shoes.

You may feel like you’re trapped. You know that becoming stronger and more flexible will eventually provide relief, but it’s difficult to begin the healing process.

Learn how to shape up without aggravating your aching back. You may be surprised at all the safe activities you can choose from.

Back-friendly Guidelines for Working Out

1. Talk with your doctor. Back pain comes in many different forms, from a sprained ligament to sciatica. Your doctor can advise you on whether you need to exercise more or take a break.

2. Strengthen your core. When you’re ready to work out, it’s essential to firm up your abdominals and other muscles in your torso that stabilize your entire body. You’ll enhance your posture and lessen the strain on your lower back.

3. Increase circulation. Blocked arteries may be causing discomfort in your lower back. Cardiovascular training will increase blood flow.

4. Stretch your hips. Tightness in your hips can be a sign of pinched nerves. To open up that area and relieve the pressure, try gentle low lunges or rock back and forth while sitting on a foam roller.

5. Target your back. As long as your doctor approves and your pain is less than severe, you can begin exercises that will strengthen your back. Training for flexibility and strength will speed up your recovery.

6. Enjoy the effort. Changing your mindset makes any back condition easier to bear, especially if you’ve been sedentary up until now. Distinguish between moderate exertion and overdoing it. It’s usually okay to keep moving as long as you feel no acute strain. Find activities you like and invite a friend to join you.

Safe Exercises for Your Back

1. Take a walk. Most doctors encourage walking for back patients, and it’s often the first activity recommended after surgery. It offers many of the benefits of running with lighter impact, especially if you stick to soft surfaces.

2. Jump in the pool. Water is also great for allowing you to move around without jarring your spine. You can jog or do aerobics in the pool, or just swim laps.

3. Practice yoga. Yoga poses strengthen and stretch your body while they calm your mind. It can be an all-purpose solution for the emotional stress that comes along with a chronic back condition. Plus, poses like pigeon and lizard work wonders for loosening up your hips.

4. Use isometrics. Isometrics are especially useful for rehabilitation because you contract the muscle without a large range of motion. Be sure to include a variety of movements and avoid holding your breath.

5. Buy an exercise ball. Want an inexpensive and fun prop that will turn ordinary activities into effective exercises for your back? Sit on an exercise ball while you’re watching television or talking on the phone. Depending on your workplace, you may even be able to use it at your desk.

6. Try a new machine. Treadmills can be hard on your back, but there are many other options. Take a look at elliptical machines or recumbent bicycles that provide many of the same benefits with less strain.

You can lead an active life without increasing your back pain. In fact, strong muscles and good posture will lessen your symptoms and reduce future flare-ups. With regular exercise, you’ll be able to manage your condition and resume doing the things you love.

The Secret Diet That Fights Depression

Everyone needs a nutritious diet filled with vitamins and minerals. However, you can use the secrets from top experts to strengthen your health with additional foods and supplements.

Your diet affects your mental health, too, and has a strong impact on depression.

Try these diet adjustments to feel better both mentally and physically:

1. Get more vitamin E. This vitamin can help lift your mood and has other benefits such as helping to keep your skin healthy. You can find vitamin E in multiple food sources and supplements. It’s easy to add to your diet by simply eating more nuts.

* Seeds, nuts, oils and other items have vitamin E. You can help fight your depression by adding them to every meal.

2. Get more vitamin C. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties and naturally improves your mood.

* Vitamin C is available in supplement form, but it’s also easy to find in food and beverages. Citrus fruits and drinks are a popular source of this vitamin. You can also find vitamin C in broccoli, potatoes, peppers, and kiwi.

3. Increase your selenium. Selenium is an important nutrient that can be found in food and supplements. It affects your mood and mind. This mineral has an impact on depression, so it’s important to get enough of it in your diet.

* You can find selenium in beans, lean meat, nuts, seeds, grains, and seafood.

* It’s easy to add more peanuts or legumes to your meals. You can also try to add more clams, sardines, or crab.

* Dairy products that are low-fat are also a popular source of this mineral.

4. Watch your protein. Researchers have found that tryptophan, commonly associated with turkeys, can make you sleepy and happy. It increases the serotonin levels in your brain and decreases the risk of depression.

* Turkey is an easy way to get more tryptophan and add more protein to your diet. However, other sources of meat also have tryptophan, so you don’t have to be bored with turkey. Try lean cuts of chicken for another source.

5. Consider the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has multiple benefits for heart health and other parts of your body. This diet can also affect your mind and decrease depression.

* The Mediterranean diet focuses on fish, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and healthy grains.

* It allows low-fat dairy and other products. You can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables on this diet.

* The Mediterranean diet allows healthy fats and oils, so you can season your salad without feeling deprived. You can also eat different herbs and spices that add richness to your food.

* Mainly, this diet limits red meat and sugar.

6. Nutrients and your diet. Your depression may improve with a diet that is complete and nutritious. Ensure your diet includes all of the essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.

* A diet that has variety will keep you from getting bored. Boredom can have a negative impact on depression, so it’s important to keep your diet interesting.

* Experiment with new vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs to keep the diet lively. Try new recipes and turn your kitchen into a tasting center.

Your diet has a great impact on your mental health. Follow these nutrient tips and you’ll notice a positive difference in your health and your life!

The Most Common Stumbling Blocks to Success

It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t want to succeed. Success can be elusive, because there are so many obstacles to success. These obstacles aren’t fatal, but they greatly decrease progress. When these obstacles aren’t avoided, the resulting frustration can make the average person consider quitting altogether.

Avoid these common stumbling blocks to success:

1. Not doing enough. Highly successful people are notorious for outworking everyone else. Success can be simple, but it often requires long hours of hard work. If you’re not known for your work ethic, the solution to your lack of success might simply be to do more. Be smart in your approach, but also be determined to outwork your competition.

2. A lack of consistency. You can’t follow a diet 50% of the time and expect to reach your weight-loss goal. Your efforts must be consistent if success is the objective. Create daily habits and stick with them.

* Measure your consistency as well as your progress. Notice how they correlate.

3. Having too many goals. Serving too many masters can result in poor results. Decide which of your objectives is most important and concentrate your efforts accordingly. Avoid spreading yourself too thin. After you’ve accomplished your top 2 or 3 objectives, you can return to the others.

4. Unclear objectives. If you’re uncertain about what you want, your results will be limited. Be very clear about your goals. It’s all in the details. Can you clearly define your goals without having to think about them? Could you just rattle your goals off to another person? Do you have them written down? Will it be clear when you’ve accomplished them?

5. Limiting beliefs. Doubt and uncertainty are very limiting. Negative thoughts provide negative results. Keep your thoughts and expectations positive.

* When you think about achieving a big goal, what are the thoughts that run through your mind? Do you feel motivation or a sense of dread? Is your self-talk positive or negative?

* Do you believe you can be successful? Do you believe you can be highly successful? What’s stopping you from being the most successful person you know?

6. Failing to get expert advice. Whether you want to make $100 million, swim the English Channel, or learn how to waltz, there are people that have accomplished those very things. It only makes sense to get their assistance.

7. Taking shortcuts. The key to reaching your goals faster is to work harder and smarter. However, trying to skip steps can lead to disaster. Success is accomplished one step at a time.

8. Sticking to methods that aren’t working. Be attached to your outcome, but avoid being attached to the process. Your first guess on how to achieve your goal probably won’t be correct. Change your plan if you’re not getting the results you want. Use what works and discard what doesn’t.

9. Fear. Fear can show itself in many ways. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of how your friends and family will treat you if you’re successful. Fear of approaching new customers. Fear of criticism.

* Determining the source of your fear will make it easier to overcome. What are you afraid of and why?

* Less obvious symptoms of fear include fatigue, procrastination, forgetfulness, and a lack of motivation.

Be clear on your objective and be willing to put in the necessary time and effort. Address any limiting beliefs and fears before they become an issue. The stumbling blocks to success can be overcome or avoided. Ensure your success by educating yourself about the potential barriers in your way.

The Cinderella Secret to Being Happy and Successful

Cinderella is one of the most popular fairy tales of all time. Children and adults love to hear about the magical night when a hard working young woman triumphs over her mean stepsisters.

The story has captured our imaginations so completely that we tend to call all kinds of events a Cinderella story as long as things turn out well for a likeable underdog. To star in a version of your own, take a look at what this princess can teach you about punctuality, patience, and power.

Cinderella Lessons about Punctuality

Cinderella puts herself in danger when she breaks her promise to her fairy godmother about coming home from the ball before midnight. Being on time reduces stress and shows others that you care about their needs.

1. Focus your thoughts. Cinderella broke her curfew because she was having so much fun at the ball. Being mindful of your priorities will help you to keep your eye on the ball even when you’re having a ball.

2. Honor your commitments. Live up to your promises, especially when you’re dealing with your fairy godmother or anyone who has been generous with you. Show others that you’re respectful of their time.

3. Set reminders. Does time slip away from you? Use the alarm function on your cell phone to remind you of appointments or post a note on your computer screen.

4. Plan ahead. Maybe you’re trying to pack too much into each day. Budget extra time for errands and projects so you have a little cushion.

Cinderella Lessons about Patience

Cinderella endured many difficulties. Her stepmother and stepsisters insulted her and made her do all the housework. When she did have a chance to relax, she had to sit by the fireplace.

1. Transform ordinary tasks. One reason Cinderella is so appealing is that she stayed cheerful while washing dishes and sweeping floors. Look for the purpose behind your daily tasks to make them more meaningful.

2. Develop alternatives. Cinderella didn’t give up her dreams just because she didn’t receive an invitation to the ball. If you run into an obstacle, find other ways to reach your goals.

3. Overcome adversity. Cinderella wasn’t just lounging around even when she was sitting in the ashes. She was picking out the peas and lentils her family threw there. You can find opportunities in challenging situations.

Cinderella Lessons about Power

Some modern critics are concerned that Cinderella seems passive. After all, what would have happened if the prince didn’t show up to rescue her? If you want to succeed, take charge of your future.

1. Make your own magic. Miraculous things happen even when you don’t have a fairy godmother or prince to help you. Thinking strategically and putting your heart into your work will prepare you for amazing accomplishments.

2. Be kind. Fame and fortune didn’t turn Cinderella’s head. She invited her family to come live with her and her new husband. Sharing your blessings with others will strengthen your relationships whether you live in a palace or a studio apartment.

3. Live authentically. Cinderella’s sincere goodness shone through when she was dressed in rags, and when she put on an evening gown. Find a path and build a legacy that fits you just like the glass slipper that hugged Cinderella’s foot.

It takes more than glass slippers and pumpkins turning into coaches to create a Cinderella story. Being patient and powerful will help you to enjoy your own happy ending. It also helps to return home before midnight.

The Busy Professional’s Guide to Making Friends Outside of Work

One minute your calendar is filled with coffee dates and happy hours. The next thing you know, you’re eating alone and spending Saturday nights with your cat.

If your only friends are your co-workers, you could become isolated as soon as you change jobs or go through a period of unemployment. While workplace friendships are important, you also need additional connections to sustain a social life that will support your health and wellbeing.

While many adults find it difficult to make friends as they grow older, you can beat the odds. Consider these tips for developing relationships outside the office.

Reasons for Making Friends Outside of Work

1. Enjoy lasting connections. Work relationships are often limited to sharing professional activities. Once you’re no longer occupying the same office, you may not have much in common anymore. Build stable relationships that can adapt when your lifestyle changes.

2. Promote balance. There’s more to you than writing memos or selling cars. Spending time with your pals gives you a chance to play badminton or climb mountains.

3. Find a sounding board. Are there issues you’re uncomfortable discussing with your colleagues? Someone outside the office may be safer and more objective when it comes to talking about medical conditions or ethical conflicts.

4. Supplement your work relationships. While having buddies around from 9 to 5 increases your job satisfaction, these bonds may be dwindling. One survey found that only about 30% of Americans currently have a close friend at work compared to 50% back in 1985.

Where to Find Friends Outside of Work

1. Join a group. It can be awkward to strike up new friendships now that you’re past play dates and borrowing calculus notes. Participating in a group takes some of the pressure off. Search Meetup for a movie night or winery trip.

2. Take a class. Continue your education while you discover new chums. Sign up for an evening course at a local college or take an art therapy seminar over the weekend.

3. Ask for leads. Let your friends and acquaintances know you appreciate introductions. They may know someone who wants a workout buddy or travel companion.

4. Volunteer your time. Participating in a worthy cause is great way to meet others who share your priorities. You could build affordable housing or organize a charity auction.

5. Look back. Maybe you already know the friends you’re looking for, but you’ve drifted apart in recent years. Consider showing up for your next college reunion. Touch base with the woman who used to make you laugh at your old book club.

6. Leave the house. Any public place can offer friendship opportunities. Chat with other coffee drinkers while you’re waiting to pay for your latte.

How to Develop Friendships Outside of Work

1. Focus on others. Turn interactions into relationships by being kind and generous. The old saying that you have to be a friend to make a friend rings true. Others will be drawn to you if you’re sincere and caring.

2. Share yourself. Being vulnerable is a little scary, but the rewards are worth it. Express your authentic self, including your personal strengths and the areas you’re still working on.

3. Watch for reciprocation. Choose your friends wisely. Stick close to the ones who appreciate your time and efforts. Ensure you’re both contributing to the relationship.

4. Be persistent. It takes time for a connection to blossom. Give yourself credit for taking risks and reaching out.

Cultivating friendships outside of the office is good for your professional and personal life. The wider your circle, the more happiness and success you’ll enjoy.

Speaking Dynamically Made Easy

How you sound can be as important as what you say. A pleasant voice brings your words to life and may put more money in your pockets.

A Duke University study found that CEO’s with lower-pitched voices ran larger companies, earned more money, and held onto their jobs longer. No wonder business executives, celebrities, and politicians often work with vocal coaches.

Even if your time and funds are limited, you can turn your voice into an asset. Take a look at these simple practices to help you polish your speech.

Caring for Your Voice

1. Breathe deeply. Breathing from your diaphragm instead of your chest will help you to project your voice and give you more confidence. At the same time, relaxing your mouth and throat gives you greater control.

2. Develop resonance. Humming is an easy way to warm up your voice. The lower you go into your chest, the more powerful you’ll sound.

3. Avoid strain. Swallowing is gentler than coughing when you need to clear your throat. Keep irritants like alcohol, smoke, and dairy products to a minimum. Rest your voice if you find that you’ve overdone it by talking too long or too loudly.

4. Pace yourself. Rapid speech is great if you’re a race track announcer. Otherwise, try breaking your thoughts down into phrases just long enough so that you can say them comfortably with a single breath.

Connecting With Your Audience

1. Focus on friendly faces. If crowds make you nervous, scan the room for individuals who are smiling and making eye contact. Imagine you’re talking directly with them.

2. Tell stories. It’s easier to get your message across when you use interesting and memorable stories. When you enjoy your own tales, your enthusiasm shines through.

3. Encourage conversation. Great speakers also know how to listen and promote interaction. Show up early so you can chat with others beforehand. Invite questions and comments.

4. Give generously. While you’re working on the technical aspects of your voice and performance, keep your purpose in mind. What do you want to share with others? How can they benefit from what you have to say?

More Tips for Dynamic Speaking

1. Practice regularly. Voice training is like any other skill. Take advantage of opportunities to work on your performance. Record yourself so you can identify your natural strengths and areas you want to work on.

2. Study others. See how presidents and anchormen engage their listeners. Watch videos, listen to podcasts, and read transcripts. Take notes about ideas you want to borrow and build on. Adapt their lessons to suit your own style.

3. Eliminate fillers. Too many “ums” and “uhs” can undermine you credibility. Plan for transitions so you won’t be fumbling for what to say next. If you need a second to reflect, try pausing instead of filling the gap with meaningless language. Tuning out internal and external distractions can also help you stay on track.

4. Watch your body language. Mastering nonverbal communication will reinforce the positive impression your voice makes. Stand up straight so you look open and relaxed. Use gestures to emphasize key points and keep things lively.

5. Acknowledge your feelings. Even movie stars and self-help gurus can have stage jitters. When you’re feeling anxious about addressing a group, accept your feelings and transform them into positive excitement. Take the focus off yourself and concentrate on how to help others.

Change your speech habits from dull to dynamic. Making the most of your own natural voice will help you to communicate your ideas and enjoy more success.