Feeling like self-doubt is getting the better of you lately or like the grass is greener on the other side? We have all been there, and perhaps more than ever living in the digital age. With social media opening windows into endless job opportunities, lives and worlds, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of someone else’s show reel. But the good news is that you don’t have to continue waking up with a heavy heart, a sense of anxiousness or a cloud over your head. Like all things in life, happiness and confidence takes work and practice. Happiness and a sense of confidence are a skill-set and one you can acquire with some simple steps and daily habits. If you are looking to boost your confidence and daily outlook, here are a few simple steps you can take.
Change the narrativeWe are not our thoughts, however if we repeat things long enough, we start to believe them. In an age of social media and influencers, the pressure to look a certain way has never been bigger. Negative thoughts such as ‘you’re not good enough, you’re fat and you’re not worthy’ can begin to form our self-perception and self worth. But like all behaviours, negative self-talk can be unlearned. Studies have shown that practising affirmations can help build a healthier dialogue and can have a real effect on our self-confidence. Try writing 3 things you love about yourself each morning. Take the note and carry it in your pocket or handbag and refer to it throughout the day. And always remember one golden rule, if you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.
Sit up straight
When it comes to boosting your self-confidence, nothing has an instant impact like walking and sitting tall. Research carried out by Harvard University has found a direct link between posture and brain function, with proper posture shown to improve mood and memory levels. Beyond improved cognitive function, adopting the ‘power pose’ in which you stand tall, and pull your shoulders back, your brain receives a signal of confidence and power, leading to more assertive decision-making. So as it turns out, mum was right when she said stand tall.
Break a sweatWe know that exercise is crucial for our overall health, but what is less spoken about is the importance of exercise for our confidence and mental wellbeing. Studies have shown that as little as 15-20 minutes of high intensity exercise each day can significantly boost our confidence and mood. That is because exercise releases a variety of chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine both of which work to enhance feel-good chemicals in our brain. Studies have also shown that committing to regular exercise enhances our esteem by boosting our sense of self-control over our lives.
Spray your favourite perfume
We’re about to hand the perfect excuse to splurge on a new perfume straight into your lap. That is because scent can play a powerful role in boosting your mood and confidence. With the power to elicit a range of different moods, the spritzing your favourite scent can leave you feeling more zen, confident and even powerful. According to Well + Good, four scents in particular can work to change your mood instantaneously. Bergamot, a plant found in southern Italy, as an example is said to have mood-uplifting properties and works to counterbalance hot trigger emotions such as anger and frustration. Sandalwood, a warm, woody aroma incites feelings of concentration and tranquility at times when you need a little extra self-assurance.
Smile (even if you are not feeling it)Nothing screams confidence like a big smile when you enter the room. But don’t be fooled, smiling when you’re feeling down or not quite yourself isn’t just a reflection of the ‘fake it until you make it’ idiom. Studies have shown that smiling can work to reduce stress. According to Harvard studies, smiling incites a powerful chemical reaction in the body, which can incite feelings of happiness. If that’s not enough to show off your pearly whites, smiling is also shown to boost your immune system.
If you are feeling a little flat and down, add a bounce in your step with caffeine. If you needed an excuse for that third coffee for the day, then we’re about to hand it straight into your lap. Coffee is shown to increase energy levels, alertness and even confidence making it the perfect beverage ahead of that all important meeting or presentation. If you’re not a coffee drinker or simply don’t feel like reaching for another milky beverage, then why not mix a scoop of fat burner with water for the same results.