We all have those days when our mind gets the best of us. We can’t stop thinking about how everyone sees that blemish on our face, how we flubbed during yesterday’s meeting with the boss, and how we made yet another excuse not to go to the gym.
Experiencing low self-esteem is natural. But, in order to make the best of a bad feeling, it’s important to train ourselves to become more confident. This confidence boost leads to success in our personal and professional lives, while also improving our overall well-being.
Before starting on your confidence journey, it is important to understand that confidence comes from within. Think to how you responded the last time someone complimented your hair. Maybe you thought, “They must be crazy because I definitely left the house looking look like a Muppet today.” Changing the internal narrative and learning how to take a compliment is the key to feeling more confident in this circumstance.
Once you start to feel good on the inside, it will show. Start today by trying some confidence boosting habits below.
Strike a power pose
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s research has shown that after holding a power pose for 2 minutes, testosterone rose 20% and cortisol dropped by 25%. Testosterone is a hormone that helps improve the sense of well-being in both men and women. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. When cortisol levels drop, people are better at handling stressful situations.
Give it a try: Start seated and fold your arms in front of you. Slouch and lower your shoulders, holding this position for 10 seconds. Now, stand up with a tall posture, place your hands on your hips, and raise your chest. Which one makes you feel stronger? Next time you have an interview, step into the bathroom before it starts. Raise your hands above your head and stretch to bring attention posture.
Activate your activity
Activity can make you feel strong, powerful and better about yourself, too. In fact, exercise and sport are proven to increase self-esteem and confidence in both children and adults. Instead of spending hours in the gym, start small and think about increasing your daily activity. You can gain the physical and mental health benefits of exercise with 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. Don’t have that much time? Aim for two, 10 or 15-minute exercise sessions during the day instead.
Tip: Download a fitness app (like 8fit!) or subscribe to a fitness channel you like on YouTube. If you don’t have access to the internet when you want to workout, start with 5 sets of 5 jumping jacks and 5 modified push-ups
Make time for mindfulness
In order to meditate, you don’t need to sit on top of a high mountain and spending hours upon hours finding enlightenment. Mindfulness-based stress reduction includes simple habits such as focusing your attention on your breath, going on a long, undistracted walk, or simply being mindful of what you are eating and how you are feeling. Meditation and mindfulness is proven to improve self-image. It can also strengthen your ability to regulate emotions, meaning less anxiety and more self-assurance.
Try it now: Wherever you are, sit or stand tall. Inhale for a count of two, hold the breath in for a count of one, exhale slowly for a count of 4. Repeat 3 or more times.
Boost your mood with food
What you eat can impact how you feel both mentally and emotionally. Think back to the time you ate too much for dessert and felt like curling into a ball. Your gut and brain communicate, so if you eat something that makes your stomach ache, your mood is impacted. Additionally, inflammatory diets can increase depressive symptoms. Sugar, refined carbohydrates and trans fats encourage inflammation, while fiber, fruits, vegetables and whole grains help to lower inflammation. In addition, omega 3 ( has shown to boost your mood. Studies also show that healthy bacteria in your gut promotes a happy brain, therefore consuming prebiotic foods (e.g. jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, garlic, onion, and asparagus) could help improve mood and confidence.
Make a change: Start today by replacing one inflammatory food with one anti-inflammatory or prebiotic containing food. For instance, substitute white toast with 100% whole grain toast.
What are you doing today to boost your confidence? We’d love to see! Tag us in a photo on social media.