Improve your confidence immediately with these five tips
By Tracy Dye
It’s well known that confidence is a key ingredient to personal and professional success, but actually feeling like you’re the bee’s knees can be a tricky task.
Fortunately, there are some quick and easy ways ﹘﹘ all based in science ﹘﹘ to help you start feeling more confident right now. Whether you have a big presentation at work, are getting ready for a first date or just need a quick mood booster, the following five tips can put you on the path to positive thinking.
- Talk to yourself in third person
If you’re the type who tends to be your own worst critic, altering your internal dialogue can help you focus on the positive and increase your self-esteem. One way to achieve this is by referring to yourself in the third person. Research has shown that talking this way can help you see yourself objectively, as you would a friend or coworker.
For example, if you are prepping for a speech or presentation, instead of telling yourself, “I am going to do a good job,” say something like, “Jessica, you are going to do a good job.” It may seem strange, but using this method of self-talk can create a surprising confidence boost.
- Strike a pose
You know that superhero stance (hands on the hips, feet wide) frequently displayed by Superman and Wonder Woman? How about when an athlete triumphantly raises their arms when crossing a finish line? Both of the aforementioned are known as power poses.
Practicing these postures can make you appear more confident and ﹘﹘ according to science ﹘﹘ can also make you internalize a better sense of self.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy presented scientific evidence on the benefits of power posing during the TEDGlobal conference in 2012. In her research, she found that individuals who spent two minutes standing in expansive (open) postures experienced an increase in testosterone and a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, two things that have a physiological impact on self-esteem.
Practicing a power pose for just two minutes can give you a fast confidence boost. Try it!
Smiling ﹘﹘ even a forced smile ﹘﹘ can lower stress and improve your mood. Social psychologists Tara Kaft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas found that plastering a grin on your face can lower stress levels. In their research (published in Psychological Science), smiling participants experienced lower heart rates during stressful activities in comparison to those who held neutral expressions.
- Get moving
As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise can improve self-esteem, so you don’t have to be a fitness guru or triathlete to get started. Whether you choose to squeeze in a power walk before work or hop on the treadmill for a quick sprint, your mood will be on the upswing.
Group fitness classes are also a great way to boost your confidence in a fun atmosphere. Haven on the Lake offers several options that are tailored to every fitness level. Let loose on Friday at Rock ‘n’ Flow, an uplifting vinyasa flow class that features different musical themes each week. You can also dance like a star by signing up for LaBlast and Stretch or LaBlast and Splash. Developed by Dancing with the Stars pro, Louis Van Amstel, the classes are designed for all levels to let everything go and build confidence through dance.
Check out a full listing of Haven’s mind body classes here.
Meditation offers a litany of health benefits, including the reduction of symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. The practice allows the mind to be open and free of judgement by focusing on the present moment. Meditation is powerful yet simple. To meditate, you simply need to find a comfortable place to sit and breathe comfortably; this can be done in a few minutes or longer depending on your schedule.