For a while I've noticed that a lot of personalities and traits are based upon self-confidence. Everyone tends to be their worst critic against themselves, and negative voices in our heads have the power to criticize and give us anxiety. I can relate to these scenarios. I tend to overthink a lot of social situations I'm in and I can be a little too sensitive and indecisive at times. Throughout elementary and junior high, I dealt with a lot of OCD. Everything had to be perfect, and I felt like sometimes I was judged for the way I acted towards specific things. I also struggled with stress when it came to studying and homework. There at times were more than one negative voice inside my head telling me I wasn't smart enough and I didn't fit in because of my OCD and stress, therefore gave me anxiety.
But now I have more control over my thoughts, a lot of my OCD habits are gone (I still have some idiosyncrasies, which isn't such a bad thing). I've tried many different ways to reduce stress and boost self-confidence. Each piece of advice has given me the ability to have more positive voices in my head rather than negative voices. Hopefully you will find these variety of solutions helpful as well!
Many psychological sources claim that relaxation and mediation reduce a good amount of stress. By closing our eyes and taking deep breaths, our muscle tensity fades away, our heart stops nervously beating, and we are easily prepared to take on a difficult situation. Another good way to relax and mediate is by doing rhythmic exercise, yoga, taking hot baths or showers, listening to soft music, and getting a good amount of sleep.
The more we give, the more we feel good about ourselves. One of my favorite sayings that my mom always quotes is that it's better to give than to receive. I believe that doing a good deed for someone else decreases anxiety and allows us to view ourselves in a more positive outlook. Interested in donating to raise awareness? Get involved in charity work! Have a love for helping people and animals? Volunteer at a homeless shelter, hospital, or animal shelter! Wish to do a random deed for a someone random? Buy a homeless person a meal, pay for the person behind you at a drive-in restaurant, or give a good friend a gift for no reason! The world has plenty of opportunities to volunteer. It's never to late to spread a little kindness into someone's day!
Laughter is the best medicine, I know I'm always down for a comic relief. Sometimes life gets too hard and stressful that sometimes you just need to have a good laugh. It's always good to watch a funny movie, TV show, or YouTube video that always makes you laugh until your stomach hurts (not literally though). Also surround yourself around funny family members or friends. A person with a great sense of humor is the best quality to have as an individual. Laughing is also a good way to smile. It's just like Annie would say, "You're never fully dressed without a smile!" :)
4.) Dress For Success
Some studies say how you dress yourself can very well motivate your lifestyle, whether for work or for fun. It's all about feeling comfortable and confident, whether you're dressing up for a night out on the town or even dressing down for a Netflix night. I notice that people work even harder and feel more confident based on the way they dress, and it definitely feels the same way for me. Heck I would wear dresses every day if I could, if the weather in Ohio wasn't so cold all the time!
5.) Use Your Creativity
This technically could be my number one choice of confident boosters, but everyone has a different perspective of creativity. Imagination to me can be used in many different ways, and it never has limits. Writing is a perfect example, which is what I love the most (hence the blog). You can write in a journal, a diary, a story, even social media can count! Other variations of art include painting/drawing, taking pictures, performing arts (for all the theater lovers out there, myself included), crafting, baking, decorating, etc. Creativity can be used for everything, and it helps gain more knowledge and increases health the more we use it. Creativity is one of the most beautiful tools we have in our minds, and it can never be used in any wrong way.
6.) Balance Your Diet
Nutrition and exercise is very important not only for health but for positive thinking. Stress and anxiety can very much lead to overeating and lack of motivation to work out. But it's not you're body telling you that you lack motivation, it's your mind. Call me a freak, but I actually enjoy working out. Not only does it make me feel healthy afterwards but it helps brush off any low self-esteem that I have. Everyone has a different routine, I try to work out almost everyday each week for thirty minutes. Even a walk around the block is good exercise! Now when it comes to eating a proper diet, it's basically just everything in moderation. Just focus on how much portions you're eating per day, and make sure to drink lots of water. Eat a salad once in a while, then indulge on pizza once in a while. That's called balance.
7.) Listen to Good Music
Nothing makes a person happier than music. We can all agree that any type of music is our escape from reality, probably almost 40% or more of our days involve listening to favorite songs, at least it does for most people I know. If you want some song recommendations to put you in a better mood, go check out my Tuesday Ten: Songs To Put You In A Good Mood. And if you feel super comfortable and confident, dance like your jamming out at your favorite concert!
This is more of a religious solution, and I know not everyone has the same beliefs. I come from a very faithful Catholic background, so praying has always been one of my best solutions to overwhelming problems. Before I go to bed and when I wake up the next day, the first thing I do is pray for hope and confidence each new day. Some of my favorite Bible verses include:
"Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly." - Micah 6:8
"With God, all things are possible." - Matthew 19:26
"God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing. All you need is faith." - Joel 2:25
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13
I of course don't judge anyone who is not religious, and I totally understand if this solution isn't very helpful. But I find that praying calms me and relieves a lot of my stress, so it may be helpful for some people.
9.) Challenge Yourself
Without self-confidence, we tend to make choices based on fear rather than good decisions. This could lead to working for a job you hate, never traveling because you're afraid of new places, or gaining bad relationships. All fears have a way of blocking courage to pursue dreams. Challenge yourself to face a great fear that can turn into great bravery. It can help gain more positivity and faith in yourself. Dare yourself to ride a roller coaster when you're too scared to even try it, you might eventually love all roller coasters afterwards. Public speaking is another big common fear, but gaining strong skills can improve on every area of life. It can eventually lead to a professional future ahead. The same goes for interviewing for a job you want. I think if we kept choosing to never challenge ourselves to new things, we could never truly live life to the fullest.
10.) Reminiscence About Good Times
Zac Brown Band once stated (or sang) "it's the little things in life that mean the most." It's always a wonderful feeling to remember a good memory of a specific time, as well as enjoying the moment we're living in now. If you ever have the time, right down a list of things that make you happy, or a list of great memories with loved ones and great moments. Also take some time to look around where you are and be thankful of where you are and that you're breathing fresh air. Life is too short and beautiful to dwell on the bad things, so choose to focus on the good things instead! Some days it's just about creating your own sunshine.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, and I hope it's helpful. If your going through a rough time. We can all agree that not everyone is perfect, and we tend to stress for various reasons. I just want to let you know that if you're dealing with anxiety or lacking self-confidence, you are not alone. You have very much meaning to this world as does anyone else. As long as you keep your head up high and think positively, you have strong control over everything and can live a happy, long life.
Never doubt yourself with anything. If I can get over my OCD habits, you can get over whatever negative worry that stirs in your mind. Just remember to be who you are, not what the world wants you to be. :)