14 Jul 4 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Confidence
Confidence is not one-size-fits-all, but it does play a role in preventing eating disorders. Yes, EDs are complex and can’t be boiled down to a single cause, but studies show that negative body image is a major contributing factor to the development of EDs.
So if you want to feel more confident in your own skin, here are four simple things you can start doing today:
- Practice Mindfulness Activities
Often, when you’re feeling insecure, you dwell on the little things rather than the big picture. Taking a moment to practice mindfulness can help you take a step back, get some insight into how you’re feeling, and manage it better. With mindfulness, you can become more engaged in the world around you and boost your own attention in a positive light.
Many activities can easily be a vehicle for your mindfulness practice, like simply taking a stroll, gardening, and even driving. All of these experiences connect you to your surroundings and can be done in a meditative way. In fact, over 200 million people meditate across the globe, with their number one reason being to increase their general wellness. Even if you can only spare a minute daily, your mindset will improve drastically. You can even meditate during your self-care ritual. As you tend to your skincare—which you deserve!—take this moment to centre yourself and say some positive affirmations.
- Maintain Good Posture
Considering that the average Aussie teen spends two-thirds of their time sitting, whilst the average worker spends roughly 33 hours a week sitting down, it’s almost impossible not to slouch. However, maintaining good posture is a worthwhile effort. Studies from NeuroRegulation show that respondents who had better posture were able to tackle difficult tasks better because they felt more confident. Scientists attribute this to your mind taking subconscious cues from your posture (slouched is threatened, whilst erect is unafraid), plus the fact that better posture provides better circulation and breathing.
If your day-to-day responsibilities include a desk job, promote good posture with an ergonomic office chair. These specially designed chairs will support your lumbar, cushion your spine, and relieve pressure on your neck for hours on end. Meanwhile, if your job keeps you on your feet, opt for posture correctors. These are usually easy to adjust and can activate your muscles to prevent slouching.
- Build a Solid Support System
Toxic environments can bog you down. You deserve to be surrounded by love and positivity rather than criticisms and cattiness. Many of us suffer from insecurities pointed out by others, sometimes under the guise of “honesty”. If you’re surrounded by people who only trigger you with insensitivity and gaslighting, cut them off. Whether this is in real life or online, you deserve a safe and nurturing space. Keep those people who respect and support you. Even if that means you’ll be left with only half of your friend group. Remember, you need to prune a tree to help it grow well. Best of all, a support system can include your pets. Multiple international studies have shown pet owners benefit physically and emotionally from having animal companions, too.
- Reframe Your Idea of Beauty
As difficult as it is to unlearn, beauty is only a societal construct. Through the years, the epitome of beauty has varied greatly. From the full-figured ladies in the Renaissance to the hourglass-figured pin-ups of the 50s, there has never been one constant. And that’s because superficial beauty is but a trend and trying to constantly compare yourself to whatever society dictates is an exhausting race. Instead, try to reframe your idea of beauty. This isn’t a quick process but with time you can shift your perspective from just “looking good” to “feeling good”. You can start by including a few simple body positive things in your day-to-day life. For instance, you could dance to good music, thank your body for lifting all those bags, or dress in clothes that make you happy even if you’re just home.
The journey to confidence looks different for everyone. By focusing on your own progress and taking steady baby steps, sooner rather than later, you’ll be shining confidently for all to see.
Written for acfed.com.au