Self-confidence involves trusting your abilities, qualities, and judgment. Self-confidence is essential to both your physical health and mental well-being—and having a healthy level of self-confidence can help you work toward success in your personal and professional life.
With that said, it’s hard to feel good about yourself if you’re not taking care of your body. Over time, unhealthy habits—such as eating processed foods, not getting enough exercise, and skimping on sleep—can take a significant toll on your well-being and self-confidence. Low self-confidence can impact every aspect of your life, from your relationships and career to your overall health.
Fortunately, there are several ways to gain confidence while taking care of your health. Whether you lack confidence in one area or you’re struggling to feel confident about anything, here’s how to take your confidence back.
Eat a balanced diet.
Feeling confident isn’t always easy—there are a lot of factors that affect the way we feel about ourselves, from childhood experiences to societal expectations. When it comes to self-confidence, most people tend to ignore their overall health. However, when you’re feeling physically and mentally healthy, you tend to feel more confident. As a result, your relationship with food can play a significant role in your self-confidence.
Improving your relationship with food and body image can make a huge difference. When it comes to mental health, eating a balanced diet can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and help boost your self-esteem. To get started, ensure your diet includes nutritious foods with vitamins, minerals, and fat. Some food known for their mood-boosting qualities include:
- Carbohydrates and proteins: The body breaks carbs and proteins down into glucose, which supplies the brain with energy. Consequently, consuming too few carbohydrates can leave you feeling tired and fatigued. Eating plenty of unrefined carbs—such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables—can help you feel more energized throughout the day.
- Vitamin D-rich foods: Foods rich in vitamin D, such as eggs, oily fish, and yogurt, can help boost serotonin levels in the brain.
- Vitamin B-rich foods: Foods rich in vitamin B, such as spinach, broccoli, dairy—can help combat depression and help you feel more energized.
- Selenium-rich foods: Research suggests a link between low selenium levels and poor mood. Including foods like lean meat, whole grains, oats, and beans/legumes can help improve your overall mood.
If you’re struggling to eat the vitamins and nutrients you need on a daily basis, consider talking to your doctor about dietary supplements. As an important antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is used by many people for chronic health conditions, blood sugar support, and weight loss. Whereas most ALA supplements on the market only contain ALA, the high-quality vegan ALA supplement by Dr. Danielle provides both R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA), a natural form of ALA, and a healthy dose of S-Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Dress for success.
Multiple studies have shown that dressing well can boost your performance and heighten others’ impressions of you. For example, wearing comfortable clothes that make you feel important can not only change the way you interact with others, but it can also influence your cognitive functioning. It can even make the difference between acing an exam and poor test scores.
Plus, other people make different assumptions about you based on the way you dress, meaning you can make yourself seem more confident or powerful based on your appearance. A change of wardrobe can help you score your dream job, a promotion, and the recognition you want—it’s that powerful.
Beyond showing off your style, wearing clothes that fit properly can help you dress for success and boost your confidence. Start by taking the time to measure yourself properly and try on clothes before making a purchase.
For instance, if you’ve been wearing a D cup bra when you actually need a DD bra, it’s essential to try on a few bras to find the cup size and coverage you need. Investing in a comfortable, well-fitting bra can improve your posture, reduce back pain, and enhance the appearance of your outfit. Remember: bra sizing varies between different brands, and shopping around can help you find the best bras for your budget.
Commit to exercising.
Exercising can help you feel more confident with your body, boost your self-confidence, and contribute to your overall health. While exercising, you’re able to strengthen and tone your body, and seeing the results of your efforts can help you feel better about the way you look.
In addition to releasing endorphins and improving mood, regular physical activity can also improve cognitive functioning, reduce stress and anxiety, and give you a sense of accomplishment. To start exercise, assess your current fitness level, start cautiously, and progress slowly. If you have an injury or a medical condition, talk to your doctor for help designing a workout plan that gradually improves your range of motion, strength, and endurance.
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Take care of your smile.
A great smile can boost your self-esteem and make you feel good, while crooked, discolored teeth can have the opposite effect. A great smile can not only change the way you see yourself, but it can also improve your overall quality of life. In fact, smiling more can boost your mood, make others happy, help you seem more approachable, and even help you build stronger relationships.
In addition to smoking and poor nutrition, other factors, including age, medication use, and stress, can lead to periodontal disease. According to the periodontics experts at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, periodontal disease can lead to discomfort and potential health complications if left untreated. Over time, gum disease can lead to missing teeth, swollen gums, inflammation, and an increased risk for heart disease, dementia, and diabetes.
To ensure your teeth and gums are healthy, it’s important to schedule regular dental exams with a periodontist. Because periodontists specialize in the treatment of gum disease, they can evaluate the condition of your gums and help you maintain good oral health. Whether you’re worried about the alignment, shape, and color of your teeth or the health of your gums, routine appointments with a general dentist or periodontist can make a significant difference.
If your self-confidence issues interfere with your career, relationships, or education, consider seeking professional help. Putting “me time” on the backburner is a big part of why people lack self-confidence. However, while self-care can help you boost your confidence levels, low self-confidence can sometimes stem from bigger issues, like traumatic events. Other times, low self-esteem may be a symptom of a mental health problem.
Everyone struggles with low self-confidence at one time or another. Ultimately, having a healthy dose of self-confidence can help you perform at your peak, find success, and practice self-compassion.