In this article I’ll be suggesting healthier alternatives on how to best spend your time to feel more confident.
In a world where we consume more media than ever before, it’s imperative we have ownership of our minds and control of our intake. Thoughts become reality, therefore our thoughts ought to be nice, to have any shot at feeling confident about ourselves. I’ve had my fair share of self-pity comparison marathons to models on Instagram. When it gets to this point, every time this moment occurs, unfollow the accounts that are making you feel negative (you have no obligation to these people). Perhaps swap a follow for an account of interest to you, for example, an art account or cute dogs in silly outfits.
Or maybe, and I know it sounds crazy, but take a social media break routinely. Focus on your own self-love and confidence. View your daily average hours you spend on your phone per day on your phone settings. Then pick a day once every month, or whatever suits you best, and spend that amount of time on planned self-care and confidence exercises.
Here are some suggestions of super-easy activities and exercises you could do on your self-love day.
1. Write a letter to yourself.
This helps strengthen the connection with the self. Give all the past versions of yourself gratitude. Write your goals for the future. Predict where you hope to be this day next month. You can use a website called futureme to do exactly this, it gives you the ability to send an email to yourself and you can choose the day you receive it, how handy!
2. Write a gratitude list.
List what you are grateful for, this can be anything, nothing is silly! You can start small if it’s a particularly hard day for example food, shelter, health, your eyes enabling you to see wonderful colours and loved ones. Maybe get into detail about why you are grateful for these things. What benefits do you enjoy in your life because of these things. Then focus on aspects you're grateful for about yourself. What positive aspects are you grateful you possess, such as your kind nature or humour, or your intelligence. Include your passions.
Gratitude has many benefits from proven improvement in psychological health to increased motivation and willpower. Find out more about the scientific benefits here
3. Fake it till you make it and start smiling!
Confidence is more about what we feel on the inside than anything else. As it’s psychological, it means there are lots of tricks to trigger confidence. Lucky you! For example, make it a habit to check how you're standing when you feel unconfident. Are you slouched? Are your words racing around your mind like a black hole of social doom?
Then notice this, roll your shoulders back, and hold your head high. Breathe in for three seconds, hold for three, breathe out for three and let yourself know you got this! You are relaxed, calm and in your element. The best part is you don’t have to feel confident to do this, but you may start to feel it! Give me your cheekiest smile please, this is because every time you smile a happy chemical reaction is sent to your brain so even if you’re feeling the opposite of smiling give it a go and you’ll feel even a tiny bit happier! Find out more about this cool dopamine trick here.
4. Read Read Read!
Knowledge is power. Here are some great books to read. All to increase your overall confidence! If reading is too time-consuming for you, here are some youtube videos and audible suggestions.
5. Paint your affirmations in your journal
Some steer away from affirmations, due to appearing as part of the ‘live laugh love’ crowd but fortunately, there are quite magical results to be had when taking the right approach to this exercise. My dear friend had first introduced me to this we were on the beach after a hard time and she wrote some in my journal. Maybe it was the setting of being outdoors or the fact a friend had done it. Whatever it was I had the motivation to read it every morning first thing when I woke up and just before I slept. I was consistent even on the moody days!
Even from a seemingly impossible state things started to look better and my mindset was strengthened moreover I gain confidence in myself. Make your affirmations personal to you. An additional step I’d suggest is to paint these or use lots of lovely bright colours, this makes your affirmations page more intriguing to the eye, therefore more chance at happy consistency.
Overall, when you’re feeling unconfident in any area of life it's important to find the cause. Maybe there are a few negative Nancies in your circle, that you’re due to distance from. Perhaps your inner voice needs retraining to some nicer phrases. Or the consumption of too much media has given you a false image of what is attainable. Either way, what has a cause, has an end. It’s all about identifying it and making your mental health a priority. You’re not alone in this.I wish you the most fruitful path on your self-confidence journey!