Friday, 17 March 2017

How To Be Confident



These past couple of months, I haven't been in a mentally good place. Well, I wasn't. I won't say why, but I will tell you that I feel better. I feel happy. When bad things just kept happening, I thought I would never be happy again. But I know now that it wasn't true, and I was constantly stuck in a negative mindset. I read a quote on Pinterest which said "everything will be okay in the end- if it's not okay, it's not the end". I know not everybody has the privilege to wake up and be happy, but that's exactly what I did. One day I just woke up and decided to be happy; being so unhappy the last couple of months has now allowed me to wake up everyday with a smile on my face and appreciate the little things.

 After deciding to change my mindset for the better, I ended up buying a couple of books. I feel like reading motivational quotes and books actually help me, even if its just a little bit. One of the books I bought was "How to be Confident" by Anna Barnes (I purchased my copy from Urban Outfitters, although it is available on Amazon). I thought that it was going to be a cheesy self-help guide, but nope! The aesthetics of each page are beautiful, and all the tips and quotes throughout are extremely helpful. I'm going to leave some of my favourite tips below, hopefully if you are struggling with confidence then you will find these as beneficial as I did.

CUT DOWN ON CAFFEINE 

"Having a caffeinated drink can make us feel more alert because it induces the initial stages of the stress reaction, boosting cortisol production. Consuming large quantities of caffeine, however, can cause the exhaustion phase of stress and lead to anxiety, which can have a very negative impact on confidence levels". From my experience, I will say that caffeine made me very anxious for a while, so much so it made me shake. I've found that my reaction to coffee hasn't been quite so bad lately, and I'm trying to cut down as much as I can, only having a cup to be social rather than having one before and after work (there's like 5 places to buy coffee next to where I work, not good!). I'm also cutting down so that my skin will improve. Coffee is the one thing (apart from Mac Studio Fix Fluid...) that really messes with my skin. As for now, I'm trying to let my skin breathe, so I'll be sticking to water and green tea for a while. 

EXERCISING 

"Exercise is an important tool for building confidence. As well as toning your muscles, regular exercise will reduce stress and help you to feel more comfortable in your own skin". Another point which I agree with! I found that I hardly went to the gym in the winter months, and I was eating a lot of junk food, so it was really putting a downer on my mood. Now I'm going to the gym at least twice a week and going on walks when I can. I am a big believer in the whole "exercising makes you feel better" mindset. Pair this with healthy eating, and you're gonna be a force to be reckoned with! Personally, going to the gym is my preferred form of exercise, but there are so many different things you can do: running, swimming, cycling... find the activity that feels right for you!

HEALTHY EATING 

"A healthy diet, which includes plenty of mood-boosting nutrients, will boost your energy and fuel your confidence from the inside out". Okay, don't get me wrong. I love pizza and burgers as much as the next person, and yes I do eat them if I'm going out for lunch, but lately I've really taken to healthy eating. Last week I purchased Kayla Itsine's new book, which is jam packed full of healthy recipes, workout plans and nutritional information. I've never been big on cooking, but this book has definitely changed my mindset, as I've found myself making myself meals 3 times a day! If you feel like you won't get much use out of this book, I promise you'll find something you like- my current favourite recipes include the breakfast burrito and Moroccan chicken salad. Its also a great way of trying new foods, which is brilliant because now I know that I really don't like avocado on toast...

MAKE EYE CONTACT 

"People who make firm eye contact are seen as being more trustworthy and confident. If you struggle to look people in the eye, try fixing your gaze between the other person's eye instead. They won't be able to tell you're not looking them directly in the eyes and you'll give the impression of being self-assured and likeable". This tip has probably been the hardest for me to do, because I'm such a naturally shy person. Like honestly, I can be in a room full of people that I know and love but will just stay silent because I'm too nervous to speak. However, I'm slowly making the change of trying to make eye contact with people, because it genuinely makes me feel more confident. It doesn't matter who it is, but if you're having a conversation with someone and you make eye contact with them and give a smile, I guarantee it'll make their day better, as well as yours!

LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD

"Feeling good about your appearance goes more than skin deep. Feeling happy with what you see in the mirror each day can help you to feel more relaxed and self-assured, which will have a knock-on effect on your mood and confidence". This is something which I wholeheartedly agree with. Honestly, if I'm wearing makeup, have my hair done and am wearing my favourite perfume, I just know that I'm going to feel good about myself, and most likely be happy for the whole day. If I don't do any of those things, I do feel more self-conscious. Now, I'm not saying wear makeup and do your hair just to go to the shops- if anything you may feel more confident without having to add to your appearance- but I am saying that if you're going out with some friends, or even if you're just going to work, you'll feel a million times better if you feel confident in the way you look.  


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