How To Improve Your Self Confidence
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
One of the keys to a happy, healthy life is to love yourself.
We are told this repeatedly throughout our daily lives. By celebrities, by adverts and by the people around us. Self-confidence and self-esteem can help guide us through the challenges and trials of everyday existence.
But, despite this great advice, in reality, it’s not all that easy to find that effortless self-confidence so many talk about. In the age of Instagram, where limitless opportunities for comparison are just a few taps away, it is becoming harder and harder to truly value ourselves. This is reflected in the rising numbers of people reporting feelings of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.
Here at Victoria Road, we are passionate about people’s health and wellness. We recognise that self-esteem is a key component of wellbeing. Below, we take a look at some top ways in which we can improve our self-confidence, inside and out.
Be Kind To Yourself
For so many of us, the harshest beliefs we hold about ourselves come from one person. Our inner critic. Our inner critic is ruthless. It doesn’t hold back. It is constantly putting us down. It says things to us that we would never dream of saying, even to our worst enemy. When we have low self-esteem, our inner critic is there, heaping on the negative comments, adding to our feelings of inadequacy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a tool used by many therapists when helping people tackle low self-esteem. One method participants are encouraged to use is questioning their inner critic. When negative thoughts arise, try approaching them objectively (sometimes it can be helpful to write them down). Ask ‘what evidence is there to suggest that this is true?’ ‘What evidence contradicts this thought?’ Participants are then encouraged to find a more rational alternative thought to replace the original negative thought. You can learn more about CBT here.
Another way to be kind to yourself is by engaging in daily affirmation practices. Affirmations are ‘positive or uplifting’ statements. Try thinking of a few things you think are good about yourself. Say these to yourself (preferably out loud) every day, even if you don’t feel like you believe them at first. After a while, you will start to feel more confident.
Mindfulness is another practice that can help realign your thinking and improve your self-esteem. For more information on mindfulness, visit Mind.co.uk.
Face Your Fears
Fear is a big part of low self-esteem. Some people suggest that by facing your fears head on, you will grow in confidence. Try something that scares you and in overcoming it, this will help you gain confidence.
When we have low self-esteem, we can become trapped in unhealthy patterns of thinking only of ourselves and our flaws. Break the cycle by looking outward towards other people. Instead of focusing on your perceived inadequacies, focus on helping someone else. Your self-confidence will improve dramatically. This might involve volunteering for a charity, helping out a friend or family member. Look beyond yourself and your self-esteem will blossom.
Looking after our mental wellbeing isn’t the only way to improve our self-confidence. Taking care of our bodies can also play a part in boosting our self-esteem.
Studies have shown that physical activity is good for our mental wellbeing. Many people find that getting moving can also improve self-esteem. Regular exercise can help you feel stronger, healthier and more confident about your body.
We all know that not getting enough sleep is bad for us. But it can also have a big impact on our self-esteem. Research shows that lack of sleep is linked to higher levels of low self-esteem. The more tired we are, the less energy and therefore capacity we have to deal with the annoyances and challenges of life. In a nutshell, we have less energy to bounce back and are more likely instead to feel ground down and oversensitive. For advice on getting enough sleep, check out this blog from healthyplace.com.
A healthy diet can do wonders for your self-esteem. Certain foods, such as those that are high in sugar, can have a detrimental impact on your mental wellbeing, as they make your blood sugar levels rise and drop rapidly, causing low mood. Check out this guide on food and mood from mental health charity Mind.
According to research, smiling can help boost your self-confidence. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, the act of doing so can immediately impact your mood. Maintaining a healthy smile can help further increase your confidence. Take care of your teeth by ensuring you are brushing and flossing correctly. Regular dental check-ups are important for keeping your smile as healthy as possible. If you are self-conscious about your smile, speak to your dentist about treatments that can help, such as clear braces or teeth whitening.
Why not give some of these tips a try and see how they impact your self-confidence. For more health and wellbeing advice, visit our blog.
Victoria Road Dental Clinic offers first-class dental services to patients across Ruislip and the surrounding areas. Our team are experienced, qualified and caring, always going the extra mile for patients. To book an appointment with one of our dental practitioners, complete our online booking form or call us on 01896 636 121.
Katy Carter is the content writer for Victoria Road Dental Clinic and updates our blog regularly with helpful advice and new information.