By Dr. Jen Newell, Naturopathic Doctor
We’ve all seen the recent Kelloggs commercial – “97% of women have an ‘I hate my body’ moment every single day.” This is a powerful statement and a sad reality. How often have you looked in a mirror or caught a glimpse of yourself and fell victim to those negative, self-critical thoughts or compared yourself to someone else? I want 2016 to be a year where you walk tall and love yourself so check out my 5 Strategies to Catapult Your Confidence and start making little changes with deep impact!
5 Simple Strategies to Catapult Your Confidence!
- Positive Perceptions
Recognizing negative thoughts and self-talk is critical for putting an end to those thoughts and how you respond to them. As important as it is to recognize this self-talk, is to replace it with positive thoughts and a response that builds you up rather than break you down. This is about changing self-criticism to self-compassion.
- Fake It Till You Make It
Have a mantra saying something nice about what you are most self-conscious or critical about. The more you repeat the positive the more you begin to believe it. Don’t forget to remind yourself how awesome, beautiful and unique you are. I like to use post-it note reminders stuck in places where your confidence tends to waver (eg. the bathroom mirror) or positive journaling where you only list your positive qualities (read this as needed).
- Liberate and Celebrate
Do the things that make you feel beautiful and give yourself permission to feel amazing. So often we default to self-deprecation and don’t fully allow ourselves to shine or to embrace our beauty. Liberating that confidence and self-awareness could mean a number of different things to different people. It could be as simple as taking a shower and dressing in your favourite clothes that make you feel sexy and confident or it could be physical activity that makes you feel strong and powerful. These little things that you do for yourself add up.
- Kindness Leads to Confidence
Random acts of kindness for others can increase self-esteem, mental health and well-being. When you do something nice or meaningful for someone else, your self-love grows. Confidence is not just about being kind to yourself but extending that kindness outwards towards others. When I am feeling down about myself, I make a point to either send a nice note/email/card to someone I appreciate or I pay for the coffee of the next person in line at the coffee shop. These simple acts have a powerful effect on feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.
- Positive Posture
Your posture impacts your self-esteem and self-evaluation. A study in the European Journal of Social Psychology demonstrated that self-related attitudes (self-confidence) were greater when sitting straight than when slouching. Posture plays a role at the hormonal level as well. A study published in 2010 demonstrated that sitting and standing up straight elicits an increase in testosterone (a confidence-boosting hormone) and a drop in cortisol (a stress-related hormone). So listen to what your mother used to say and throw your shoulders back and sit up straight.
Bonus tip: Surround yourself with people that build you up and support you. This includes friends, loved ones and those on your health care team. We at IHI are here to help you live your best life and show your sparkle to the world!
Dr. Jen Newell, ND
Dr. Jen Newell is passionate about helping people embrace health, feel amazing and easily incorporate “real” food into their busy lives. Her mission is to make health accessible and achievable, and to inspire patients to live an active, vibrant and healthy life.
Jen has a clinical focus on digestive health, food sensitivities and healthy nutrition; mental health and stress-related illness; women’s health, hormone balance and fertility; optimal aging; and dermatology. She focuses on integrating healthy foods into one’s diet in a medicinal and therapeutic capacity and providing individuals with nutritional support that is easy to incorporate into a busy day. Dr. Newell practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.
Brinol, P., & Petty, R. &. (2009, February 25). Body posture effects on self-evaluation: A self-validation approach. European Journal of Social Psychology , 1053-1064.
Carney, D., & Cuddy, A. &. (2010, September 20). Power Posing Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance. Psychological Science .