A: Self-care tips to boost confidence in an instant.
While robust self-love and confidence can take time to build, we genuinely can change how we feel in an instant with these 5 tools. None of these things take much time but their impact on your mood, subjective energy levels and self-assurance can be potent. Try them yourself and see the dividends ripple out.
1 Posture – research has shown that how we hold our bodies has a significant impact on our sense of self-esteem, energy and optimism. Google Erik Peper if you’d like to learn more. Become aware of how you are holding your body through your day and consciously soften your eyes, jaw, neck and shoulders. Feel a sense of elevation through the crown of your head and broaden your collarbones, whether you are standing or seated, and you will feel more resourceful in the face of challenges.
2 Breathe – this is so simple, when you breathe better, you feel better. As a psychologist and yoga teacher I am passionate about raising awareness of the therapeutic power of working with the breath. Nothing elaborate is required here, just a smooth, relaxed breath. It can be helpful to feel the four phases of your breathing: the inhalation, the moment after you breathe in, the exhalation and the moment after your breathe out. Allowing these natural pauses to be there can be very soothing for your nervous system. Bringing your hands into a mudra can also be powerful – helping to focus the mind on the sensations of breathing. Try this one: curl your thumbs in towards your palms and wrap your fingers around them, making a gentle fist. Bring the back of your fingers with the wrists facing upwards to touch, just in front of your navel. Hold the mudra for 6 relaxed breaths. Feel how this makes your breath feel more spacious, tapping you in with your inner strength and resilience.
3 Movement – use your body to feel empowered. Amy Cuddy is your go to resource for power postures and you will find plenty of them in yoga. When I need to stand firm and feel resolute I opt for mountain, tree or warrior poses. These shapes connect you with the strength of your legs, core and spine and help you feel the support of the earth beneath you. Break out into one of these poses whenever you need to feel strong. Perfect pre-meeting preparation.
4 Mantra – harness the power of your mind by using mantra or primer statements. How is it that you’d like to feel? Simply add that quality to an ‘I am’ statement. Repeat it to keep your mind from rumination or less constructive thoughts.
5 What’s your WHY – when life gets tough, your purpose will galvanise you. If there is something coming up that causes you anxiety, remind yourself WHY you are doing it and this will help you dig deeper. Reflect on your strengths and values and call to mind those qualities that will help you navigate this challenge. It will all be worth it.
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