You can build confidence and self esteem with simple, consistent actions. Here are five things that scientific research has shown to increase feelings of confidence and self esteem.
1. Boost confidence and self esteem with a hero pose
You can increase confidence and feelings of self worth in just 90 seconds by doing this one simple trick. Put your chin up, smile (even if you don’t feel like it). Pull your shoulders back, stand straight and tall with your hands relaxed at your sides or on your hips. Keep both feet pointing forward and keep weight even on both legs. Hold this position for 90 seconds.
Research shows that doing these things will not only make you appear more confident and happy; it actually makes you feel more confident and happy. Charles Darwin was actually the first to hypothesize that there is a connection between body language and our emotion that goes both ways. We smile when we feel good, but we also feel good when we smile.
Today that theory is called the facial feedback hypothesis and it has been verified in study after study after study. The physical expressions of our body language influence our emotional experience.
Even if you don’t feel like it, doing the actions will help increase those feelings. If we want to feel happy then we need to smile more. If we want to feel confident then we stand tall and pull our shoulders back. Holding this pose for just 90 seconds increases the level of testosterone which boosts confidence, while decreasing the level of cortisol which lowers stress.
Furthermore, smiling, even if it’s a fake or forced smile, increases the production of mood-enhancing hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins which can help us feel better.
2. Build confidence and self esteem by singing
Singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins which make you feel uplifted, confident and happy. It helps relax muscle tension and decreases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood stream and can help take your mind off the day’s troubles to boost your mood.
In addition, scientists have identified a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus, which responds to the frequencies created by singing. The response creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like so you don’t have to have an amazing voice to feel the positive effects of singing.
Participants in one study showed significant decreases in both anxiety and depression levels after one month of adding singing to their routine.
So if you find yourself in a rough spot, sing along to an upbeat, positive song. Sing through one song three times or sing three different positive upbeat songs once. Allow the music to wash through you and feel the healing and invigorating effects immediately boosting confidence and lifting mood. From my own experience, I can say that it really works.
Print out the lyrics so you can sing all the words and choose songs that have lyrics that have meaning to you personally. Here are a few suggested songs to help you create your own list: Roar by Katy Perry, Try Everything by Shakira, Waka Waka by Shakira, Brave by Sara Bareilles, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, Fight Song by Rachel Platten, Happy by Pharrel Williams, Better When I’m Dancin’ by Meghan Trainor, Me Too by Meghan Trainor, On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons, Believer by Imagine Dragons, You Are Loved by Stars Go Dim, and This is Me by Justin Paul & Benj Pasek sung by Keala Settle.
3. 2 minute distraction
One of unhealthiest and most common forms of negative thinking is called rumination and it wreaks havoc on confidence and self esteem.
To ruminate means to chew over. It’s when your boss yells at you or you make an embarrassing mistake, or you have a big fight with a friend and you just can’t stop replaying the scene in your head for days, sometimes for weeks on end.
Spending so much time focused on upsetting and negative thoughts, actually puts you at significant risk for developing clinical depression, alcoholism, eating disorders, and even cardiovascular disease.
The problem is, the urge to ruminate can feel really strong, so it’s a difficult habit to stop, but there are ways to combat that urge. Studies tell us that even a two-minute distraction is sufficient to break the urge to ruminate in that moment.
If your thoughts are swirling in self doubt, take action to break free of them and attain a fresh perspective. Become immersed in a great book that moves you or watch a movie that transports you. Exercise. Go for a walk. Sing a song. In short, do what you know from experience bounces your thinking to a more optimistic place.
If you can succeed in changing your mental channel for at least two minutes you have a chance of breaking that destructive cycle of rumination. By battling negative thinking, you won’t just heal your psychological wounds, you will build emotional resilience and you will thrive.
4. Replace rumination with positive affirmations
When we get caught in the trap of rumination, which is repeating negative self-thoughts over and over again, we have to do something to interrupt that cycle or it just keeps going. Rumination is so dangerous because studies show that people believe things that they hear a lot because they are familiar, and disbelieve things that they don’t hear because they are unfamiliar. It is interesting because it has no basis in logic.
This is why it is so dangerous when we repeat over and over in our minds things like: ‘I’m not good enough,’ ‘I’m a failure,’ ‘Nobody cares about me,’ etc. Even though there is no basis in logic for these statements, we believe them to be true simply because we repeat them to ourselves over and over again.
There is a way to combat these beliefs using the same principle of repetition. By creating positive statements about ourselves and repeating them over and over it can create a new healthier positive belief system.
So if a thought keeps running through your mind like ‘I’m not good enough,’ replace it with another opposite and positive statement such as ‘I am worthy and deserving of being loved, valued and appreciated. I am loved, valued and appreciated. I am good enough.’ And repeat that over and over again.
Here is a positive statement to repeat over and over mantra style until the negative self thoughts dissipate.
I choose to believe that I am worthy of love and belonging
I feel worthy of love and belonging
I am worthy of love and belonging
I choose to believe that I am capable and confident
I feel capable and confident
I am capable and confident
It won’t be easy however. When you say those things your subconscious will tell you that they’re lies. Studies show that once we believe something, we instinctively defend and protect it without even being aware of it. But if we keep at it relentlessly and consistently, that power of repetition can retrain our brains to accept those things as true. Just keep going.
5. Small act of service
Worrying about confidence and self esteem tend to make a person retreat inward. Helping other people can help bring us outside ourselves. It can also help distract us from our own problems and think about something else. In a research study, service was more effective in making a positive difference in the way participants felt about themselves than making an effort to pamper themselves, or creating self-esteem goals.
Hope for Healing Program
The Hope for Healing program consists of organizing simple emotional wellness tools into an effective progressive schedule. Following this simple program consistently brings about significant changes in the way a person thinks and feels. You have more power than you may realize to build confidence and self esteem. Learn more…
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