“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous
The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.
However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.
Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.Advertising
1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.
When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.
Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success. As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’
2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).
That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”
Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.Advertising
3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.
If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness. For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.
People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say. This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.
4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.
Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win. Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!
Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t. Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”Advertising
5. Crack a smile.
If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you. Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?
6. Break a sweat—with exercise.
Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident. And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.
7. Groom yourself.
This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice. A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.
8. Dress nicely.
Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes. While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.Advertising
9. Do activities you enjoy.
Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially. You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.
10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.
Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback. Why? Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.
Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally. Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.
Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?
Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.
12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!
Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts. The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.
Last Updated on October 17, 2019
How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner
You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.
But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.
Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!
What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.
Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.
So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.
1. Recognize the Signs
If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.
Some telltale signs include:
- You’re always on your phones.
- You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
- You aren’t together during important events.
- You are arguing more often or lack connection.
- You don’t make plans or date nights.
- You’re not happy.
If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.
2. Try New Things Together
Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?
Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?
Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.
Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.
3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time
Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?
Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.
Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.
4. Hit the Gym as a Couple
One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together. Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.
Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.
5. Cook Meals Together
Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!
One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.
Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.
If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.
6. Have a Regular Date Night
Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together. One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.
The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom. It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.
Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:
- Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
- Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
- Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
- Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
- Dinner and a movie – A classic!
- Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
- Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.
Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples
The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:
- Improves emotional and physical intimacy
- Lowers divorce rates
- Improves communication
- Reduces marital boredom
- Bonds couples closer
- Improves friendship
- Boosts health
- Reduces stress
These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.
It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.
These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.
Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com
|||^||The American Journal of Family Therapy: Romantic Physical Affection Types and Relationship Satisfaction|
|||^||Journal of Happiness Studies: How’s Life at Home? New Evidence on Marriage and the Set Point for Happiness|
|||^||Personality and Individual Differences: Partner phubbing and depression among married Chinese adults: The roles of relationship satisfaction and relationship length|
|||^||Indiana University Bloomington: The two-month curse: don’t let January workout resolutions fade|
|||^||J Consult Clin Psychol. : Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance.|
|||^||Marriage.com: 11 Ways to Have a Quality Time With Your Partner|
|||^||J Marriage Fam. : Time for Each Other: Work and Family Constraints Among Couples|
|||^||W. Bradford Wilcox & Jeffrey Dew: The Date Night Opportunity|
|||^||Marriage.com: 10 Benefits of Physical Intimacy in Your Relationship|