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Here’s How You Can Be The Best and Shine This Year

Here’s How You Can Be The Best and Shine This Year

As we embark upon a new year, there are so many ways to view our lives and the chances ahead of us – new opportunities, old regrets, the same cycles people go through every year. However, if you want to change this year-  if you want to shine this year as a human being and as the best version of yourself – then you’re going to need to work at what makes you tick. What makes you happy, what makes you sad, your strengths, weaknesses, your days and nights. Everything about yourself has to undergo an examination if not a re-evaluation.

So, for those of you who are looking to shine this year and be the best you you can be, here are ten tips for how to achieve it.

1. Drink water every morning.

One of the easiest ways to shine this year is start every day off by drinking plenty of water as part of your early morning routine. The reason? Drinking water first thing in the morning has an incredible set of health benefits, including purifying the colon and allowing better nutrient absorption, aids weight loss and better metabolism, helps give you glowing skin thanks to flushing out toxins, and helps balance your lymph system. In short, it helps rejuvenate your system and helps you start every day off in the right way.

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2. Change your morning routine to suit you.

Everyone has a morning routine and one of the ways to shine this year is to go through it and modify aspects of it that can be best suited to you. After all, everyone’s different and has their own way of working things in the early hours. If you always feel like you need more sleep, go to bed earlier or use a sleep calculator to find out when you should be going to bed to work with your circadian rhythms and cycles. Add in time for a morning shower if you always feel better with one but never have time. Make sure you have breakfast. All these little things can have a big positive effect on your morning routine and wlll help you shine this year.

3. Make an active effort to see the good around you.

The world is, surprisingly, a good place despite the bad things going around and not a lot of us actually choose to see. Let’s face it, with the news creating catastrophe and calamity in every news item, some pretty seriously twisted ideals of perfection and beauty being pushed on us, and a general feeling that cynicism is the standard, it can be hard to be optimistic and someone who sees the silver lining when everyone else sees an oncoming storm. If you want to truly shine this year, look for the positive. Surround yourself with positive friends and be more considerate to people going through their own situations, so that by looking for the positive, you transfer it forward and become the positive change yourself.

4. Exercise at least three times a week.

Exercise is a bit of a hate word around people – it brings back memories of school gyms and forced running and mandatory activities. However, choosing to go out and engage in something that gets your body moving is absolutely a fantastic thing to get involved in and something that is certain to make you shine this year. Find the kind of exercise you like to do, rather than immediately going down the gym even though you’ll hate it. If you like slow rhythmic movements, take up tai chi or yoga; if you like high-energy stuff, check our Zumba or aerobics. There are more than enough exercise options out there for you and if you really want to shine this year, it’s a good idea to go and get your body moving.

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5. Get plenty of sleep.

This one cannot be stressed enough – sleep is key. All of our culture seems to be screaming, ‘you don’t need sleep, you can go for longer’ – but to do is to put into jeopardy your physical and mental health because sleep is an option. Sleep is a legitimate physical need that will cause you severe problems if you don’t get enough. A way to truly shine this year is to take care of yourself by engaging in some sleep hygiene. Make your bedroom the best kind of sleeping environment possible for you. Sweet dreams.

6. Make sure to dance at every opportunity.

A bit of a cliche, perhaps, but let’s be honest-  people who shine through life are always ready to dance at the drop of a hat. Dancing is both ridiculously simple and complex – it’s a true expression of human emotion and the ability to translate our physical body into a joyous or mournful or reverential proclamation. Plus, dancing has incredible health benefits as it helps you keep fit, works your legs and arms through rhythmic movement, and releases endorphins into the bloodstream providing an entirely natural rush. Whenever you find the chance to, put on your favorite kind of music and dance to it. Dance with a friend, dance alone, let your body do the talking and feel yourself begin to shine.

7. Try something new at least every month.

There’s nothing that kills as quick as routine nor boredom – so the paraphrased saying goes. One of the most enjoyable ways to shine is to keep putting yourself out there more and trying new things as often as possible, within a minimum of one new thing a month. There’s an entire world out there waiting for you to experience it – a world full of fantastic films and delicious food and astonishing plays and beautiful music and joyful dance and great TV. People who shine always try and broaden their horizons and their own perspectives, so make sure you give into that childlike curiosity with that new album, new restaurant, new film. After all, you might just find a new favorite.

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8. Visualize your happiness.

If you want your happiness, you’ve got to visualize it. See it, imagine it. Work through it so it becomes an approachable goal rather than a lofty ideal which is as unattainable as it is ill conceived. We create our own happiness and shape our own lives so if you want to truly shine this year and be the best version of yourself that you can be, is to decide what makes you happy and either cultivate it if you have it, or work towards it if you don’t. Create a vision board, a Pinterest channel, a sigil – whatever you need to try and plan out your happiness, use it. The future is yours.

9. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparing your life and yourself to other people is one of the most toxic and self-destructive things you could ever do to yourself as it undermines your own experiences and your personality and erodes away at all the positive achievements you’ve managed to accomplish throughout your life. Simply, you need to finish with both the negative and positive comparisons to other peoples’ lives in order to focus on your own. Comparisons lead to negativity, anger, jealousy and gossiping which not only makes you look more petty and negative, it also stops you from focusing on your life and your goals. Cut the comparison and truly shine this year as an example.

10. Stop the ‘should have’ thoughts in your life.

We’re constantly being told what we should have and shouldn’t have in our lives. Designer clothes, cars, the latest electronic products, haute cuisine and expensive coffee, everything is construed as a status symbol, an indicator that the person has met untold requirements for being seen as desirable. That is an incredibly toxic way of viewing life and viewing ownership, because if you live your life by the ‘should haves’, then you will be forever chasing trends because what is a la mode always changes, always evolves.

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Your life, however, should be based on the wants and needs that you yourself cultivate and desire. It’s not the end of the world if you want the latest tablet or phone or a cup of coffee or shoes – that’s fine – but what you need to assess is why you’re wanting it and then go off your instinct as to whether or not it’ll make you happy. If it makes you happy, go for it. If not, then find something that does make you happy. And then you’ll truly shine this year, and the years to come.

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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