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5 Killer Habits to Boost Your Confidence

5 Killer Habits to Boost Your Confidence

Confidence is everything. Our level of confidence at any given moment dictates how we feel about ourselves and how sure we are of our abilities to succeed at any given activity.

For this reason, our levels of self-confidence are quite possibly the most important thing we possess. At any given moment, our confidence is directly correlated with how happy we are, and how “good” we’re performing at whatever it is that we’re doing.

There are a lot of ways to build confidence. Quite possibly the most efficient way to do so is through expanding your comfort zone. When you push yourself to do things that scare or intimidate you, you raise this threshold, expand your comfort zone, and become more comfortable doing things that were previously right on the edge of it. So my biggest piece of advice for someone who wants to improve his or her confidence levels quickly would be to identify, and then do, things that scare you… But there are other ways to accomplish this goal as well.

One of these ways is to adopt the right set of daily habits. Our habits are things that we so often that they have the ability to change how we think about ourselves and how we perceive the world around us. And by altering these two things, our habits can effectively improve our confidence and self-esteem.

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Below are five key habits that have proven confidence-building capabilities.

1. Meditation

Meditation is amazing. But it often gets written off as being some weird, spiritual routine…

Mediation has been clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, through lowering blood pressure and resting heart rate, among other things. And the fact of the matter is that stress and anxiety are two of the biggest confidence-killers out there. When you’re stressed out or worrying about something, it’s extremely hard to feel comfortable. It’s hard to trust in yourself and love yourself when something is eating away at you from the inside.

Meditation is the answer for this. Meditation is like a medicine that instantly transforms your state, and brings you to a place of tranquility and focus… A confidence inspiring combination.

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2. Reading

For me, reading is a meditation of sorts. It gets me out of my head, stops me from worrying about pointless things, and gives me invaluable inspiration at the same time.

The key ingredient here being that it gets me out of my head. We often get caught up in negative thought loops in our minds, and these can cause a lot of anxiety. Reading forces you to focus on something else, the same way meditation gets you to focus on your breath, and this is a game-changer.

I prefer reading non-fiction, self-development type books. These books are motivating on one hand, and on the other hand they cause you to draw parallels between the author’s life and your own. And these parallels often lead you to creating life-changing improvement in your own life.

3. Lifting weights

Lifting weights and getting stronger has several crucial confidence-building effects, especially for men.

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First of all, when you exert yourself to the point of exhaustion, any tension or stress that you’re holding in your body tends to evaporate. On top of this, lifting weights builds muscle and physical strength. And this makes us feel stronger, both mentally and physically, which in turn causes us to feel more confident. Moreover, we look better when we have more muscle mass.

For guys, having broader shoulders and a thicker chest is a sign of health and virility. For women, having a firm butt and strong legs is a sign of femininity and attractiveness. And these things cause other people to perceive us in a more favorable light… Not to mention that we are all, at least somewhat, vain by nature… And this means we feel more confident when our bodies look better.

4. Cold showers

Cold showers have actually clinically been proven to have anti-depressive effects. By immersing ourselves in cold water, we release key hormones and neurotransmitters that make us feel happier.

In addition to these hormonal changes, cold showers also cause us to breathe deeply (this is the first thing your body will do when you step in) and feel more awake and energized. This combination of feeling happier, breathing deeply, and being energized is a killer combination when it comes to assuming a confident state of mind.

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After all, if you’re lethargic, sad, and tired it’s going to be very tough to feel confident and project this confidence to the world around you.

5. Accepting reality

This habit is less actionable than the previous four, but it’s equally important. Too many people get caught up wishing things were different than they are… They wish they were better at talking to girls… They wish that their boyfriend or girlfriend behaved differently in certain situations… They wish that they got the job that rejected them… They wish that they hadn’t spent all that money on that silly jacket they never wear… The list goes on.

By getting stuck wishing for things to be different than they are you are essentially rejecting reality… And this never ends well. It only leads you to further regret, anxiety, and anguish… All confidence-killing emotions.

You have to accept the reality of the situation, no matter how grim or bleak it is. Only when you accept the way things are, or how people tend to behave, can you work on taking action to effectively change them… Or just take an altogether different route.

Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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