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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 March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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