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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 February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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