Building confidence is something that can happen at any stage of life. At some point we have all dealt with a lack of confidence. There are lots of things that can help when we need a confidence boost, like therapy and coaching, but it may also help to take a look at your diet and workout routines because there is a connection.
The way we see ourselves can have an impact on all aspects of our lives. Having a positive self-image will lead to a healthier, happier life. If you are struggling with building confidence, take a look at what you are eating, the quality of you sleep, and if you are getting enough physical activity. This can help improve your self-confidence and lead to a happier life over all.
How Food Affects Moods
We all know about emotional eating, and a lot of us have probably done it at some point. When you have a bad day at work, it’s easy to come home and grab a bag of chips or a tub of ice cream to make ourselves feel better, and it does kind of work short term. When you eat foods high in calories and sugar, it releases the ‘feel-good’ endorphins dopamine and seratonin. These happen to be the same endorphins released when people are doing addictive drugs!
But studies have shown that the foods we eat can affect our mood long term too. Having low blood sugar can cause you to feel grouchy and become easily agitated and a diet high in sugar can contribute to depression. So even when we feel that short term ‘feel good’ message released by our brain, we are actually doing more harm than good and setting ourselves for a cycle of temporary happiness from eating junk food, but then a crash that leaves us even worse off than we were before.
Eating a meal with lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbs instead of grabbing a bag of chips will leave us feeling satisfied and happy with our choices. You end up feeling proud of yourself for feeding yourself a healthy meal, plus this healthy meal will work toward your overall health and wellness goals.
Take Your Vitamins
Getting the right vitamins and minerals will help your skin, teeth, and hair look healthier. When our appearance looks healthy, you end up feeling better about yourself. Bright eyes, healthy nails, and shiny hair will help your confidence. When you look good, your feel good about yourself.
Vitamins like vitamin B and D help your mood and may even be used to treat seasonal affective disorder. Iron is another supplement that can affect your mood, especially for menstruating women. If you have low iron, you can be left feeling tired, experience dizziness or headaches, and your skin may look pale, dry, and damaged.
Of course we should try and eat a variety of foods to make sure we are getting the vitamins and nutrients we need, but sometimes we still need a little help. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned that your diet is missing something. You doctor may even be able to recommend tests to make sure your vitamin levels are adequate.
Building Confidence with Exercise
Exercise helps your body produce endorphins, the chemicals your brain produces that make you feel good. Unlike the chemicals your brain produces when you eat junk food, these endorphins have very positive benefits. They play a role in improving your mood long term, and also help in relieving anxiety and depression.
Exercising regularly will leave you feeling energetic and more confident. Regular exercise also helps us sleep better at night and develop a healthy sleep pattern overall. When you feel sluggish and tired you aren’t feeling your best.
Consistent exercise will also help your body get stronger, which will also help with building confidence. When you feel strong and empowered, you are going to feel good about yourself. Especially when you start setting and crushing your goals, for example, running a faster mile, lifting heavier weights, or just being able to get through a workout without needing to rest.
Building Confidence Through Positive Body Image
Even through lots of exercise and eating healthy, you probably won’t obtain the perfect body. But it will give you a feeling of accomplishment. You will end up feeling proactive about your overall health, and that you are doing the right thing by taking a step towards getting fit. Realize that even if you can’t get rid of love handles, you can still feel more confident in your own body and it’s abilities.
Exercising and healthy eating will make you feel and look better overall. You may even find yourself losing weight and gaining muscle, and you will have healthier skin, nails, and hair too. Looking into the mirror and liking what you see will definitely help your confidence!
Productivity Builds Confidence
When you are eating right, exercising, and your energy levels are high, you are much more likely to be productive at school, work, and even in your relationships. Increased productivity will help you increase your self-confidence. It feels good to get stuff done!
Even at home and around the house. You may have more energy to put into home improvement projects or hobbies. Completing projects, no matter how small, can help your confidence. Crossing things off your ‘to do list’ feels good too.
Going Beyond Diet and Exercise
If you feel you are still suffering with low confidence and it is affecting your everyday life, I encourage you to reach out and talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you. While low confidence can certainly be helped with a good healthy diet and exercise plan, sometimes there is something bigger at play, like anxiety and depression, and in that case, you may need to seek help from a professional.