Tuesday, August 17, 2010

5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence

We can all use a boost of confidence from time to time. Here are five ways to increase yours:

  1. Smile. "There's lots of research that suggests if you smile, even in a fake way, it will indirectly lift your mood," and that makes you feel safe and relaxed, says Nancy Etcoff, clinical instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of "Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty." If you don't believe it, try holding a pencil horizontally between your teeth to imitate the effect.
  2. Disregard stereotypes. Women are likely to get worse at things when they're aware a task is "typically male." For example, women did well on math problems in a Dartmouth College study- until they were reminded of the belief that men are better with numbers. Forget that type of thinking before beginning a new project.
  3. Learn something new. Maybe you want to learn a different language or how to make a cake from scratch. "The better you become, the more confident you'll be in general- not just when you're doing that thing," Etcoff says.
  4. Meditate. In a study at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, people who meditated at least five days a week improved their self-acceptance. What did they do? They sat quietly, paid attention to their breathing and thought compassionately about themselves or someone else.
  5. Move away from the mirror. When women spend more time on their looks than other things, they're less happy, according to a study at the University of California, Berkeley. That's not to say you shouldn't care about your looks; however, going overboard can distract you from other aspects of life.

Check out 17 more tips from our source, 22 Confidence Boosters.

Photo Credit: minisites.contentthatworks.com

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