Exercise is one of the best habits to incorporate into your lifestyle. There’s an abundance of health benefits related to regular physical activity, ranging from a better physique to a lowered risk of heart disease, dementia, diabetes, plus many other chronic diseases.
Let’s face it, working out can be a hard habit to start for some
Often, those who begin fitness programmes will quit very quickly. Sometimes, after reaching a target weight, many choose to stop working out and return to their old lifestyle, only to lose the physique and store the fat once more.
Your mindset is the engine behind every action you take. To get your mind on board with the process of healthy exercise you have to make the whole process a fun, exciting and rewarding one.
So, how do you make sure you are able to stick to your workout habit?
That’s the challenging part. Sure, the extensive sweating and breathlessness can make you feel helpless and not want to exercise any more. But, you can actually trick your mind into getting going! Here’s how…
Make it fun
If you don’t like exercising, there’s a big chance that you’ll feel tired and bored working out, and won’t succeed. So you need to choose a fitness programme that you will actually enjoy. Don’t hesitate to try different workout plans. Mix it up a little; ask a professional trainer to help you.
Choose the one you like the most and make your experience even more fun by doing it outdoors or turning up the music (nice and loud!). Adding fun to your workout routine makes you enjoy it more, rather than feeling obliged to do so.
Invest in your workout outfit
Having a great set of workout clothes can increase your motivation to stick to your fitness routine. It motivates you to see yourself looking great in good, quality gear. Not only do you want to feel comfortable, you also want to avoid getting injured during your workout session.
Make even more tweaks
So, you’re on a programme. That doesn’t mean you can’t try other forms of exercise as well. Not all workout routines are found inside the gym. Swimming, trekking, mountain climbing, cycling and other sports can be wonderful exercise options too.
They say ‘two heads are better than one’. That’s so true, especially when it comes to accountability on an exercise programme. Working out is more enjoyable when you have someone to go through ups and downs with. And by the way, ‘the more the merrier’ too!
Progress not perfection
STOP comparing yourself to others. Doing so can be demotivating when you start wondering why you’re not progressing as fast as the next guy on the same routine.
There are so many factors to consider, not just your exercise, in trying to lose weight. So focus on yourself.
Discover why you really want to exercise. If your reason is to simply look good for others, you chance of success will be significantly lower. The reason should be intrinsic. It should be for yourself.
Rise to the challenge
Always try to dig deeper. If you’re able to plank for 30 seconds, try to hit 40 next time. As you keep challenging yourself, you’ll start to benefit from better health and quality of life.
Without a shred of doubt, your path to success will be littered with negative people – the haters, the insecure, and the complainers. This I can guarantee. And to deal with all of them, you have to have confidence.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self- confidence is preparation,”
Confidence is a key ingredient to a successful and happy life. You need it to feel more comfortable with the things around you – your work, relationship, finances, etc. Without confidence, you will find it hard to pursue your goals.
Below are seventeen simple, yet great, tips to improving your self-confidence:
On a piece of paper, write down all the blessings you have received for the past 24 hours. Can’t think of anything? What about the fact that you are still breathing, you are healthy, you have a job, or you have something to eat?
You just have to look around and you will see how blessed you are! Being thankful for what you have, instead of constantly chasing for those you lack will certainly boost your self-confidence.
The more you think about what you do not have and what you can’t have, the less confident you become. Simply thinking about your positive attributes, as well as your accomplishments and blessings, can boost your confidence.
Stop saying hurtful things to yourself.
Are you fond of blaming yourself for all the negative things that happen to your life? Do you call yourself ‘stupid’, ‘weak’, or a ‘failure’? Negative self-talk brings nothing but discouragement. It can significantly lower down your self-esteem as well. So avoid saying hurtful things about yourself. Instead, rephrase self-criticisms with constructive ones. For instance, instead of saying “I’m too stupid to fail in the exam”, just say “Yes, I didn’t get it. But next time I will!”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”
~ Marianne Williamson
De-clutter your space.
A messy environment can make you feel helpless and disempowered. It also drains your energy and your confidence. So make sure to maintain a clean and fresh environment. Before sitting on your desk, make it a habit to clean your room. Invest a few pounds on beautiful draperies, a comfortable chair, and cute displays. Feel like a CEO by revamping your working area!
Read a newspaper.
When you do, you will get to know real people who are in a much difficult situation than you are. Whenever you hear about less fortunate people, those who are having serious illnesses, those who can’t go to school, and those who are homeless, you will realise you are not really deprived. Thus, you will have more confidence to reach your goals despite any challenges.
Stress and anxiety are two of the biggest threats to our confidence. When you are stressed, anxious and emotionally not feeling well, you are less likely to have high self-esteem. Stress can take a toll on your level of confidence. So don’t forget to take a break from your stressful world.
Get up from your desk and take a walk outside. Play with your dog, watch those crystal-like snowflakes as they fall on the ground, listen to your favourite music, watch TV, exercise, attend a yoga class, and allow your mind and body to relax.
Hypnosis is one of the most effective modalities for alleviating stress and anxiety. It can be used to directly impact upon low self-esteem and low self-confidence. How does hypnosis boost confidence?
Your mind can learn new techniques to refocus on motivation, determination and positive outcomes. This new mindset, alongside a sense of direction and a plan of action can often bring about some amazing and often unbelievable results while at the same time lowering blood pressure and resting heart rate.
Find someone who inspires you.
There are many great leaders, entrepreneurs, and people from different fields who achieved success in a very inspiring way. Know more about them by reading their stories. You will surely learn a lot of things from these people. They can motivate you to build confidence and become the best you can be!
Recognise your insecurities.
It may hurt a little but it will certainly make you feel a lot better after. Write down everything that makes you feel ashamed, unworthy, or inferior – whether it is the small spot on your face, your belly fats, or the opportunities you’ve missed in your career. Once you know what they are, it can be easier to accept them and focus more on the positive aspects of your life.
Find someone to confide with.
Accepting and finally forgetting those insecurities is not going to be easy. It takes time as there are no ‘quick fixes’. It can be helpful to talk about it with someone you are most comfortable with, like your partner, sister or brother, or your closest friend.
Make yourself proud.
Think about the successes you’ve had in the past years. Think about your skills and talents. What are the areas you excel at? What are the things you do that not all people can? Once you’ve answered these questions, you will realise you are special.
Another great way to boost your self-confidence is to learn about new things. Learning should not end the moment you graduate from school. Learning is an ongoing process. We all should strive for learning no matter what age we are, regardless of what point in life we are now.
Learning a new craft is a great way to build confidence. Mastering a skill gives us a sense of accomplishment which in turn, boosts our performance.
Maybe this is the perfect time to enrol in a cooking class or an art class. How about an online course in business management? You may also find it interesting to learn a new language. Identify the areas you want to be good at and never hesitate to try mastering them!
“I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.”
~ Robert Downey, Jr
This may come to a surprise, but working out does really benefit your self-esteem. Same with meditation, exercising can greatly reduce stress and anxiety, and boost positive feelings. Of course when you are feeling great, so is your self-esteem.
Speaking of exercise, lifting weights should be part of your workout routine. Lifting weights builds muscle and physical strength, which makes us stronger, mentally and physically. Also, losing excess fats keep us in shape and enhance our physical appearance, thus, boosting our confidence.
Look at the bright side.
Self-confidence starts in your mind. Don’t expect to become confident when your mind is flooded with negative thoughts such as self-pity, inferiority, insecurity. Positive thinking is crucial to a worth-living life. Even if things aren’t doing well, stay positive. There’s always a rainbow after the rain.
Look at the mirror and smile.
It’s not that you are going to be a narcissist, but looking at the mirror with a big smile on your face is going to enhance your self-confidence. The ‘facial feedback theory’ suggests that your facial expressions can actually trigger your brain to produce certain emotions. If you smile, you are likely to create positive emotions. If you frown, you make negative emotions.
There’s no such thing as perfect.
Perfectionism will only make it hard for you to reach your goals. And the more mistakes you commit, the less your self-confidence will be. You don’t have to be perfect to achieve your dreams or become the person you want. Accept the fact that flaws are part of life. By staying positive, you can actually use your imperfections to your advantage!
“I’m okay with having bad dance moves. I’m okay with having horrible lower teeth. That’s what makes me me, and, for some reason, it’s worked out all right.”
~ Katy Perry
It is hard to feel confident about anything when you are unprepared. Think about taking an exam. How would you be confident when you didn’t study? Now, think of life as an exam. How would you prepare for it?
You make lots of mistake. So what?
Remember, no one is perfect. Even the best scientists in the world make errors. What is more important is you learn from every mistake you make. It’s easy to get carried away by the failures we experience in life. But you just have to keep moving forward.
Even if you don’t really feel that confident, act as if you are. Just as a fake smile can uplift your mood, behaving like you are a confident person is also going to benefit you.
“The World is Yours, Don’t Dream it, Live it”
~ Krystle McGill
There you have it – plenty of hints and tips that can help boost your Self-Confidence levels through the roof and catapult you to wherever you wish to go. You just have to take the first step…
I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments, please feel free to like and share this post with friends and those you think may benefit.
Good news – as I hail from the UK I thought I’d mention that the number of smoking adults over there has declined to its lowest last year, since researchers started tracking it in the 1940s.
Thanks to the combined efforts of us die-hard therapists, the ‘recently on-board’ government agencies and private health organisations, more and more people are recognising the deadly effects of smoking.
And if you are a smoker who has just recently decided to quit, you just made one of the best decisions of your life. Quitting smoking is not always easy, especially if you have been a smoker for many years. But once you have beaten the bad habit, you begin to experience rapid and massive improvement in the quality of your health and well-being.
Quitting can be really tough because cigarettes contain an addictive substance called nicotine. When your body runs out of it, you experience withdrawal symptoms, such as intense craving, nausea, irritability and more. But don’t worry, these unwanted feelings are only temporary. Once your body get used to the absence of nicotine once again, you will star to feel much, much better.
Below are some great tips to deal with the hardest days (often the first few weeks) of quitting smoking:
Drinking alcohol is one of the easiest ways to break your commitment to quit smoking for good. That is because it weans down your willpower, so you end up lighting once more. Also, many people associate cigarette smoking with alcohol drinking.
Go to places where you can’t smoke.
Going to pubs and places where smoking is allowed is not going to help you resist the urge to light up. So don’t make it too difficult for yourself, and stay away from these places! Find your smoke-free zone. Dine at a restaurant that strictly prohibits smoking, go to a library and work from there, or somewhere else where you are not distracted with people who smoke.
Hold on to your commitment.
You must have very important reasons for quitting smoking. It could be health-related or something more personal. Maybe you have seen many people lose their lives and family because of their addiction to cigarettes, or you don’t want your children to be smokers themselves in the future. Whenever your quit smoking journey gets tougher, think of your reasons. They will help you stay committed.
Start a workout programme.
Exercise is a scientifically proven way to fight nicotine cravings associated with smoking cessation. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins – the “feel good” compounds that boost your mood and well-being, so you are less likely to crave for cigarettes. Furthermore, exercising helps your body recover faster from the health effects of cigarettes, particularly on your heart and lungs.
Plan it out.
If you want to increase your chances of success, you’ve got to plan it out really well. Preparation is essential to quitting smoking. Begin by setting a timeline. When do you intend to stop smoking completely? Next, write down what strategies you are going to take. Are you going to try patches or will you go with a therapy or counselling? What about hypnotherapy? Write down your options. Do your homework. Research on various tips and tricks to fight cigarette cravings. Being prepared matters so much.
People who eat whole, fresh produce tend to experience less cigarette cravings than those who opt for fatty and sugary processed meals. Try nibbling on a slice of fresh carrot. You will find that it actually weans your urge to light up.
Secure your support system.
Knowing that someone is there to support you strengthens your will to quit smoking and inspire you more to make better and healthier lifestyle changes. Tell your family and friends that you are quitting smoking. It would be better if you can ask a friend or family member who smokes to quit with you. Having supportive people around can make quitting incredibly easy.
If you have any more useful tips, please feel free to share in the comments.