We all know what it's like to get ready, only to just not feel confident moments before we have to go. It can sometimes be enough to make us not want to leave the house at all. However, there are ways to feel beautiful and boost confidence, and defeat that little nagging voice in our head. And it can make all the difference.
I know all too well what it's like to feel defeated by your inner self-critic —and usually when it's least convenient. I've spent hours doing my hair and makeup and making sure I got my outfit just right for something I was looking forward to, only to feel like everything looked and felt all wrong. I can even become hyper focussed on things I know aren't a big deal — like a perceived belly bulge or a botched cat eye. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I'm no longer even excited for the big party or event, and I end up going begrudgingly or in a less-than-good mood.
If you ever feel like you're your own worst enemy when it comes to feeling good about yourself, here are seven hacks that will almost instantly boost your confidence before a big night out.
1. Sit Up Straight
According to health psychologist at Stanford University Kelly McGonigal on a piece for Oprah.com, studies show that standing up straight actually sends a message to our brains that we are confident and in control. She noted that one study in particular even found that participants who sat up straight wrote more confident personal statements than those who slouched.
2. Think About What You Like About Yourself
In the same Oprah.com piece, Stacey Tantleff-Dunn, associate professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Eating, Appearance & Health, noted that studies show that our eyes are drawn to the features we are most self conscious about when we look in the mirror. So it's important to remember that while we might be zeroing in on our nose or our arms, everyone else is taking us in as a whole. Take a few moments to focus on the features you like most about yourself and remember they're a big part of you too!
3. Spray That Perfume
According to a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, the simple act of grooming can positively affect self image. The study's author, Jorien van Paasschen, PhD, said that even just putting on deodorant or dabbing ourselves in perfume instantly makes us more confident in our appearan
4. Eat Right That Day
On her website, health coach Kimberly Snyder noted that there are definitely certain foods to avoid before a big night out. She said to try to limit foods that will make you feel bloated, like dairy, beans, sodium, and even carbonated beverages. Instead, stick to lean proteins, fresh veggies, and water that day to best help approach the night with confidence.
5. Wear What You Feel Best In
This is a personal tip and it just comes from years of experience. I've found that nights when I want to feel most confident are not the times when I necessarily want to take a big style risk or step outside my comfort zone in terms of clothes. What usually works best are outfits in the styles that I feel best suit my body and that emphasize the features I like best about myself. Otherwise I'll very likely find myself pulling and tugging and readjusting all night — which never equals confidence.
6. Exercise That Day
In a piece for MindBodyGreen, personal trainer Krista Stryker reminded us that exercise has been scientifically proven to improve our moods, since it causes our bodies to release endorphins and decreases stress hormones. This means it will be way harder to maintain a grumpy mood if you've worked out that day. So definitely make sure you've scheduled time the morning or day of the event to take care of your body.
According to The Atlantic, studies have shown that the physical act of smiling actually makes us feel happier. Much like with standing up straight, when our brains feel our facial muscles smile, it assumes we're happy and begins mimicking the brain behavior of when we really are, creating a positive feedback loop. So in this case, "fake it 'til you make it" really works!
Feeling less than good about ourselves during moments when we want to be feeling fabulous is always a huge let down. However, remember that you're often your own worst critic and there are absolutely ways to feel better almost instantly.
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