11 Old-Fashioned Confidence And Mood Boosters We Should Bring Back
Everyone wants to feel confident and good about themselves, but sometimes we forget that this requires some effort. Modern advice would suggest taking a rockin' selfie or looking in the mirror and calling yourself a badass, but there are a number of old-fashioned mood and confidence boosters for every day that we can always look to when the present stuff just isn't working. Just because they have fallen by the wayside doesn't mean they don't work — and besides, the more confidence-boosting exercises we can participate in, the better we are likely to feel.
"From my experience, the reason old-fashioned confidence advice holds true is because it works," confidence expert and therapist Karol Ward, LCSW tells Bustle. "The basics of trusting yourself and having good body language, plus the ability to talk to others, are skills that are timeless. When something works, it tends to stand the test of time."
You may have tuned out all that advice your mom gave you when you were younger on how to shine, but it turns out, sometimes the generation before us really does know best. Here are 11 old-fashioned confidence and mood boosters experts say we should definitely bring back — because feeling good doesn't go out of style.
1. Standing Up Straight
Everyone from your grandmother to your teachers has likely told you to stand up straight, but this isn't outdated advice — the way you stand and hold your body could make you feel more ready to take on your day. "When you are slouched, slumped, and shuffling, the energy in your body is diffused and unfocused," self-esteem expert Jess Weiner tells Bustle. In fact, one study from European Journal of Social Psychology found that participants who sat in an upright position had an easier time thinking of “empowering, positive” traits about themselves than those who sat more slouched.
2. Practicing Gratitude
Regularly ask yourself what you are thankful for. "When we ask ourselves this question, we shift our perspective from one of lack to one of possibility," mindset and life coach Alyce Pilgrim tells Bustle. "It's really hard to focus on what you don't have or what you don't like when you are actively being grateful and appreciating something." And when you make that shift to focus on all the wonderful things currently in your life, your mood can begin to change, which may give you the confidence to pursue other things you've been wanting as well.
3. Creating A Morning Routine
Having a morning routine not only starts your day off with something to look forward to, but it can leave you feeling chipper and accomplished. This can help drive your confidence throughout the remainder of the day. "It’s important to find a morning routine that works for you," says Weiner. "It can be meditating, reading, drinking a cup of tea, journaling, or just taking a walk around your neighborhood. The activity you do may change, but the key is to stick with it and be consistent."
4. Setting Goals
It feels completely satisfying to write something down on a list and cross it off, which means it's important to clearly define your goals. "Set your goals so you have something to work towards," says Pilgrim. "Remember that oftentimes, it's more about who you become in the pursuit of the goal."
5. Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
The old-fashioned expression goes, "fake it until you make it," but really the advice there is to venture into the unfamiliar, and have faith that you will learn the skills you currently may not have. Step outside of your comfort zone and allow yourself to feel the confidence of being exactly who you want to be, while succeeding in what you want to do, says Pilgrim. "A great question to ask is 'If I was the best person in the world at XYZ, what would I be doing, and how would I be showing up in that moment?" Consider how you would answer that, and then go for it without any reservations of what you may or may not be lacking.
6. Engaging In Self-Care
In order to truly feel confident, you have to take care of yourself. "Look after your health ... and confidence will flow," says Pilgrim. "Nourish your body from the inside out. Move your body each day and feel the mood-boosting benefits." Take time out of your day to do what makes you feel like the happiest, most authentic expression of yourself and you will see how your mood will shift.
7. Going With Your Gut
This phrase is a classic, but still very true. The more you learn to trust your instinct, the more confident you will be. "I coach people to pay attention to the signs and signals their body's give them when they have to make decisions," says Ward. "As you learn to listen to that wise inner voice, your confidence will grow. As people recognize your confidence through your decisiveness, you will be given more professional opportunities as a result."
8. Expressing Your Positivity
Your grandparents may tell you to smile more, but this isn't the only way to express and spread positivity. To help boost your mood, go out of your way to be kind to those around you, whether it be striking up a conversation with your local barista, or offering a compliment to a coworker. Their positive reaction will feed yours. "People notice when someone is friendly and are drawn to that energy," says Ward. "The more you greet people ... the more connected you will feel to them, which in turn helps you feel good. The better you feel, the more confidence you radiate out to the world."
9. Using Eye Contact
Looking someone in the eye sends the signal that you're confident. It may be daunting at first, but making an effort to meet someone's eye will show them you are decisive, and self-assured. "Practice making eye contact when ordering your coffee in the morning or when buying something at the store," says Ward. "The more you do it, the easier it gets."
10. Having A "Happy Place"
Finding your "happy place" may sound dated and cliched, but by figuring out what that means to you, this could be a headspace that allows you to shift your mood. "Think of something that makes you feel happy and upbeat, like your favorite song or a joke that always makes you laugh," clinical psychologist and business coach Dr. Lyssa Menard tells Bustle. "Use that as an anchor whenever you need a confidence boost." Before you go into a meeting or a networking event or wherever you are headed, keep that song or joke going in your mind.
11. Believing In Yourself
It may sound corny, but confidence starts from within, and when all else fails, you just need to believe in yourself. "This sounds easier said then done, but from my experience as a coach, taking the time to acknowledge your good qualities builds inner confidence," says Ward. "Many times people don't take risks because they fear being negatively judged. However, if you really know that you come from a good place and have a good heart, it won't matter what others think."
Sometimes, there aren't any special tricks to feel confident and happy — you just have to go with the tried and true advice.