It pays to remember, every day, that you are awesome. Awesome in the truest sense of the word, both as in filled with awe and deserving of awe. Sometimes you might lose your confidence and forget how awesome you are. Here are 15 ways to remember you are awesome, every day.
Reminding yourself first that you are alive and able to take an independent breath (which you may have been holding) is the first step to remembering you are awesome. Taking five or ten minutes every day to focus on your breath, feeling it luxuriously moving in and out of your body, may be the best thing you can do for yourself.
2. Listen to music
Nothing downbeat or dour; pop on your headphones and get your toes tapping and your heart soaring. There are many medical benefits to listening to music, including easing pain and boosting mood. Music actually makes you feel better, so crank it up and sing along.
3. Stand up straight
Posture matters, and much of the research indicates that standing or sitting with shoulders back and chest forward increases confidence and boosts mood. This is a case of “fake it ‘til you make it.” Even if you are feeling low or lacking confidence, take a deep breath, throw your shoulders back, and shine forward.
4. Be a good friend
Your social network is vital to your mental health. Friends are family we choose, and we choose them for a reason. Sometimes the best way to remember you’re awesome is to reach out to a friend and take them for coffee or a walk. Find out how they are doing, touch base, and reconnect. Cooking together is another remarkably nourishing way to boost your spirits while feeding your belly.
5. Express gratitude
The results are in: giving thanks makes you feel better. Consciously focusing on the good things in your life instead of dwelling on the challenges or frustrations can help you improve your outlook on life and boost optimism. Take a moment at the end of every day to write down three to five things you are grateful for, whether it’s the warm sun on your face or a promotion at work. Read over these notes of gratitude when you are feeling down for an instant memory of why you’re awesome.
6. Work up a sweat
It’s the law of inertia. A body at rest tends to stay at rest (and is very hard to get moving, depending on how long it has been at rest!). A body in motion, however, can change the world. Get sweaty every day. Whatever your fitness level, this can be achieved. Move your body in some way every day that works up a sweat. Walk, hike, swim, dance, jump rope: the workout doesn’t matter, and what makes you sweaty is up to you. If it has been a long time since your body has not been at rest, it will take less effort to work up a sweat, but don’t be discouraged by that either. Find an activity you love, and dive in.
7. Use your brain
Just like your body, your brain needs a workout to stay creative and focused. When things get fuzzy, grab a puzzle or a crossword and do your best. If you can’t finish it all, go as far as you can and be creative with the rest. Draw pictures in the squares or make up words. You’re just trying to get the neurons firing.
9. Eat well
Are you caught in a cycle of cravings and crashes? Maybe you feel like a donut or some chips will cheer you up, but then all it does is make you want more. There is nothing wrong with treats in moderation, but a steady diet of sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives is erasing the memory of your awesome self and sending your mood into a tailspin. Skip the sugar and choose healthier foods to keep your mood level and up.
In other “fake it ‘til you make it” news, smiling when you don’t feel like smiling makes you feel like smiling. It’s a non-vicious cycle that is perpetuated by smiling. Smiling helps you deal with stress, elevates mood, and makes others smile back. Always a positive thing.
11. Start a good things jar
Every day for 30 days, starting today, write one good thing on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. This good thing should be something good about you. Something you did or said, or something good that happened to you (or because of you). On the 31st day, open the jar and read all of the amazing things you did or said or caused to happen for the past 30 days. Keep adding if you like to make it a jar of good things all year, then spend part of New Year’s Eve reflecting on the things that make you (and your life) awesome.
12. Accept compliments
Many people stutter and stammer when complimented. Learn to smile and simply say, “thank you.” Eventually, you will believe the compliments you receive and will be more comfortable receiving them.
The more you put yourself into situations beyond your comfort zone (e.g., talking to strangers on your daily commute instead of hiding behind your e-reader) the more your comfort zone expands. Pretty soon your comfort zone will have expanded to include the whole world and then everyone will know how awesome you are!
14. Start seeing things
Visualizing yourself in the life of your dreams may actually make it happen. Research shows that visualizing yourself as happier and more confident can actually make you be happier and more confident.
15. If all else fails, just start cursing
Odd but true: swearing can boost confidence and make you feel empowered. Not comfortable with modern-day cussing? Use the Shakespeare Insult Kit to swear like a modern boil-brained clack dish.
Starting today, tell us: what makes you awesome?
Image by Kreg Steppe via Flickr