If you’re feeling down on yourself, it can affect your whole outlook. Try these simple techniques to help you alter your mindset and give you back your ‘get up and go’.

Practise self-compassion

Try to cut yourself some slack. We’re often guilty of being too hard on ourselves, but rather than beating yourself up over something, try allowing yourself space to figure out what went wrong. Acknowledge your weaknesses and then forgive yourself.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that self-compassion contributes to more consistent confidence. Thinking, “Everyone messes up sometimes,” as opposed to, “I’m so stupid. I ruined everything,” is an example of having self-compassion.

TRY THIS — Speak to yourself as you would speak to friends or family in the same situation. Apps like ThinkUp and Shine send you daily affirmations with advice on how to stay confident.

Stop comparing yourself to others

Exhausting energy on trying to be something that you’re not, or fighting for the approval of others, can minimise self-confidence. Instead of comparing, celebrate and acknowledge what you are good at.

TRY THIS — The online world can be a toxic place. Take regular breaks from socials and do something that keeps your mind active — reading, puzzles, art, running. Ground yourself in the present, to avoid being consumed by the often false realities online.

Take care of your body

Ninety percent of serotonin, or the ‘happiness’ hormone, is produced in your gut. A poor diet, stress and anxiety can cause inflammation in the gut and cause low moods. Negative feelings can turn into unfair criticism of yourself, reducing confidence even further.

Do your best to stay away from processed foods and high sugar and carb diets. When you fuel your body with the right foods, you feel healthier, stronger and more energised.

TRY THIS — Name one food that you can eliminate from your diet and one food you can add to it to improve overall health. Do this for one week and see if the changes impact your mood and confidence levels.

Step out of your comfort zone

Confidence is about finding contentment within yourself and being unafraid to occupy the space that you take up in the world — and doing it is easier than you think.

Start by stepping out of your comfort zone. Finding the courage to put yourself out there and make yourself vulnerable will not only help you find new passions but help you discover your boundaries, too. And being sure of your boundaries is just as important as having the courage to push them.

TRY THIS — Start small. Wake up half an hour earlier and go for a walk, delegate chores or errands to your partner, take on a new project at work or try a new workout.

Be true to yourself

This means doing the things that you love — things that you could do for hours on end without realising the passing of time. Years of working, raising children and looking after others can make it difficult to focus on yourself again.

You can pick up old hobbies like crafting, painting or sketching. If you’ve never really had a hobby, now is the time to discover one.

Opportunities are everywhere, it’s just taking the time to find out where yours are hiding.

TRY THIS — Start thinking of what makes you smile on a day-to-day basis. If you’re attracted to beautiful landscapes, try painting what you see. If you love the way sunshine seeps through tree branches, try photographing it. If you love clothes, try making your own. If you love cakes, start baking.

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