There are many reasons why we struggle with self-confidence. Sometimes, hectic pressures and stresses of life can bring us down and our confidence gets affected. Other times, the causes are much more deeply ingrained. The National Health Service in the UK suggests that often, low self-esteem starts during our childhood, perhaps triggered by a difficult or traumatic event. Lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem may be a mental health issue, but some form of sports or exercise has been shown to help. Here’s how:
Exercise Produces EndorphinsHave you ever told a family member or friend that you’re feeling down and they suggested that you do some exercise? Research has shown that breaking into sweat, even for just a few minutes, can have a positive impact on your mood due to the sensation of endorphins rushing through your system. If you exercise regularly, that can help reduce long-term feelings of anxiety and depression. Ultimately, it will help towards building a healthy level of self-confidence.
Something To Focus OnBritish mental health charity Mind recommends doing physical activities to improve your mental health. One of the reasons they cite is that physical activity requires your brain to focus and this, in turn, is an effective strategy for coping with life’s difficulties. Focusing on exercising is a simple distraction in the short-term and in the long run, it helps you achieve your fitness goals and that surely must feel good and give your confidence a push.
Winning Feels GoodOne of the great things about exercising is that you will always make gains – no matter how small – so long as you keep at it. A few days of working out may not result in significant changes to your body but being able to lift that extra 1.5kg of weights is material proof that you’re getting stronger. Set realistic aims while giving yourself a challenge. When you meet your target, you won’t just hit your fitness goals but also grow your self-esteem and mental fortitude.
You’re Looking GoodKeep up with the exercises and soon, there will be noticeable changes to your body. This could be in the form of weight loss, a more toned figure, or bigger muscles. Such improvements to your physical appearance is all the evidence you need that you have good discipline, are able to work hard and can achieve what you set out to do. Altogether, these should put you in a very healthy and conducive mental space, one that lets you walk around with confidence, knowing that you are strong and capable. While we’re not advocating body image as your main motivation, let’s face it – when you look good, you feel good too.
Sleep BetterThis may seem like stating the obvious but getting good sleep will make you feel good. You know that feeling first thing in the morning after a night of sound slumber. You wake up in good spirits and feel totally ready to not only face but seize the day. What’s more, if you’re sleeping well, that means you’ve got less on your mind, which is what tends to keep people up. Working out is great for enabling good sleep. It’s a healthy outlet for expending energy so you’ll want to go to bed earlier to recharge. Physical activity also releases cortisol, which helps the bodies deal with stress.