I don’t know whether it’s the heat of summer, or something to do with my various ailments, but lately I’ve been questioning my own mental health. There’s nothing quite like an attack of the brain farts to make you wonder just how intelligent you really are. And believe me, feeling like you’re the most stupid being on the face of the earth can really do a number on your self-confidence.
So in an effort to cure myself of the brain freezes (or “Ruthieisms” as my son likes to call my moments of sheer idiocy) and the resulting blows to my already fragile confidence, I went looking for ideas on how to improve my own mental health. What I found is that there is a direct relationship between happiness, mental health, and self-confidence. And the more I think about it, the more I think you really can’t have an abundance of one without affecting the other.
Seven Tips For Boosting Your Mental Health and Confidence
1. Live your life
There’s nothing quite like not living to sap your confidence and your mental strength. Decide what you want to do with your life and then go out and do it!
Dreaming about what you’d like your life to look like is a good start, but you’ll never get any further than that unless you woman (or man) up and take some action to achieve them.
2. Stay away from negative people
We’ve talked about negative people and how they can sap your confidence before, but it bears repeating because they can also affect your mental health just as much as your confidence. So just in case this is your first time here, stay away from negative people!
You won’t be able to change a negative person into a positive one, and you shouldn’t really try. It’s not up to us to change other people, only ourselves. So as much as you may love someone, if they are being negative toward you or your dreams, you really should try to limit your exposure to them.
Anyone or anything that causes you to doubt your dreams or your ability to achieve is a threat to both your mental health and your self-confidence. (Tweet This)
3. Pay attention to things like diet, exercise, and sleep
How we care for our bodies really does affect the health of our minds, so make sure you eat right, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep.
There is a growing body of research that shows the links between your physical shape and your mental health, so take care of your body and you’ll not only be taking care of your mind, you’ll be boosting your confidence too because you’ll look and feel so much better.
4. Create your own happiness.
This is one thing you have to do for yourself. You are responsible for your own happiness, just as I am responsible for my own happiness. (A fact I can conveniently forget when someone else messes with my plans!)
Seriously though, both your confidence and your mental health suffer when you’re not happy. Figure out what makes you happy, and then go do it.
5. Find a hobby that makes you happy.
You don’t know how much having a hobby or a passion that you love to spend time doing means to your confidence or your state of mind until it gets taken from you.
All my life I’ve played the piano. My dad was a piano teacher and I started when I was about three years old. It was my solace, my comfort, and my security blanket all through my teenage years. I knew I could get through anything with Bach, Beethoven and the boys. And then my abusive ex sold my piano. I was devastated, and didn’t have my one hobby that I’d kept up all my life to help me through the rough times. Which, in retrospect, was his whole purpose.
Anyways, to make a long story short, the first thing I did when I got back on my feet again was buy a new piano. Once I started playing again, I started to feel more like my old self — happier and more confident just because I was able to spend a part of each day doing something I love.
6. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your abilities.
Regardless of whether you’re working at a job, for yourself, or on a hobby that you love always put your heart and your best effort into it. There’s something to be said for being able to feel proud of your work.
If you put in a half-baked effort, you get half-baked feelings of fulfillment back from it because you know in your heart that you didn’t do your best. I don’t know about you, but the guilt from doing only half an effort eats at me so badly that I get no enjoyment at all if I’m only going through the motions. And we all know what guilt can do to our mental health.
It’s got to be all or nothing, done with generous amounts of heart and soul for me to really get enjoyment out of it. “Play big or get out of the game” is my new motto, and it works great for creating happiness and building self-confidence.
7. Develop a support system
Last, but certainly not least, surround yourself with a support network of people you love, and who love you back. We humans are social beings and we were not meant to go through life alone.
Just having a friend who will listen to you when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed can do more for your mental health than all the psychiatrists in the world put together. (Of course, if you think you’re suffering from depression or other mental illness please, please, please, seek professional help.)
Having a strong, emotionally supportive network is your safety net for when the going gets tough. (Tweet this)
I can tell you from my own experience of being isolated for years, that if I would have had a strong and supportive network of family and friends, things would have been a lot different. In fact, I can credit most of the healing I’ve done in the past year directly to a supportive network of women I’ve never met in person. They have done more for my health — mental and physical — and self-confidence that I will ever be able to thank them for.
Happiness, your state of mind and your confidence are all connected, and having all three can lead to living life to your fullest potential. Stay cool, exercise your mind, and use these tips when you need a little boost.
Thanks for being here!