Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy self confidence in a bottle?
Imagine not having to worry about getting through that job interview you’ve spent days preparing for, or plucking up the courage to approach that date! If only life was as simple as popping down to your local health food store and handing over your cash. Voilà – a brand new, confident you!
Unfortunately self confidence is an impossibly difficult thing to define. There’s no one magic pill that will give you the charm to work the room like Brad Pitt at a singles ball, but the good news is that Mother Nature does have one or two tricks up her sleeve that could help to boost your self esteem naturally without having to fake it.
5 Ways to Build Self Confidence Naturally
1. Steady your nerves with B vitamins
Nerves are the enemy of the self confident socialite, so the first port of call should be to feed and nourish your nervous system from within. B vitamins found in foods such as whole grain cereals, brown rice, nuts and leafy green vegetables are responsible for maintaining a healthy nervous system, supporting adrenal function and keeping those neurotransmitters firing.
It’s always best to get nutrients from your diet, but if you suffer from poor digestion or assimilation issues, it may be worthwhile investing in a good vitamin B complex supplement, especially if you know you’re going to be faced with a situation where your nerves are likely to try and get the better of you.
2. Support your adrenal glands with oil
The health of your adrenal glands is hugely important when it comes to confidence. It’s these little powerhouses that are responsible for releasing all that adrenaline into your blood stream whenever you feel yourself getting anxious. We’ve all experienced that “fight or flight” reaction when under pressure, so to banish those butterflies, it’s important to make sure you don’t overwork these delicate glands.
Starflower oil (from the borage plant) is great for supporting the nervous system when under pressure. It’s even thought that the Crusaders mixed it with wine to give them courage before going into battle!
Starflower oil is particularly useful for people who easily get themselves into a flap because of excessive stress, or are naturally prone to anxiety, and is a good source of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) which is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous and endocrine system. Studies have shown that GLA is particularly useful for people suffering from social anxiety.
Related: 4 Health Benefits of Aromatherapy
Another simple tip is to dab lavender or chamomile essential oil onto a handkerchief, or add it to a bath before an important event. The benefit of using oils in this way is that the calming effects will not just be appreciated by you, but by everyone else around you.
3. Look after your skin
Why is it that pimples seem to show up at exactly the same time you’ve scheduled that all important meeting? Spots and blemishes are a sure fire way to knock self confidence right out of the window, so kick them into touch with one of nature’s best antibacterial cosmetics – honey.
As well as having antibacterial properties, it’s also highly antiseptic and has been used for hundreds of years to help give skin a healthy glow. A small amount of raw, organic honey dabbed onto pimples will reduce redness and soothe breakouts, and unlike traditional over the counter treatments, it won’t dry out your skin.
Related: 10 Health Benefits of Honey
4. Use the power of flowers
Try flower remedies! Dr Bach was an ingenious man who came up with a whole system of homeopathic flower preparations to help all manner of emotional disorders. These inexpensive, safe remedies are ideal for short term use for counteracting low level anxiety.
For known fears such as making a speech in front of colleagues, or having to look after the neighbor’s pet tarantula while they’re away on vacation, mimulus is a great choice. Taking a few drops in water or juice is said to bring courage and help promote a positive mental approach to stressful situations.
5. Be positive!
Meeting new people and opening yourself up to opportunities is always going to be daunting. Accepting this fact makes it much easier to go with the flow.
By embracing positive thoughts instead of dwelling on what might go wrong, you’ll improve your posture and have the appearance of confidence, even if you feel jittery on the inside! So get rid of the negative self talk and focus on the fact that others around you are probably feeling exactly the same way.
Related: The Power of Positive Thinking
Studies show that people who open themselves up to new experiences more frequently and have a positive attitude to life are generally happier and healthier, and even consider themselves to be luckier than those who have a more negative outlook. So it would seem that self confidence is really a lot like learning to play a new sport, it gets better and easier with practice. The more you get out there and do it, the better you’ll feel!
Sarah Murphy trained at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, England, where she specialized in Western Herbal Medicine and Ayurveda. She writes widely about natural health, and is passionate about empowering people to take better care of their own well-being.
Featured image by Cavan Images
Originally posted 12/2013 and updated 11/2014.