Health benefits of confidence

We all know how to stay healthy: Eat your veggies, exercise regularly, wear sunscreen and … be confident?

We all know how to stay healthy: Eat your veggies, exercise regularly, wear sunscreen and … be confident?

The last one may surprise you, but recent studies show that people who exhibit confidence are generally healthier and tend to live longer.

That’s because confidence is a positive emotion (as are joy, gratitude and hope) and positive emotions have countless health benefits for your mind, body and spirit.

Essentially, self-confidence is an optimistic belief in your personal worth. Optimism protects the mind against depression and reduces daily stress. And in general, optimistic people are more satisfied and more successful than those who are pessimistic.

The link between health and confidence also may be related to the ability of positive emotions to boost our brain’s power to hold attention, be aware and remember things. We are better able to learn, build new skills and relate better with others when we are feeling optimistic. The brain and body benefit from gaining knowledge and fostering relationships.

What may be alarming is that opposite emotions, such as pessimism, fear and anger, may do harm to our health. They can lead to stress, depression, and general wear and tear on our health and longevity.

But have no fear. Confidence isn’t necessarily a genetic trait; it can be learned through practicing positivity in your daily activities.

Here are some ways you can feel more confident, starting today:

  • Smile. It’s as simple as that. If you smile at yourself in the mirror, or keep your head up and smile at others in passing, you will feel happier and more confident.
  • Come to terms with your negative thoughts. Accept them and move forward or find healthy ways to overcome them.
  • Surround yourself with a positive support system. Positive people spread positivity to others.
  • Listen to how others have found their confidence. At a recent Go Confidently event, speaker Lizzie Velasquez talked about her experience with cyberbullying, including being called “the ugliest woman in the world.” She explained how she responds when people call her “ugly”: “My definition of beauty is confidence. I am who I am and I’m owning it,” she said.

Remember, confidence takes time and practice. Just like getting in shape or losing weight, keep working at it, be patient and the health rewards will come.

Norton Healthcare’s free speaker series, Go Confidently, sponsored in part by Norton Healthcare Foundation, features speakers who have overcome barriers and hardships and found success. Their talks inspire audiences to practice confidence in their daily lives.

To register for the next Go Confidently event, A Conversation With Melissa d’Arabian, call (502) 629-1234 or visit NortonHealthcare.com/GoConfidently.


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