One Small Thing

5 steps to being your most confident self this holiday season

The holidays are the happiest time of the year, right? Well, for some women, holiday parties can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. If you’re lacking confidence and not happy with your weight, these events can lead you to doubt and judge yourself more critically.

If you’re feeling self-conscious, here are some simple ways to boost your confidence:

1. Smile.

A smile can brighten the room, and it can also brighten your mood. Research has shown a smile and direct eye contact can signal you’re more trusting and more inviting than someone who’s not smiling.

Similarly, you begin to feel the way you look. If you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror smiling, or if other people smile back at you, you may just start to feel happier.

Good posture is also an instant confidence boost because by standing tall and proud (shoulders back and abs pulled in), you’re physically opening yourself up instead of hiding or playing small.

2. Focus on a feature you want to highlight.

Play up your eyes with a smoky shadow, or your freshen up your manicure with a sparkly ring. Draw attention (and compliments!) to areas of your body that you already feel confident in. Instead of worrying about how your dress fits, you can focus on a positive feature that you like and place emphasis on that.

RELATED: 7 healthier food choices to make at holiday parties

3. Before the party, recite positive affirmations to yourself.

Are you constantly telling yourself you're ugly or overweight? If so, start pumping yourself up with positive self-talk and comments to make you feel more confident about your body. Pay attention to negative self-talk, and use it as an opportunity to begin a positive conversation.

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Smart snacks, more: Staying healthy during holiday parties

Play Video - 3:11

Smart snacks, more: Staying healthy during holiday parties

Play Video - 3:11

Tell yourself, "I feel confident." You can write this on a sticky note and place it on your bathroom mirror as a reminder. Research shows these positive affirmations have both short-term and long-term effects, so say them often!

RELATED: Try an easy, 5-minute meditation

4. Do 10 push-ups.

You’ll instantly feel tighter in your arms, and more confident in your body. Exercises like push-ups or squats can create the “burn” feeling after just 10 or 20 repetitions.

Connect to your body physically so that you can feel the effects of what you’ve just done, and in turn feel more confident about yourself. When you’re able to do an action and accomplish an immediate goal, that feels good mentally, too.

RELATED: Got holiday stress? Tips to help you navigate 4 common scenarios

5. When in doubt, take a break.

Prior to your first holiday party of the season, record yourself saying, “I feel confident,” or “I am strong!” Then, if you’re starting to feel self-conscious at a party, you can step out and go to the bathroom. Play the affirmation on your phone as if you’re playing and listening to a voicemail. It’ll be an extra shot of confidence that you need to head back out to the party and enjoy yourself.

Stephanie Mansour is a weight-loss and lifestyle coach for women. Join her weight-loss challenge here!

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