In world where it is so easy to constantly compare yourself to others and the ‘ideal’ portrayed online, it is pretty common to spend a lot of time feeling like you are coming up short.
Unfortunately the human brain is designed to focus on the negative 2.5 times more than it focuses on the positive. This is a protective mechanism. The brains of our ancestors were designed around their need to be constantly aware of potential physical dangers and react accordingly to enable the survival of the species. Now, the reality is that if you don’t have as many followers, or as many likes, or as many photos of your “amazing” family posted for the whole world to see, your life will not end, you will not be physically maimed, but the way your mind and body react to this situation is the same. Your brain thinks you are ‘in danger’. It sends stress response signals to your body, preparing it for fight or flight. The same is true when the 24 hour news cycle gives you a stream of negative information, especially during a global pandemic. Added to which there are indeed tangible physical dangers that your brain has to compute – the virus, the restriction of freedom, the potential loss of income and all the add on impacts of that which actually can impact your physical survival. At the moment humanity is swimming through a never ending sea of anxiety and your self confidence is likely, and quite understandably, to be at an all time low.
Energy of Self Confidence
Let’s take a closer look at the energy behind self confidence and discover how to get it back!
I like to call this energy Power Energy. It is the third type of essential energy that I work with. (You can find out more about the first two types here – Foundation Energy and Creation Energy).
Your Power Energy is the energy of
- self confidence
- self esteem
- feeling empowered
- having a sense of control
- the determination to set and reach goals
So, yeah, it’s pretty important!
Where do you hold your stress?
The centre of your Power energy is located in the middle of the top half of your abdomen and is often called the ‘solar plexus’ because of it’s radiating sun-like nerve fibre network. You may have also heard it called the 3rd Chakra.
The ‘second’ brain – the gut and the solar plexus – is where your overthinking, overreactive, stressed out mind lives, rather than in your head. It is here that negative self talk, and lack of confidence come from.
The vagus nerve, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system – allowing you to ‘rest and digest’, or switch off and relax – runs throughout the body connecting, amongst other things, the digestive system and the brain. The vagus nerve is literally your ‘gut feeling’ nerve. Science now shows that this is a two way street and your digestive system does in fact have a lot of control over your brain. (This is why sugar is so addictive – the ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut love sugar because it allows them to multiply – so they send very strong messages to the brain that you should eat sugar! There’s more detail if you’re interested here.)
The vagus nerve is connected to the organs associated with your Power energy – the stomach, the small intestine, the liver, the gallbladder and the pancreas. Hence the solar plexus is the key ‘stress’ energy centre and I estimate that 80% of us – perhaps even more in #coronatimes – spend most of our time with the sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system chronically activated, which is not how it was designed. Within your body sympathetic nervous system activation
- turns off digestion
- increases blood pressure and heart rate
- increases blood flow to skeletal muscles but decreases elsewhere and
- retains fat.
Activation of the sympathetic nervous system needs to be balanced out by activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows these things to occur
- sleep (cleansing and repairing all cells in the body)
Power energy is all about balance, not only in the nervous system, but also in
- aspects of your personality
- components of life
- seizing or rejecting opportunities
- thought: planning and analyzing
- overall energy levels: consistently having enough energy to do everything you need to do
Most people will readily acknowledge that they are ‘stressed’ or ‘anxious’. But in case you are one of the few who don’t feel that, or perhaps you just have a view that this is how life is, have a look at the bodily aspects of Power Energy below, because imbalance can have significant impacts on your physical health and wellbeing. If you suffer from any of these conditions, even if you don’t think you are stressed, your Power Energy balance tells you otherwise!:
- Digestive system – stomach and small intestine: allows the digestion and assimilation of nourishing food to be transformed into energy and delivered to the bloodstream for transportation throughout the body, adversely affected by stress (‘upset’ stomach, ulcers, reflux, flatulence)
- Liver and Gallbladder – digestion and absorption of fats, including unutilized carbohydrate (fatty liver, hepatitis, over or under activity)
- Body temperature – expression of the body’s available energy, should be balanced (skin flushing, always hot or cold, especially in extremities)
- Gland: Pancreas – digestion and assimilation of sugar, blood sugar balance, adversely affected by stress (diabetes, metabolic syndrome)
- Body composition: excess weight (especially carrying weight in the upper abdomen)
- Inflammation: excessive stress = body inflamed
How to boost your self esteem (and your Power energy) using Evenstar 5 Star Wellbeing
Food is the energy that you put into your body several times a day, and as we’ve discussed above your digestive system is very closely linked to your levels of self confidence and balanced power energy. Therefore using food is probably the easiest way to boost your self esteem and manage anxiety. Check out my Blog How to get more Energy from food for lots more details.
In the mean time these are the most important points:
- Minimise sugar and all processed foods, as well as high glycaemic index (GI) foods such as white flour, white rice, white pasta, white potatoes, savoury snack foods such as potato crisps. These foods provide a quick hit of energy as blood sugar levels spike but then lead you to feel fatigued when the levels of available energy in the blood stream rapidly decrease again
- Include slow energy release foods (low GI) – legumes (lentils, peas) and beans are a great example. Many people who believe they are intolerant to these will actually digest them easily if they are prepared in the traditional way of soaking and lengthy cooking times. Other foods to include are nuts, vegetables (parsnips, potatoes*, squash*, sweet potato turnip), fruits (apples*, berries*, cherries, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, nectarines*, pears*) and whole grains (quinoa, red or black rice, millet, oats, amaranth) and seeds (chia, hemp, flax)
- Avoid artificial sweeteners as well, when you need a sweet hit go for maple syrup, pure honey, dates
- Get plenty of fibre each day (30-40 grams), especially soluble fibre, which enhances blood sugar balance – such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables
- 5-7 servings of yellow plant based foods each week – corn*, yellow capsicum*, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, yellow apples*, yellow squash*, bananas. Your power energy – the energy of self confidence – vibrates on the same frequency as the colour yellow, so have this cheerful colour around you as much as you can.
- Herbs & spices: use them a lot! Include ginger (promotes digestion), turmeric (reduces inflammation), chilli, paprika, black pepper, cardamom, horseradish, cinnamon, garlic
Prioritise sleep because it is often the only time in a 24 hour period that your parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) is activated for a decent period of time, and your Power energy can recharge.
A few tips to help you sleep better –
- For most people eating close to bedtime is not conducive to quality sleep, so finish eating around 3 hours before you want to sleep
- High intensity exercise in the evening is not recommended because it raises your core body temperature for some time afterwards, which decreases the ability to fall asleep
- Taking a hot shower or bath before bed can improve sleep quality by lowering your core body temperature (heat is pulled outwards into your extremities)
Movement is essential for the flow of energy throughout the body and in fact if you don’t move your lymphatic system can’t function and wastes are not removed from your body. For more detailed information on this, have a read of my Blog, The Magic of Movement.
- Do moderate cardiovascular exercise when you want to feel more energised and confident. Choose something that you like because then you’ll keep doing it!
- Yoga, tai chi or qigong are really beneficial when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Click the link to access the Evenstar Wellbeing Power Energy Yoga video with yoga instructor Jolanda DeJong
- Balance your day in order to prioritise movement. If it is hard to set aside exercise time try to incorporate it into your day – in your commute, walking meetings, sit-stand desk
- Movement that involves the abdomen will stimulate your Power energy – most whole body exercise: tennis, boxing, golf, dancing, yoga, pilates, and everyone’s favourite – stomach crunches
- Movement in the sun – protect yourself from any damaging sun rays and take your exercise outdoors, even if the sun isn’t shining he is always in the sky! As it’s name suggests, your solar plexus energy, loves the sun!
Definitely getting out in the sun as much as possible is great for your Power energy. Also some plants, all of which are grown with the energy of the sun, are beneficial.
There are particular essential oils (volatile plant compounds) are very helpful for increasing self confidence, boosting esteem and balancing power energy. The properties of essential oils work on physical, mental and emotional levels. These are my top 3 picks:
Ginger – the oil of empowerment
Physical | Mental action: laxative, stimulant, warming, digestive tonic
Emotional | Spiritual action: removes victim mentality, empowering, increases sense of purpose
Bergamot – the oil of self-acceptance
Physical | Mental action: stress management, increases energy, digestive tonic
Emotional | Spiritual action: instils self belief and hope, opening of the inner self
Lemon – the oil of focus
Physical | Mental action: aids concentration and clarity, overcoming mental fatigue, restores energy, cooling, anti-acidic, liver and digestive tonic
Emotional | Spiritual action: drive to achieve goals, joy, self-confidence
I have essential oils available from the certified pure therapeutic grade DoTerra range, through my Shop, and you’ll never pay RRP when you buy through Evenstar!
Science now shows that meditation is extremely effective for stress management. Click here for a guided visualisation meditation to help with anxiety.
Other ways of Being to boost your self confidence and balance your Power energy
- Make sure you incorporate fun and play into your week – set aside time in your calendar if you need to
- Do the opposite of your normal – if you always say yes, practice saying no, if you always say no, practice saying yes
- Meditate in the sun (first thing in the morning is the ideal time to meditate anyway!)
Another really powerful tool to use is that of Affirmation. Choose one of these and say it 3 times daily during the next few weeks. You could also combine them all into one, or make up your own:
- I am powerful, confident and worthy
- I am radiant and complete from within
- I am grateful for my own power
You might like to write your affirmation out and place it somewhere you’ll see it often, or use it as a screen saver…
I am confident that you can use all this information to help you boost your self esteem. However, if you’d like some more support to get your confidence and self esteem back, and balance your power energy feel free to check out my Holistic Health & Wellbeing Coaching services or just contact me directly.