Former First Lady, Michelle Obama is a strong advocate for education. She once said, “Through my education, I didn’t just develop skills…I developed confidence.” Many people would love to learn how to develop confidence too.
Hobbies can be trivial pastimes or interests that fill the time between work or other responsibilities and sleep. Alternatively, they can make a profound difference in our lives. Read on to learn about 10 healthy hobbies that can help build confidence and self-esteem.
Health and Wellbeing
What’s a healthy hobby? On the face of it, a healthy hobby could be one that involves physical exercise. An example could be jogging or swimming.
This idea of health is a limited and unhelpful one. Health and wellbeing are much broader concepts. It includes both physical and psychological health.
Thinking about health and wellbeing as both physical and psychological or emotional recognizes that they are interlinked. Poor psychological health can have a detrimental effect on physical health and vice versa. Aspects of our psychology such as confidence can be linked to physical factors such as nutrition, obesity, blood pressure and more.
Healthy hobbies can, therefore, be defined as any hobbies that have a positive impact on your physical or psychological well-being. A key aspect of your psychological wellbeing is confidence and self-esteem.
There are many ways of taking up meditation. It may be included as part of a yoga or tai chi class. It’s often a feature of mindfulness training.
There are many different traditions of meditation with a variety of approaches and techniques.
Some traditions emphasize visualization, repeating mantras or chanting. These approaches may work by occupying or filling the mind in order to exclude negative or unhelpful thoughts.
Other approaches emphasize the emptying of the mind. The focus with this approach is on your own breathing, self-examination, and awareness.
These techniques can be helpful by inducing relaxation, reduced anxiety and feelings of wellbeing. Low self-esteem and lack of confidence can arise from difficulty with being anxious or relaxed. Mindfulness practice such as meditation has been proven to have beneficial effects on self-esteem.
2. Creative Arts
Art therapy has long been used to assist people with a range of health issues. It can provide a distraction from worries and anxiety but it may do much more.
Expressing thoughts and feelings through creative art can be a release for your emotions. Communicating through visual arts, writing or even dance might be easier for you than discussing your feelings or engaging with people in other ways.
There is a boost to self-esteem and confidence that comes from learning a new skill and successfully expressing yourself. It’s only a short step to realizing that success in one area of your life could be followed by success in another.
Yoga can start simply with a beginner’s class. As your flexibility and knowledge grow you can quickly perform more difficult positions. At the same time as your physical capability develops you also develop your breathing control and some mental techniques.
Breath control is very closely linked to anxiety and confidence. Anxiety and stress are associated with shallow and ineffective breathing. Better breath control has the effect of calming the body and mind and helps confidence for example with speaking in public and dealing with conflict.
Not everybody has had a positive experience of education. Deep-seated negative feelings can arise out of poor academic performance and bullying in school. These experiences may have turned you off academic study in later life.
Learning as an adult is not the same as learning in school. Learning can be a hobby that rebuilds lost confidence by helping you see yourself as someone who can acquire new skills and achieve good academic results.
Taking yourself out of your normal life can be an opportunity to try out new versions of yourself with no risk to existing relationships. Traveling, especially solo traveling, lets you do this.
Try a short solo trip. You have to interact with people to arrange accommodation, use transportation, and dine out.
Successfully doing this can build your confidence in your independence and self-sufficiency. This can then spill over into your home, work, and social relationships.
Building self-confidence is sometimes about building a belief in your own capability and valuing that capability. Mastering the cooking arts can help build that confidence.
Share the fruits of your cooking labors with others by taking cakes into work or having people around for meals. People tend to be appreciative guests and it’s a great boost to your self-esteem to be praised for your food.
7. Volunteering for Community Work
Try volunteering in your community. There are always opportunities to do this on a small or large scale. Help at a thrift store, coach little league or visit elders.
Giving something back to your community has several benefits for your self-esteem. You can feel good about your contribution to society and others. Also, it is beneficial to your confidence to take your attention away from yourself and your concerns and turn your attention to others.
8. Music and Singing
Mastering new skills are good for your self-esteem but music can do more than this. Performing takes a special kind of confidence. Sometimes people who have difficulties with their confidence in part of their life can find the confidence to perform music.
If this seems too much of a stretch, try singing in a choir. The experience of singing with others can be both uplifting and life-affirming. The shared challenge of singing in a group tends to make everybody supportive and encouraging.
9. Martial Arts
Martial arts are a fun group learning experience. Nobody is expected to be a black belt from the start and in fact, many martial arts are built on a model of gradual development at your pace. As you progress through the stages or belts you have a sense of achievement and growing confidence that translates into everyday life.
It’s a great feeling to think that you have a skill that your family and friends don’t have. More than that, you could probably kick their buts too!
10. Public Speaking
There are classes in public speaking. This is a skill many people need for work, college, and even in everyday life from time to time. Yet, public speaking is something many people are frightened to do.
Public speaking classes recognize that building confidence is key to successful public speaking. As a result, an emphasis is given to developing confidence building techniques such as visualization, breathing exercises, and affirmation. Try it and you’ll find it helps in other aspects of your life too.
Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
Take time to develop your emotional wellbeing and it will reap rewards. Build confidence by taking up the best hobbies to build self-esteem. Have fun and feel better.
Here are some more ideas to improve self-esteem.