85 percent of people worldwide say they have low self-esteem. This epidemic affects families, relationships, careers, and confidence.
Low self-esteem can lead to depression and a risk of suicide in some people.
Luckily, there’s one easy solution that makes a world of difference: exercise. Moving the body and breaking a sweat have proven benefits for confidence and self worth. And, exercise covers tons of different activities; there’s one for everyone.
If you want to boost self-esteem for yourself or a loved one, keep reading. Here are seven ways exercise raises self worth and confidence.
1. You Feel Accomplished
How do you feel when you finish a project or reach a goal? You feel accomplished, proud, and satisfied.
These feelings all contribute to a higher self worth. Completing a challenge shows that you are capable and strong. You have what it takes.
Exercise is a channel to grow to those feelings. Setting the goal to work out three times a week is a good starting place. After that first week, you gain momentum to keep going.
Every time you complete a workout, you feel pride and are in awe of your body. Self esteem increases when we appreciate our bodies and believe in our abilities. No matter how “gross” you thought your body was, you can’t deny that it’s powerful.
2. You Get Stronger
Speaking of how powerful our bodies are, exercising makes you stronger. Even if you only do it a couple of times per week, your muscles are getting stronger.
Some workouts are specifically meant for improving strength. If this is a goal, consider trying HIIT classes at a gym or kickboxing. Weight lifting is also great for growing muscle.
No matter what exercise you do, your muscles benefit. And, when you feel your body getting stronger you feel stronger emotionally. If your body can do it, why can’t your mind?
There’s also a value in getting stronger because you can defend yourself. Knowing that you could protect yourself against an attacker is very liberating. It makes you feel empowered and more confident.
3. Stress Decreases
Five minutes of aerobic activity can decrease feelings of anxiety and stress. What would your life look like with less stress and anxiety?
Stress comes from all different types of pressure. Our jobs, relationships, health, and self-esteem all cause stress. Exercising puts a wedge in the low-self-esteem/high-stress cycle.
For some, exercise is a way to release excess emotions, like anger and anxiety. Boxing, interval running, and yoga are all useful forms of exercise for anxiety.
Yoga also has benefits for stress. It teaches you to breathe through your emotions, validate them and watch them pass.
When you decrease the stress in your life, there’s less pressure to be perfect. It allows you to accept yourself and understand that life is a journey. We are all works in progress.
4. Clearer Thinking
A good sweat session improves blood circulation and increases the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that handles memory and learning.
Have you ever noticed how alert and awake you feel after working out? It’s like the brain fog clears and you can process your thoughts easier.
Low self-esteem can be a result of negative thought processes. Instead of arguing that inner voice, we give in because it’s easier. When you have a clear mind, you can use logic and rationality.
After exercising, it’s easier to tell that inner voice it’s wrong. You can point to A, B, and C reasons that you’re a worthy person. Exercise clears the fog in your brain so you can see how great you are.
5. Improves Your Mood
The brain produces a hormone called beta-endorphins. These hormones make you feel optimistic, open, and happy. They also lower stress and reduce symptoms of depression.
You can jumpstart the production of beta-endorphins by exercising. People who enjoy running call this the “runner’s high”. After a good workout, they feel happier and more confident.
Low self esteem is a symptom of a negative mindset; the cup is always half empty. When you have a regular production of endorphins from exercise, the glass is half full.
Self esteem improves when we change our mindsets to one of positivity. Positive thinking fuels positive feelings; it’s a self-fulfilling cycle.
6. Causes Physical Changes
Your self esteem does not depend on how small or big you are. Many people believe that if that only lose those extra pounds, they’ll be happy.
But, that isn’t true. When you have low self-esteem, you’ll always find things about yourself that you need to fix. You focus on the final product instead of the journey to get there.
Working out will lead to a change in your body. These changes, like muscle definition, can be encouraging on your journey. It’s important that you also notice how you feel on the inside when you workout, though.
It’s exciting to see physical changes in our bodies. But, remember that your mindset strongly affects self esteem in the long run.
7. Introduces You to a Support System
Joining an awesome fitness center allows you to meet people in the same boat as you. You’re surrounded by others who know that exercising feels good.
When you exercise in groups, you feel less alone. You aren’t the only one that has low self esteem; it seems like a human condition these days.
Support systems build your self esteem because you see others believing in themselves. Your instructors believe in you because you’re worthy. When you fall off the horse, these people will help you get back on.
Don’t hesitate to find a supportive group of people on your self esteem journey.
Ready to Boost Self-Esteem with Exercise?
Low self-esteem is an issue that affects people from every country at every age. Everyone struggles with stress, pressure, and self-doubt.
Exercise reduces these negative feelings and can boost self-esteem.
You can start the journey to better self-confidence by exercising. Learn about different exercises that will give you a boost. You are worth investing in your health; don’t let your inner voice tell you otherwise.
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