This confidence-building habit only takes two seconds

While self-confidence is not necessarily an inherent characteristic of many people, it is something you can develop with specific rituals and practices, such as reciting positive affirmations and giving yourself pep talk. Even swiping on your favorite lipstick can undoubtedly give you the motivation you need to conquer the day – another easy confidence-building habit worth adding to your toolkit: yourself.

Mel Robbins, author of the best-selling book The 5 second rule, recently launched a new book aptly titled The High 5 Habit: Take control of your life with just one little habit, which focuses on exactly that, the power of daily uplifting your reflection in the mirror. Robbins says the potential side effects of implementing this habit into your routine include eliminating negative thought patterns and – you guessed it – improved self-confidence. While it might sound almost too simple and maybe a little silly, there is science to back it up. Studies have found that high fives increase motivation and strength while lowering levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone), so don’t hit it until you’ve tried it.

Up front, Robbins gives TZR the inside scoop on the benefits of high-fiveing ​​yourself, how it works, and how to put it into practice to experience the confidence-building outcome for yourself.

How to Practice High-Fiving Yourself

While we assume you know the basics of the high-five, there are a few tips and tricks for maximizing the effectiveness of the habit. First, when should it be done? Robbins recommends giving yourself a daily boost right after brushing your teeth in the morning. “When you stack a new habit with an old one, it’s easier for your brain to model it,” she says. In this case, the habit of brushing your teeth will make you remember to give yourself a high five.

To do this, Robbins asks to stand in front of a mirror and recognize that the person watching you needs your support and encouragement. Then raise your hand while maintaining your gaze in the mirror and greet your reflection. Simple! Yes, that might sound a little weird, Robbins says, but you’ll get used to it quickly after a few times.

In addition, the habit of the five strokes is also a tool that you can implement throughout the day and that you can use whenever you feel stressed, even when there is no mirror in sight. seen. Robbins calls this version “high-fivering your heart”. To practice, press your hands to the center of your chest. Robbins explains that this is where the vagus nerve passes through and by pressing down on the area, you can essentially turn off the sympathetic nervous system (the flight or fight response associated with stress) and activate the parasympathetic nervous system (the nervous system in the body). rest) making you feel more grounded and in control. With your hands on your heart, Robbins recommends repeating this mantra: “I am fine. I am safe. I am loved.”

The benefits of giving you a hard time

According to Robbins, there are three main benefits of daily elevation as part of your morning ritual. First, you’ll get an instant drop of dopamine, the chemical that helps uplift your mood. You’ll also get a burst of energy when you do this because the nervous system is wired to associate high-fives with celebratory energy, Robbins says.

And, more importantly, she says, you’ll feel a sense of positivity because we have a neural association that connects high-fives with positive beliefs and positive encouragement. “All of the programming this explains why the benefits are already stored in your brain and nervous system and in your physiology as a result of the life you have spent receiving or giving high fives to other people, ”says Robbins. “The physical action of the high-five triggers all of this positive programming that is stored in your subconscious to blend in with your own reflection. It is neurologically impossible to stand in front of a mirror and greet each other and think of something negative. “

After you integrate this habit, adds Robbins, usually within a few days you will feel your mood change and your energy change and start to develop a better relationship with yourself. “It breaks the habit of rejecting yourself [and] self-criticism, “she says.” It reprograms your brain with all the positive programming related to the top five – encouragement, celebration, support, love. “

Essentially, by giving yourself a boost every day, whether it’s in the morning or whenever you need a boost, Robbins says, the act communicates to you that you love and accept yourself, and that you encourage yourself, no matter where you are in life, what you look like or what you’ve accomplished. “It reframes your belief system about who you are,” she says. “Your brain is starting to work too, whoa, wait a minute. You don’t criticize the person in the mirror. We are celebrating it now. So you will feel more encouraged. You will feel connected. to yourself. You will feel like you are building trust and a partnership with yourself. And frankly, you’ll feel like you’re coming home, coming back to yourself. “

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