College is a time of self-discovery. You are surrounded by thousands of strangers, learning to live with roommates, and enrolled in challenging classes. There’s a lot to learn about yourself, and most of it is good stuff! But sometimes self-discovery can get you down as you realize you are a small fish in a big pond. Here are a few ways to overcome any college self-doubts you are having.

1. Eat Right

I think every college student has experienced the yucky feeling that comes from eating gross take-out meals all the time. That overall gross feeling you get when you eat too many unhealthy foods is a very real thing. Our bodies run most efficiently when we eat healthy foods. Even if eating take-out every night isn’t making you physically look any worse, it can make your mood and confidence take a hit. Make a conscious goal to eat healthier. Eat more fruits and vegetables, cook meals for yourself, and drink lots of water. This a great simple way to boost your confidence and help your body feel better.

2. Hygiene

It doesn’t matter how busy you are in college – you have to make time to take care of your hygiene. Take regular showers and brush and floss your teeth. Taking a few extra moments to fix your hair every day can greatly increase your confidence. If you think your hair looks better after it has been straightened, then straighten it! Treat yourself to some TLC and let yourself be confident.

Brushing and flossing your teeth is important to your oral health. No one wants to deal with unhealthy gums, cavities, or bad breath. But your smile can affect your confidence as well. A lot of people are self-conscious about their smiles. Maybe your teeth are crooked or you don’t like the color of your teeth. Consider braces or use whitening toothpaste to help make your smile something you are proud of.

3. Positive Thoughts

It’s easy to find a negative side to every situation. Especially when you are stressed and overwhelmed, but it’s important to stay positive about yourself and your life if you want to feel more confident. It is possible to retrain your brain to focus on the positive aspects instead of negative aspects. Forcing yourself to think positively affects the body and brain. When you think positive thoughts, your brain creates serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that helps your brain feel more calm and happy. It helps your body physically relax and feel better. Who doesn’t want that?

It can be tricky to get yourself to think more positively when you’ve fallen into a habit of being negative. Here a few suggestions to help you get started. Recognize your accomplishments. Don’t downplay any of your achievements. If you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts, force yourself to stop and think of 3 positive aspects of your situation. An interesting experience is to carry around a counter and click it every time you think of something positive. This will help you recognize each positive thought you have and give you a motivation to think more positive things so your “positive thought total” can increase.

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