Our bodies carry great power. Your physical strength supports your mental, emotional, and spiritual strength. When all of these aspects align, your confidence grows.
Empaths Struggle with Energy
For years I had very little strength and stamina. I could only do short, slow yoga practices, and I barely had the energy to take walks. My doctors told me that pushing myself harder physically would help me build stamina. However, I had so little energy to work with, that advice felt frustrating and impossible.
What I didn’t recognize at the time is that I am an Empath who was negatively impacted by the people around me. Once I was living alone, my energy returned and my doctors’ advice actually rang true.
Walk it Out
At that time, I lived off the main street in a quiet little town in Western Connecticut. The wide sidewalks offered a safe place to walk. I would put on my favorite uplifting playlist and walk at least 4 times per week. Every time I pushed myself to go a little farther, working up to 4 miles.
It was empowering to feel my energy return. Additionally, those long, brisk walks gave me so much joy and peace. Moving my body helped me release any pent-up emotions that had been lingering from my divorce. Likewise, the endorphins produced made me feel great.
All Forms of Cardio Count
If brisk walking isn’t your thing, consider other forms of cardiovascular exercise. I also enjoy dancing, or power yoga sessions to get my heart pumping. Cardiovascular exercise will not only make your body stronger and leaner, but those endorphins I mentioned provide a powerful antidote to depression and feelings of low self-worth.
Strength Begins in the Core
In addition to regular cardio exercise, I started diligently working on my core. I had read about the plank challenge, a call to hold plank pose for one minute every day. After having done core-based yoga for many years, I suspected I could hold it for much longer. At first, I pushed myself to hold it for two minutes. Then one day I decided not to watch the timer at all, and just held it as long as I could. I was surprised and excited when I realized I could hold it for five minutes.
That experiment taught me two important lessons:
1. I can do far more when I don’t limit myself, and
2. I am much stronger than I think.
I’m confident you will find the same is true for you.
Your Personal Power Source
The core is where our solar plexus chakra is located, just above the belly button. It is considered to be our source of power and will. Many empaths receive energy and emotions in that area.
There is often an energetic feeling in the center of my belly that tells me if something is off. I found that strengthening that area physically makes me feel more empowered emotionally and spiritually. Furthermore, I love how I look and feel when my core is tight and toned. It makes my posture better, which also makes me look taller and more confident.
Stand Tall, Feel Great
The way we carry our bodies not only displays confidence but also makes us feel more confident. In a popular 2012 TED talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shared that power poses like putting your hands on your hips (a.k.a “The Wonder Woman”) make people feel more confident.
In 2014, I was in a community performance of The Vagina Monologues. All of us who were in the show were nervous before going on stage, so we practiced power posing, stretching our arms over our heads, and putting our hands on our hips. It really did seem to help.
Pilates and Yoga Improve Posture
Improving your posture leads to multiple positive outcomes in terms of making you look and feel better. Pilates and yoga are especially effective at this goal. I am a huge fan of both forms of exercise as they lengthen the muscles, and strengthen the back, giving you a naturally leaner appearance quickly. You can try these styles of exercise via apps and through YouTube. Please check with your doctor first to be sure this is appropriate for you. If you get the green light, incorporate at least 15 minutes of these types of exercise 3-5 times per week.
You can also practice good posture daily simply through conscious intention. Every time you sit think of a mantra like, “My spine is straight and strong.” Throughout the day, remind yourself to align your head over your neck, keeping your shoulders slightly back and down, and stretching your spine long and tall. You can even practice doing this while waiting in line at the grocery store. Think of your feet growing roots down into the floor as the crown of your head stretches upward as if being lifted by a balloon. Every little effort helps.
Confidence is a challenge for many sensitive women. We often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by the energies around us. Working on our physical bodies gives us a surprising strength that supports us in all areas of our lives.
I’m writing a book! The above is an excerpt from, “Online Dating for Sensitive Women,” which will be coming soon.
UPDATE 7/21 – The book is now available! Learn more and order here.
Resources for a Stronger Core:
Free Pilates Classes from The Balanced Life on YouTube
FitOn Fitness App – a free app with a wide variety of pilates and yoga programs