4 Ways to Boost Your Confidence Before A Date
This nervous energy stems from our natural fear of the unknown. But pre-date mental preparedness isn’t about suppressing these nerves, it’s about managing them. How? Here’s your four-step master plan.
See things differently
Anyone familiar with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) will know that it’s perfectly possible to change your view of the world by making minor modifications to the way you think and behave. In a nutshell, CBT works by breaking negative cycles of thoughts, actions, feelings, and physical sensations.
For example, don’t let things that happen in the run up to the date effect your perception of how the date will go. It’s all too easy to let a minor infraction with a work colleague get you down, and lead to thoughts that you’re a bad person and that your date won’t like you. This in turn might make you feel sick and lethargic etc. etc. Be objective and always look for alternative explanations for seemingly negative events. In the workplace example, it’s probably that your colleague has stresses at home or other worries.
It’s also important not to create a narrative based on negative interpretations of past events. If you’re worried, it’s easy to dwell on old events and string them together as if they are a complete story and predictor of the future. It may sound clichéd, but the past really is the past, and the future is whatever you make it.
Burn off excess energy
Adrenaline has been helping humans for millennia – whether it’s escaping the clutches of a hungry sabre-tooth tiger or winning a gold medal in the 100m hurdles. Unfortunately, for those feeling nervous about their date, a physiological response telling them to either fight or flee isn’t very useful.
The best course of action is to try and dissipate some of the extra energy through a little gentle exercise. Go for a walk, a swim… even give your lounge room a vacuum – it’ll be one of the few times it seems enjoyable!
As the date becomes imminent, calm yourself by breathing deeply. Take air in through the nose, hold it for four seconds – then breathe out through the mouth. Deep breathing lowers heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration.
Also try clenching both of your hands into fists, then moving your arms away from your body, extending the fingers out as you do so. Repeat this a few times, and practice deep breathing at the same time.
Talk to your friends
Having a chat with people who make you feel good is a great way to boost your confidence. Even listening to someone else’s problems can be a useful distraction. If you’re worried about date-related specifics, talking them through with friends usually makes them seem far less significant.
There’s a lot about dating that is out of your hands, however there are a few basics you can forward-plan to help give you a sense of control, starting with your outfit. What were you wearing the last time you felt really good about yourself? Wear it or, if it is not date-appropriate, at least something similar, like a shirt in the same colour.
If you’re nervous about running out of things to talk about, nix your fears by thinking of three things you can bring into conversation in case there’s a lull. It could be something happening in the news, a holiday you’re planning or a TV show you’re enjoying.
And finally, if you’re worried about how you’re going to impress your date, your game plan should be to give them your full attention. It’s easy to get hung up on how we’re going to come across on a date, but really taking notice of what your date is saying and doing isn’t just polite, it also helps take the pressure of yourself.
How do you cope with pre-date jitters? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us
This article originally appeared on eHarmony Dating Advice.
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