We know that exercising can be a struggle for some to begin, but once we get going the struggle begins to fade away. This is not to say exercising isn’t going to take effort; it’s going to take energy and effort like anything else worth doing! Building exercise and body confidence takes time and will even require us to step out of our comfort zones and try new things!
Daily exercise is what strengthens us to continue to bring about positive changes in our bodies, minds, and lives. Eating clean sustains our energy and passion for life while exercising the body gives us the strength and endurance to keep powering through our day.
When our health or well-being gets placed on the back burner we feel less confident in ourselves, but when we’re on top of it we become our most powerful and healthiest selves.
When we look good we feel good, and when we feel good we eat well and the pattern continues.
How can we boost our self-confidence with virtual reality? Here are a few ways…
Rock Out To A VR Workout
It’s a shocking fact that 80% of adults don’t get their 30 minutes of aerobic and muscle building exercises in every day. How can we work towards achieving that goal?
We make the time! Setting an alarm on a fitness tracker or smartphone to stay accountable for our own health and well being is a good start.
VR is known for sending players into a state of immersion known as the flow state. This is the feeling we get when we’re in “the zone” that can mean we lose track of time and lessens the feeling of effort and exertion that comes hand in hand with working out. Enter the flow state with VR fitness games and time becomes dilated, making working out enticing and rewarding.
Playing VR games for exercise alone or with friends and family can really bring out our inner badass and confidence when we finally learn a new level, defeat a pesky minion, or become more fit after rounds of punches against a boxer. Rhythm VR games like Beat Saber and BOXVR are popular and launch players into the fat burning and aerobic zones with next level music to slice cubes or dance to!
Kevin William has lost 32 pounds playing rhythm games in VR, saying, “I try to keep everything in VR but there have been a few occasions where I have been so pumped after beating/scoring high on a song that I decide to go run a few miles after.” VR isn’t going to turn our lives around overnight, it takes repetition. When exercising in VR, consistency pays off with fitness and self-confidence to make other changes like going for a run or trying a new activity.
Meditate in VR
We know that VR is amazing for fitness, but its apps have real benefits for our brains and mental well-being too. Whether we’re sitting on a grassy hill with our eyes closed or are in a virtual meditation app, the benefits are the same: Meditation reduces stress, lifts brain fog and lack of concentration, boosts self-awareness and self-care, increases happiness, and keeps our immunity to sickness in fighting condition.
VR meditation apps like Guided Meditation VR, ReMind VR: Daily Meditation and Satori Sounds are apps that can really make a difference in how confident we feel. Being mindful, self-aware, meditating, or taking a break from the demands of life and work can be a healthy reset for the brain. When we’re stressed or think poorly of ourselves we can make decisions to eat junk food or put off exercise, which then makes us feel worse.
Getting control over negative emotions, a mind full of clutter, or tiredness with meditation can help stop the cycle that’s working against us and creating bad habits. Taking care of ourselves first helps us to be better people in the world and helps us to make moves to eat better and exercise, making us our own heroes. See where the confidence comes in?
Standing and speaking in front of a room full of people or even just a few can send some people into a case of the nerves or at worst a downward spiral of anxiety. Public speaking might come easily to some, while others will have to practice at it. VRET, or VR Exposure Therapy, is a way people in the industry are helping people with a fear of public speaking.
VRET apps like Presentation Simulator, VirtualSpeech – VR Courses, and Speech Trainer are a great start for anyone who gets anxiety just thinking about their next speech, meeting, or conference call. Step into VR and get taken to a lifelike conference room, stage, or interview situation to practice how it would look and feel to really speak in front of a crowd or group of people.
It’s this exposure therapy that helps users with extreme stage or speakers fright trade in their nerves for control over their emotions. From experience, we know that confidence from learning new things, ideas, and concepts expands into other areas of life like work, communication, and networking. Pair VRET apps with exercise, nutrition, and meditation and we’re armed to the teeth with solutions to improve confidence and trust in our abilities.
If we eat well, we’ll feel well; and if we feel well, we’ll exercise; and the cycle continues on and on. Clean eating is one of the best remedies for helping build confidence. Without proper nutrition, the body will not have enough energy to thrive, exercise and feel its best let alone process body functions like the metabolism or building muscle properly.
Eating clean means buying, cooking, and eating foods that aren’t manufactured, but are whole foods like fruits, veggies, and proteins like beef, chicken, fish or Tofu. Foods that are found in the middle of the grocery store tend to be unhealthy and chock full of preservatives. Whereas foods on the perimeter tend to be the produce, meat, eggs, and dairy aisles. These are worth eating.
Energizing our bodies and cleaning up our diets can help us combat what life throws our way and feel more confident in our own skin. Using a smartphone app like MyFitnessPal is a great way to stay on top of calories in-calories out, and helps us keep tabs on macronutrients. Making sure we have a balanced diet can help power us through workouts in and out of VR, helps us lose weight, and gain muscle.
Feel Good Brain Chemicals
We know that exercise boosts feel-good brain chemicals in people who exercise regularly. One example is the rush runners get from a flood of endorphins. These people are on to something! Exercising in VR has the same effect when done with intensity. Reap the benefits of exercise as a tool to release stress hormones and to promote brain chemicals that will boost our moods and feel more confident.
Without a balance of brain chemicals, our brains are hardwired to dip into negative emotions and feeling sluggish. Eating garbage food without well-rounded nutritional value and skipping out on workouts can make us feel less energetic, physically weak, unhappy, and therefore unconfident in our bodies and lives. When we regularly exercise, eat whole foods, gain and implement skills to improve our mental health, we cultivate a brain and body that exudes confidence.
DOSE Brain Chemicals
VR and video games do an excellent job of triggering happiness chemicals with gamification. The games people play are so fun and rewarding (action, competition, objectives, score multipliers, etc.) in the moment and in the long term (weight loss, strength, etc.) that players come back for more. The DOSE chemicals drive our brains with gamified exercise like VR and can help us become fitter, stronger and more confident when we get enough of them.
- Dopamine. This is the reward chemical we get flooded with when we punch bad guys in the gut or beat our own best score or time in a VR game.
- Oxytocin. This is a chemical that gets generates feelings of closeness to family, friends, and partners. We can also get the same effect when we play active games in VR and score or win a multiplayer VR game with our teammates.
- Serotonin. This is a well-known chemical that’s in charge of boosting feelings of happiness. When we exercise, run, play VR, or get sunlight outdoors this chemical gets triggered for release.
- Endorphins. This is the major chemical that produces chemicals that block pain and make us feel happy when we exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Flex The Mind
Learning new things, whether that be a new game map, education, puzzles, or escape rooms can all lead to more self-confidence. This is more of a skill-based confidence that will flex our minds to think in different ways. VR puzzles and escape rooms are kind of like mental yoga, or if they’re difficult they can be likened to mental gymnastics.
Figuring out how to play logical puzzle games like Laser Puzzle VR and Rangi or searching for items in a timed and explosive escape game like I Expect You To Die are great starting points. These games build confidence by testing, out of the box thinking skills. Solving problems triggers dopamine release when we make connections in a puzzle or escape a car.
There are also action and adventure games that have puzzles to solve in order to advance in the game. Games like Adventure Game and Ashes of the Ark flex brain muscles and also use room scale movement which is great for racking up steps. These games also have fight scenes that will make our bodies move and buffs our confidence.
Confidence is self-created. We cultivate healthy confidence in our lives by eating healthy and exercising. Playing VR fitness and puzzle games helps our bodies get stronger as our minds learn new things. Even meditating in VR can help us get clarity and peace of mind, which transfers over into other areas of our lives.