(BPT) - Feeling good about yourself these days? If so, you're ahead of the game, since a recent study shows your perception of your own image has a profound effect on how you present yourself to the rest of the world.

Those findings could be empowering in light of the fact that even small changes to your self-care routine can significantly boost your self-confidence.

The study by researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business found those who believe in their own attractiveness view themselves as having higher social status. 'The finding that your assessment of yourself shapes your view of yourself and others puts power into your hands,' the authors note.

Want to give yourself some instant confidence? Consider how these science-based suggestions may help you put your best foot forward when dealing with everything life throws your way.

* Get moving. Regardless of your fitness goals (or lack thereof), the fact is you're likely to feel better physically, emotionally and mentally after you exercise. Research also shows it can improve your self-esteem.

* Ramp up your smile. Scientists say our brains are zapped with an instant mood boost when we smile, and that boost is reinforced when others smile back. Further, whiter teeth can have a direct effect on our social and professional interactions, and they're now easy to achieve through consumer brands like Rembrandt's 1 Week Whitening Kit that can achieve professional-level results at home within a week. In study results transcending gender, age, income, education, employment and marital status, 58 percent of participants were more likely to be hired after whitening their teeth, while 53 percent received higher salary offers. Sixty-one percent were deemed more confident, and 54 percent generated more interest from others in terms of further interactions or dating.

* Let your body language communicate self-respect. Keeping your shoulders pulled back and your body straight and tall communicates confidence to your brain, one study confirms. Other research found the most empowering stance is one in which your arms are held slightly away from your torso, your body is open and your head is up.

* Optimize color in your clothing. The right shade may light up your entire face and have a surprising impact on your mood. 'Choosing the color of your office, your clothes or your desktop should not be taken lightly - colors do affect our moods and productivity,' states a recent article on Scienceofpeople.com. 'When given the choice, picking a color that will work with you and not against you can only help.'

* Wear scent strategically. Because our brains link certain smells to positive experiences, research suggests we may be able to ramp up our confidence with scents that remind us of happy times. That's why aromatherapy can help alleviate anxiety, depression and sleeplessness, and improve quality of life for those with chronic health issues, confirms Mayo Clinic.

Bottom line: When you're taking care of yourself and projecting your best self, you're far more likely to project the confidence you need to deal effectively with life.

'Confidence can make or break a lot of things,' advises Lecia Bushak on Medicaldaily.com. 'In our extrovert-centric society, confidence can get you a job, a girlfriend, and the courage to say no to people or situations that are toxic to you. Confidence is knowing yourself and taking care of yourself, too.'