Tips to Improve Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is a major factor in one’s quality of life. Positive self-esteem is often correlated to life satisfaction, good relationships, and achievement.
Our self-esteem can affect the way we think, act, and talk. It changes how we see the world around us and our role in it. When we have a higher sense of self-esteem, we have a greater ability to take action, give and receive love, and make choices that are going to positively affect us and those around us.
If you have been struggling with low self-esteem, you’re not alone. Many of us do, whether for short periods of time or long periods of time. There are many things we can do to improve our sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
What Causes Low Self-Esteem?
For many, a sense of self-worth starts at a young age. Approval and disapproval from family and friends can carry from our young years into adulthood. The environments we find ourselves in — home, school, work, relationships, or other outings — can greatly influence our self-esteem. Still, self-esteem stems from inward conversations and thought processes that we have about ourselves.
There are a number of different ways our self-esteem may be undermined. These things may happen slowly, or all at once.
General factors that impact self-esteem include:
- Thought processes and patterns of thinking
- Physical ability and mental ability
- Socioeconomic status
- Illness and health
Experiences that can factor into self-esteem include:
- Abuse and bullying
- Discrimination and prejudice
- Employment issues
- Problems at school or work
- Continuous stress
- Relationship issues — whether with a spouse, a family member or a friend
- Body image and appearance issues
- Problems with money
Perhaps you’ve experienced one or more of the above. Or, maybe it is something else unique to you. Whatever the issue, it’s important to feel good about who you are and feel comfortable in your own skin.
How to Improve Self-Esteem
Don’t feel hopeless about improving your self-esteem. Below are some tips you can take to address your problems.
- Learn more about yourself — take time to explore new things, write in a journal, and really find what makes you happy.
- Have feelings — and remember that you are a human being that naturally experiences a wide range of emotions.
- Base your self-worth on things that have meaning to you — don’t look toward things that aren’t useful or helpful.
- Challenge unkind thoughts — don’t be your own worst enemy. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend.
- Talk positively about yourself — both in your head and out loud. It may feel awkward at first, especially if you haven’t in a while, but you need to build a positive habit.
- Get Sleep — proper rest greatly influences how you feel and your thought processes.
- Eat well — keep junk food to a minimum and eat regularly.
- Get your blood flowing — exercise in whatever way you find enjoyable. Endorphins can do wonders for your mental health and self-esteem.
- Get outside — sunlight and the outdoors grounds our mind and make us naturally happier.
- Avoid Drugs and Alcohol — while they can temporarily boost confidence and happiness, they make us feel worse physically and mentally in the long run.
- Celebrate accomplishments — be proud of the big things and the small things you do.
- Take a compliment — and say thank you and remember them. Don’t put yourself down when someone is trying to raise you up.
- Talk to others — friends, family, a therapist, or anyone else who is willing to listen to you. Don’t talk to those who you know won’t care.
- Be assertive — practice saying no and don’t take on what you can’t handle.
- Challenge yourself — make achievable goals and accomplish them. This can be in any aspect of life, whether school, work, or a hobby.
- Write things down — make sure to write positive things about yourself, your capabilities, your experiences, or anything else that matters to you.
Self-esteem is not something that we’re all born with. In some ways, it is a thing that is learned about ourselves. However, those things are not always true.
Separate yourself from negativity, both internally and externally. You are in control of your happiness. And while this is a lot of responsibility at times, you ultimately can make the decisions to improve yourself.
Be patient and work with yourself. It’s easy to get frustrated at our shortcomings, so focus on the good and keep plugging away at some of the above-listed tips.
If you find yourself needing help, and needing someone to talk to about your life’s struggles look to a trusted friend or family member. And, if you need professional help, don’t be hard on yourself — many people do.
Solara Mental Health in San Diego is here to help all those who need the extra encouragement, psychoeducation, and therapeutic support. Give us a call at 844-206-9722.