Self esteem is described by Psychology Today as “self judgement” or how one perceives their own sense of personal worth. Self esteem tends to fluctuate at different parts of one’s life, raising during times of victory or growth and waning a bit when things aren’t going well. A low self esteem is associated with higher rates of anxiety and depression. It’s important to nurture one’s self esteem and there are many ways to do so.
Regular physical activity boosts the body’s production of endorphins, which are feel good chemicals that are needed to keep your sense of wellbeing in a healthy range. Sticking with a regular exercise program builds motivation and allows you to set attainable goals. Make sure you choose an activity you enjoy because it’s more likely that you’ll stick with it and reap the benefits of exercise than if you are stuck with a program you hate.
Focus on Things That Can Be Changed
Instead of sticking to what you can’t do anything about - a nasty boss who says rude things or an ungrateful family member - focus on those things you can change. Perhaps you start looking for a new job or choose to forgo family functions. If you’re struggling with a class seek out your professor for guidance or get some assignment help. These steps can help you take your control back and give you a healthy boost to your self esteem. Focusing on what you can do to make changes gives you motivation and helps you feel better about yourself and the situation.
It’s very easy to give into negative self-talk and convince yourself that your weaknesses make you a bad person. By paying more attention to the way you think and talk about yourself, you can reverse this behavior. You can become more mindful by practicing meditation and redirecting your thoughts when you begin feeling negative about yourself. Remind yourself that what you’re thinking isn’t a fact, it’s just how you’re feeling in the moment.
Think About Your Strengths
In the same way that thinking about what you aren’t good at or what you wish you were better at can mess with your self esteem, thinking about those things you excel at can boost your self esteem. No one is good at everything, but everyone is good at something and if you can keep that in mind, you can really do wonders for the way you think about yourself. So next time you’re getting down about something you need to work on, remind yourself of all the things you’re already good at and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.
Do Things That Make You Happy
It’s easier to feel good about yourself when you’re happy and doing something you enjoy. When you spend time doing those things, you are in a better frame of mind to think positively, both about yourself and about life in general. So, whether you love reading, cooking, sewing, hiking, or playing board games, give yourself time to do the activities you like best and then notice how much more you like yourself.
There’s something about helping others that makes it easy to feel good about yourself. When you’re providing a service to someone in need, you’re not thinking about the things that are getting you down and making someone else happy is an easy way to boost your self esteem and feel happier in the process. Helping others and giving back makes you proud and that pride in yourself and your abilities manifests itself in a higher self esteem. Try serving at a soup kitchen, volunteering at a local animal shelter or simply babysitting for your neighbors when they’re in a pinch.
Create a Support Network
Chances are that you’re your own worst critic but surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family members means having someone to help you remember why you’re a good person worthy of self-love. When you can’t find anything nice about yourself, the people in your support network can take up the slack and find them for you. And that’s a great way to boost your self esteem. After all, everyone likes being noticed and recognized for their strengths and positive attributes.
Boosting your self esteem is likely something you’ll have to work on at many times in your life. Self-care is vitally important for your wellbeing and can be a lifesaver. If you’re finding it hard to find good things about yourself, even after trying everything on this list, consider seeing a therapist who can talk you through what’s going on and help you find reasons to love yourself. In doing so, you create the life you’ve always wanted.
About Mary Whitman
Mary Whitman is a writer and editor based in Adelaide, South Australia. At her odd moments, she is taking full advantage of creative writing and blogging.