Low self-esteem can impact your sense of inner joy and contentment. Your quality of life can be derailed by feelings of unworthiness and lack of confidence. These feelings sometimes begin at a young age and if left unaddressed can potentially lead to increased anxiety and even depression.
Because low self-esteem can be so damaging, finding ways to value yourself is vital to your well-being.
Here are 5 ways you can increase your self-esteem:
- Check the Inner and Outer Critic
The inner critic shows up the form of negative self-talk. If you are one of those people who regularly berates themselves, it’s important to quiet that voice. Try to replace any negative or self-blaming comments with affirmative, compassionate, or at the very least neutral commentary. Stop highlighting your weaknesses and instead concentrate on your strengths and abilities. Likewise, if you have people in your life who are constantly blaming you or who repeatedly criticize you in a non-constructive manner, it may be time to look for ways you can avoid or minimize those types of interactions.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Rather than comparing or competing with others, recognize that you are unique. You have particular gifts and talents that are valuable and important to your family, community or workplace. Comparing yourself will undoubtedly increase your internal stress and anxiety making you feel inadequate and worn out. Instead, focus on developing and being the best version of you that you can be.
- Avoid Perfectionism
Since a part of being human is being imperfect, continually striving for perfectionism can put you on an emotional roller coaster. The irony in today’s society is that we understand this more than ever. However, we continue to try to live up to media images and stories that many times show people and their lives as perfect. Whether its perfect bodies, being able to do it all or having ideal life-balance. These are all unrealistic and promote lowered self-esteem. Seek instead to put together a plan for you that is achievable which incorporates your goals, dreams, and desires.
- Improve Your Self-Image
Both men and women struggle with body image issues. As mentioned above we are oft-times exposed to media images that represent someone else’s ideal. Consequently, from a young age, many people have negative feelings about their bodies. These feelings can contribute to eating disorders and other mental health issues. To combat this, firstly, try to work on increasing your gratitude for yourself by accepting and loving your body as is. Then, focus on achieving the healthiest state for you, rather than focusing on the outward appearance of your body. Finally, work to integrate healthful choices in the amount and type of exercise along with nutrition that makes you feel happy about you.
- Balance Social Media
Social media can be beneficial in that it helps many connect with loved ones, share common interests, and increase participation in events. However, there are real downsides that negatively affect self-esteem in young people. Similarly in adults, some experience depression, and lowered self-esteem. People tend to post images and details about their lives that are overwhelmingly upbeat and happy but are not necessarily a complete representation of their lives. Spending too much time on social media may inevitably lead you to compare your life to others which can potentially lead to negative feelings. If you suffer from this problem, find ways to curtail your use of social media.
Pursue improving and increasing your connection to those around you whether in your immediate circle, or, in your community. You will most likely find that you will gain much more enjoyment from these live interactions and feel better as a result.
Image: Syda Productions
If self-esteem issues have become a problem in your or your loved one’s life, leading to anxiety or depression consider working with a therapist to address these issues.
If you are interested, I would be happy to explore treatment options with you. Contact me today.