How to Improve Your Self-Esteem
It is commonly known that having a high-level of self-esteem encourages confidence and allows us to be more positive and resilient in day to day life. In addition to this, holding a low self-esteem can contribute to depression and anxiety, and often the way we view ourselves holds a major impact on our mental health. So we know that it is important to be confident not only for our mental health, but also to boost our mood, but achieving a high level of self-esteem is not always easy, so how do you ensure that you are creating a positive space for your mind and body?
Be Your Own Best Friend
A simple but effective technique in boosting your self-esteem is to be kinder to yourself. Remove the negative thoughts that you hold against yourself and start being your own best friend.
Start by changing the way you speak to yourself – if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself. By doing this, you will begin to be kinder to yourself and reduce the negative thoughts you believe. It is also important to give yourself compliments. If you like the way your hair looks on a particular day, or think you are doing a good job handling stress at work take note of it. No matter how big or small, complimenting yourself is an important step in building your own self-esteem.
Try New Things
While it may seem daunting at first, trying things outside of your comfort zone allows you to let go and enjoy trying new things. You may not be the most amazing painter, or you may not make the best coffee you have ever had, but at least you tried to do something instead of convincing yourself you could never do it.
By consistently putting yourself safely outside of your comfort zone, you grow in confidence and notice the small things about yourself that you are good at – and you might even discover a new talent you never had! At first this will be uncomfortable but start small and you will quickly learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
The Rule of Three
Either in the morning when you wake up, or at night before you go to bed take a moment to reflect on yourself. Make a note of three things which you admire about yourself. These things could be physical – such as the colour of your eyes – or more conceptual, like the way you treat your friends. If you like it, write it down. This task will seem difficult or silly to begin with, but the more you practice it the easier it will get, and you will quickly find that taking a minute to appreciate yourself will become a staple part of your day.
Stop Comparing Yourself
It is often really easy to look at the people around you, or the celebrities you see on your social media feed and compare them to how you look or act. But, by doing this, you often allow yourself to feel inadequate or lesser than. By restricting the amount you compare yourself to these people, you will allow your confidence to grow.
Instead try creating a more realistic dialogue around how you would normally compare yourself to the people around you. If you like a certain trait of your friend or family member, tell yourself that you “really appreciate how they make you feel” and try to positively adapt habits to incorporate their behaviours into yours.
If you find yourself comparing your looks to the people around you, or to the celebrities and bloggers on your social media feeds, it is important to recognise the insecurity and remind yourself that what you see is not always the truth. If you feel as though following them is taking a major toll on your self-confidence, unfollow them and allow yourself to scroll through your phone stress-free.
Do Things You Like to Do
Taking time out to yourself is a small but crucial step to building up your confidence. Taking time out once a week, or once a day to focus on your needs and wants will allow you to gain confidence in yourself. By lighting a few candles and running yourself a hot bath, or by setting time out to work on that hobby you used to enjoy but haven’t done in a while, you will be able to self-indulge and relax your thoughts.
So if you really enjoy cooking, invite your friends over for a dinner party, or if you prefer to stay in and read, make a night of it. Whatever it is that you are doing, make sure you take the time to enjoy it, and appreciate that you spending time focusing on yourself.
Working on your self-esteem while tricky is important in developing emotional and psychological health. If you feel as though your self-esteem is in need of a reboot, try using these tips to encourage a healthy relationship with yourself and remember that you are always your own biggest ally.