Everyone knows the feeling of waning self-esteem and what it can do to our energy levels, how we view the world, and how we feel daily. While external factors undoubtedly have a significant impact on our self-esteem, there are also internal causes that many people tend to overlook.
Our minds are powerful objects that have the power to built up our self-confidence and tear it down. While controlling external factors might be difficult or impossible, we always have control over our own faculties. Here, we’ll explore 5 ways to improve your self-esteem.
1. Think Positively
It’s challenging to change our lives when we don’t realize that we need to change it.
You might be harboring self-defeating thoughts and feelings that contribute to lower self-esteem without even realizing it. By recognizing these negative thoughts, we can distance ourselves from them and salvage our self-confidence.
Thoughts are separate from us and don’t constitute reality necessarily. Just because you think of a purple dinosaur doesn’t make it real.
The same is true when it comes to negative thoughts. Just because you think you’re not valuable, doesn’t mean that’s true. When you learn to see these thoughts as mere ideas in your head, you can stop taking them seriously. As a result, you can start to gain control of your self-esteem and turn it in the right direction.
2. Exercise Often
We always hear how important exercise is for our physical health. More than that, many studies are starting to prove just how critical movement is for our mental health. In fact, some studies show a correlation between exercise and self-esteem.
Everyone can recall the quotable line from Legally Blond about endorphins making you happy. While this is an incredibly simplistic explanation, it’s a good way to remember just how much impact exercise has on our mental health.
Fortunately for those couch potatoes out there, you don’t have to dedicate yourself to being a gym rat to reap these benefits. Going for a walk outside, stretching, practicing yoga, going for a light jog, and other light forms of exercise still have their benefits. If you find you lack the time, try cutting out TV watching, social media scrolling, and other electronic-centric activities and replacing them with exercise.
3. Forgive and Forget
Hate, resentment, and jealousy are all heavy emotions. Not only in the sense that they can have negative repercussions but also in a metaphorical sense because they weigh us down.
Some people mistake forgiveness for turning a blind eye. You can acknowledge that something wrong was done to you and still hold the person accountable while forgiving and forgetting. Think of it more like letting yourself off the hook than the other person. You’re giving yourself permission to forget about it and move on.
This reaction can result in a boost in self-confidence since you feel more in control over your life instead of focusing on others who have done you wrong. You don’t even have to forgive the person out loud for this to work. Simply allowing yourself to let go of the resentment you hold is enough and can feel like a weight being lifted off your shoulders.
4. Reaffirm Your Value
In a world where we’re constantly bombarded with opinions, comments, and unprompted feedback, it’s easy to become a little self-conscious. Anything from a 30-second advertisement featuring a slender model to vitriolic Twitter messages can be enough to get you to start second-guessing your worth.
While it’s important to remove yourself from environments and people that make you feel less valuable, there are things you can also do to reaffirm that value. These positive affirmations, such as “I’m beautiful” or “I’m worthy of love,” could help improve your attitude and outlook in life.
The idea behind the practice is that you’ll start believing these sayings the more you repeat them to yourself, resulting in an increase in confidence. It’s the same thing that happens when you’re bombarded from negative thoughts but with a positive angle.
Everyone’s self-esteem can fluctuate every once in a while. When we stop paying attention to how we feel about ourselves that our self-confidence may start to get out of whack.
While these practices can help improve how you view yourself, they’re only effective to the extent that you use them. Like any practice, it takes time, energy, and consistency to maintain your self-esteem. Make it a daily habit to note where your self-confidence lies and be sure to continue doing things that keep it on the level that you want it to be.