There are myriad healthy ways to improve self-esteem, and they all come back to being more mindful and communicative with yourself. Try these tips for confronting negative thoughts and reframing your own self-esteem:
Confront your negative thinking
Borrow from cognitive behavioral therapy principles and recognize when your thoughts on your self-esteem are faulty. You know, rationally, that you are a worthy and intelligent person. Each time your self-esteem tells you anything to the contrary, recognize that it’s only your self-esteem talking and not reality.
Engage in healthy self-talk
Talk to yourself like you’re talking to a friend. You would never tell a friend that they’re stupid, that they don’t look good, that they’re bad at their job or that they’re a bad friend, and you should never talk to yourself that way. Every time you find yourself thinking a negative thought about yourself, repeat this mantra: “Don’t talk about my friend like that.”
Instead of criticizing yourself, focus on paying yourself compliments. Cheer yourself on every single day, you have always done at least one thing worth celebrating.
Wear clothes that make you feel your best
If your lowered self-esteem is linked to the way your body looks, you have the power to change this. Our clothes play more of a role we might think of how we feel. When we’re feeling self-conscious, it is our instinct to layer on baggy clothes to hide certain parts of ourselves from the world. This will lead to feeling hyper-aware of our clothes, making us feel worse about how we look and feel.
Instead, reach for your favorite outfit or something that makes you feel beautiful. You will find that you are more happy, relaxed and confident when you ignore negative thoughts and choose clothes that you are truly comfortable in.
Catch yourself in the act, learn to recognize your negative thoughts as soon as you have them. Notice and meditate on the difference between valid concerns or constructive criticism and unhealthy ideas that are detrimental to your self-esteem.
Show yourself grace
We can be especially hard on ourselves when we feel we’ve disappointed someone (or even ourselves). This is often the product of defining unrealistic expectations for ourselves because we feel the need to be constantly productive. Don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment, keep your short-term goals within reach and adjust with each accomplishment. If you do find yourself disappointed in not completing a task, no matter how big or small, try not to criticize yourself. Low self-esteem will make you believe that you aren’t good at your job or capable of handling your responsibilities, but this is patently false. Understandably, you won’t perform at your very best when times are tough; allow yourself this concession and slowly find that you are feeling more confident in your abilities.
Use challenges as opportunities for growth and learning
Let’s face it, even when you’re feeling confident, there will still be days that don’t go your way. Embrace these challenges to identify if you can improve on anything. If you got a less-than-ideal grade on an exam, it’s totally valid to feel disappointment instead of shutting down and berating yourself.
Take care of yourself
Our necessities like food and water can play a larger role than we might think on our self-esteem. Dehydration and hunger can lead to irritability, aggression, agitation, fatigue and rapid heartbeat. It’s no surprise that these symptoms can make us feel upset and uncomfortable without realizing the cause. Drink plenty of water during the day and eat satisfying meals on a consistent schedule. Your basic needs must be met before you can nourish your mind, body, and spirit as a whole.
Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare is dedicated to your sustained wellbeing. Our practice and treatment plans abide by our core values of integrity, dedication, passion, and collaboration. Take charge of your mental health and learn how to improve self-esteem by reaching out to us today at 678-274-4936.