Do you find yourself continually criticizing yourself and having negative feelings about yourself? Has your confidence levels dropped to levels that you can no longer do the things you once enjoyed? You could be suffering from low self-esteem.
Self-esteem relates to how we view ourselves. Low self-esteem affects every area of our lives. It manifests itself in how we talk and carry ourselves, how we choose partners in relationships and coping mechanisms we use in an attempt to cover up the condition. People with low self-esteem are more prone to opiate addiction and other forms of drug abuse.
While it is possible to change your self-esteem, change does not come easily,and you will need to work on your self-image constantly. This article explores ways you can do this.
Question your thought patterns
Self-esteem mostly centers on how you view yourself. If you believe you are not beautiful, it will be reflected in your dressing, walk and how you talk about yourself. It is essentialfirst to identify your negative thoughts and dig deeper where they come from. Is it something hurtful someone said to you when you were young? The more you learn about your thought patterns,the more you get control over your thinking. Your thoughts over time become automatic. If your thought pattern goes like “I can’t help overeating, that is why I am fat.” Changing negative thoughts is the first step to reclaiming your self-esteem.
Journaling enables you to write the internal dialogue that takes place in your mind. As you learn how to write and express your thoughts, you can question whether what you think about yourself is actually true. For example, if you identify a thought pattern that goes like “I can never find love.” You can first question where this statement came from; were you in a relationship that did not turn up as you expected? You can replace the negative thoughts with positive acclamations and say something like “that relationship ended,but I still have a capacity to be loved because am lovable.”
Take care of yourself
People experiencing low self-esteem tend to have a powerful inner critic. Their internal dialogue is often negative. You can start changing this narrative by taking care of yourself more. Try doing things that matter to you. It can be drawing, cooking, bike rides or traveling. As you do more stuff that you love, you will begin feeling good about yourself.
Regular exercise is an excellent way to boost the production of endorphins in the body. Endorphins stimulate positive moods and get you in shape. When you exercise you feel less stressed because your mind becomes relaxed. Besides exercise be good for your health, it also makes for a good body tone which is critical for boosting self-esteem. With time, you are no longer ashamed of your body.
When you take that step to help someone out who is suffering, you feel good about yourself. Helping someone cross the road, feeding the homeless or assisting your sibling with homework helps to take the mind from self to another person. Endorphins are released in the process,and this helps you feel good about yourself.
Goal setting has been proven to help people overcome depression. Depression hides in inactivity. When you set realistic goals and achieve them, you feel good about yourself. Your productivity goes up,and you can push yourself beyond your limits. To make this work, begin by setting small achievable goals. Write them down on a piece of paper by creating a checklist. Once you finish a task, mark it as done. By breaking up your goals, you make it easier to accomplish them. Tasks can include making your bed in the morning, calling a friend or loved one or taking the trash out. Make goals that matter to you.
Surround yourself with positive people
Negativity is contagious. If you surround yourself with people who are always talking negative or who continuously criticize you then the probability of having low self-esteem increases. Choose your friends wisely; itis said you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with and the books you read. Loom for friends who appreciate you and make you feel good about yourself.
Explore new things
You do not know what you are capable of unless you try new things out. Learning new things keeps your mind occupied,and it helps to boost your confidence levels. It can be learning how to sing or dance, a new language, traveling to another country or exploring a new passion. Find new stuff through YouTube videos or interacting with friends.
Avoid generalizing. If you failed at a project in the past, it does not mean you will fail in the future. It is essential to look at life from all possible angle. Get all your facts right before you choose to generalize.
It is also important that you avoid comparing your life with others. Someone may look like they have everything going right but if you dig deeper, you discover that they have problems that you are not even aware of. In this age of social media, making comparisons has become the norm. Focus and appreciate what you have and build on this. It is true that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
It is equally important to celebrate your accomplishments. When you do finish a difficult task or make progress in life, take time to appreciate yourself. You can decide to buy yourself a gift or take yourself out. Learn also to take in compliments and to dish them out when appropriate.
Low self-esteem can cause you to feel unhappy and sad all the time. It can prevent you from accomplishing your dreams and engaging in meaningful, long-term relationships. To overcome low self-esteem, it is essential to check your thought patterns. Make it your goal to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Make goals and congratulate yourself when you accomplish them. Surround yourself with positive people and help out when someone is in need.