Let’s make one thing very clear: your opinion is the only one that matters, when it comes to your self-worth. This is both a blessing and a curse because people can be harsher on themselves than others are. For people who don’t hold themselves in high regard, however, cultivating high self-esteem can be quite difficult.
Studies show that people with high self-esteem are more resilient and tend to have better overall health. If you constantly view yourself in a negative light, you trigger the body to enter its fight or flight mode, causing inflammation and stress. Chronic inflammation is linked to autoimmune diseases and heart conditions, while stress can induce adrenal fatigue, slower metabolism, anxiety, or poor thyroid function. Positive thinking, on the other hand, has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce a person’s risk of anxiety.
As great as it is to have high self-esteem (well, not so high that one becomes narcissistic), improving low self-esteem it is not so easy. Self-esteem, by its very nature, is unstable and it can fluctuate daily, sometimes hourly. That said, it is possible to improve self-esteem if you go about it the right way.
Silence Your Inner Critic
You have to learn to silence the critic inside you. This voice may tell you that you aren’t good enough, or that you are lazy, uglier than friends, or what have you, but you don’t have to listen to this voice. One way to silence this voice is by creating a stop phrase. Yelling “stop,” saying “no, we aren’t going there,” or another phrase of your choosing is beneficial. Then focus on something more constructive, for example, like what you want to eat for your next meal!
Learn To Accept Compliments
This can be a hard one to do, but increasing your self-esteem requires being less resistant to compliments. Set a goal for yourself to accept compliments when they are given to you, even if they make you uncomfortable. A great way to do this is to prepare responses for good feedback. In time, these responses will become natural, which indicates higher self-esteem.
Write Down 3 Things Every Day That You Can Appreciate About Yourself
This differs from speaking positive affirmations, although those can be beneficial as well, because it is about appreciating things about yourself. While it may be a challenge, write down three things appreciate about yourself every day. The best thing about writing these things down is that you can revisit them from time to time to help stay positive on days when you need it most.
Identify Your Competencies And Develop Them
You can build your self-esteem by achieving things in all areas of life that matter to you. If you enjoy running and do it all the time, sign up for races (they can be short or long-distance), train for them, and complete them. If cooking is your jam, impress your friends with your skills by throwing dinner parties. Find opportunities that allow you to showcase your abilities.
According to several mental health studies, there is a strong correlation between higher self-esteem and exercise. Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress, claims that weight lifting is great for calibrating accomplishments. Lifting more weight each time you workout, for instance, can make you feel accomplished every. Positive effects on self-perception can also be linked to doing fun activities with friends and family; just don’t make these activities competitive.