Living with a mental illness means battling more than the illness itself. Having a mental disorder can wreak havoc on a person’s confidence and self-esteem. Having high self-esteem is not only important for achieving optimal mental health; it is vital for reaching important goals in life and having healthy relationships. Every mental health therapist knows that addressing the issue of self-confidence is vital during treatment, but part of it is left up to the patient’s desire to have healthy self-esteem.
Whether you’re battling a mental illness or just have a case of the winter blues, these ten tips will help you develop your self-esteem, which will lead to greater happiness.
1. Practice good posture. The way you carry yourself tells a story. If you have slumped shoulders and a slow saunter, people will notice your lack of confidence. Walk tall and walk proudly.
2. Listen to motivational speakers. Find the public figures or powerful speeches that work for you and save them to listen to when you’re feeling low. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your Orange County therapist for recommendations.
3. Practice gratitude. This may be difficult at first, especially if you’re battling depression. But if you focus on what you don’t have, you’ll dwell on your sadness. Instead, think of five things every single day that you are grateful for and write them down.
4. Compliment others. Be genuine. Praise your friends and families, compliment strangers, and don’t gossip.
5. Trust yourself. Trust that you are doing the best you can and that everything in life will work out as long as you continue to try.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others. Even people who seem to have perfect lives don’t. Trying to live up to someone else’s personal best is a losing game. Just try to be the best that you can be.
7. Exercise consistently…not for weight loss, but for your health. Exercise produces endorphins that will naturally make you feel happier.
8. Speak up! Whether you are in a work meeting, at a town hall gathering, a women’s group or a party, speak up if you have something to say. Many people stay silent for fear of judgment. Making an effort to speak up even once will do wonders for your confidence.
9. Focus on the contributions you make. When you give to charity, volunteer your time, give a friend a ride to work or call someone in your life who is lonely, make note of it. You make a much bigger difference in the world than you think you do!
10. Explore a passion. Whether it’s starting a new hobby, learning a new skill or taking some classes, pursuing something you’ve always wanted to try will improve your self-esteem as well as help prevent dementia.