Are you reluctant to take on new challenges, prone to social withdrawal and anxiety, and guilty of self-neglect? Do you have a lack of social skills, a lack of self-confidence and a habit of accentuating your negative qualities? Are you incapable in accepting others’ compliments or praises? These are all symptoms of chronic low self-esteem. And while low self-esteem itself may not seem like a mental disorder, the fact is, it can have a very negative impact on a person’s quality of life and lead to missing out on all kinds of wonderful experiences.
There are many reasons for low self-esteem: childhood abuse or trauma, an underlying case of depression or anxiety disorder, eating disorders or bad habits of self-sabotage developed early in life. But whether you’re being treated by a mental health therapist for a disorder, or you’re just feeling low on the self-love, improving your self-esteem can greatly enhance your quality of life. You will recover from mental disorders faster, have healthier relationships and you may even be more successful in life since those with healthy self-confidence tend to take more risks.
Here are ten tips for improving low self-esteem and increasing your love for yourself:
1. Identify triggers. Your triggers could be excessive alcohol consumption, negative people, fashion magazines or anything else that makes you feel bad about yourself.
2. Practice physically healthy behaviors. Eat a healthy diet, try to get some physical activity every day and get plenty of rest.
3. Consider group therapy. Call your local counseling center and see if they offer group sessions or self-esteem building workshops. It will help to see that you’re not alone and group support can be very beneficial.
4. Silence your inner critic. Practice becoming aware of the inner voice that sabotages your self-love. When you start to think that you can’t do something, that you’re lazy, no one likes you or anything else of the sort, consciously tell the voice to stop and come up with a better phrase instead.
5. Forgive yourself. Whether you blame a mental disorder, your debt, your weight or something else entirely for your low self-esteem, forgive yourself for whatever it is you think needs forgiving. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, past and future.
6. Distance yourself from toxic people. This is a difficult step, especially if these people are close friends or family. But your happiness is essential. If some people seem to want nothing more than to make you feel bad, distance yourself emotionally.
7. Write down five things that you are grateful for every day. Make at least one of them something you appreciate about yourself.
8. Do the right thing. Whether this means helping someone in need or choosing not to gossip, making good choices will improve your self-esteem.
9. Handle mistakes and failures positively. Failure is a part of life. Even the most successful people have failed many times.
10. Be kind towards others. The nicer you are to others, the easier it will be to be kind to yourself.