Many people across the globe experience low self-esteem. For some, this can be a mild irritation that is easily ignored, but for others, it is a debilitating and challenging life obstacle. People with chronic low self-esteem tend to behave in ways that indicate a deep dislike of their perception of themselves. They might act defensively or avoid interacting with other people altogether. They may also appear incredibly arrogant or confident but are simply able to disguise their feelings of low self-esteem when surrounded by others. Although these feelings can be all-encompassing, they aren’t fixed. As with any bad thinking habits, low self-esteem can be managed and undone. Here are a few ways to improve your perception of yourself.
Interrupt Your Negative Thoughts
Low self-esteem comes in the form of negative thoughts about yourself. For example, if you see your reflection in the mirror or a photograph of yourself, you might think about reasons to dislike your physical appearance. These thoughts then lead you to feelings of shame, disappointment, and unhappiness, which in turn reinforces your negative view of yourself. If you can acknowledge that these intrusive thoughts are not always true or accurate, or helpful, you can start to delay the impulse to dislike yourself. Step in between your thoughts and your feelings to ask whether or not that thought is helpful to you.
Learn to Speak to Yourself with Kindness
Once you have a base understanding that you are not your thoughts and that your thoughts aren’t always useful, you can start to examine the way in which you speak to yourself. Many people have an inner voice that reflects upon themselves. If you have low self-esteem, this voice might only say negative things about you. With time, you can learn to change this voice and treat yourself with more kindness and buy yourself a bonsai to have a talk. Instead of thinking, “I am stupid and will fail,” you can think, “I haven’t learned this yet,” or “I am capable of developing this skill”. Over time you will start to believe the positive voice as much as you believe the negative one.
Seek Professional Advice
If you are burdened by extremely low self-esteem, it’s important to seek the assistance and advice of a mental health professional. Research nearby therapists who can talk you through your options.
Focus on Your Goals
Low self-esteem can be exhausting. It can also get in the way of living your life to the fullest. An important part of coping with low self-esteem while working towards improvement is to concentrate on achieving your personal goals. Even if your self-esteem is making you feel bad about yourself, have something tangible and progress-based to work towards. This could be anything from writing a book to visiting every country in Europe. Having something to focus your mind on the outside of yourself can be hugely beneficial.
Change What You Can
Sometimes, no matter how much hard work we might put in to changing our mindset and perception of ourselves, we can come up against a block. Occasionally the simplest way to overcome this block is to change it. For example, if your low self-esteem has a lot to do with your physical appearance or weight, you can change these aspects of yourself to align better with your feelings. Services such as CoolSculpting Elite Austin can help boost your confidence with efficiency. While most of the progress will come from internal improvement through thought processes and different perceptions, outside changes can help too.
Make and Maintain Social Connections
Even the shyest people require a certain amount of social time. Interacting with other people is a valuable way of connecting you with experiences outside of your own. Learn to be a truly good listener and enjoy the company of others without placing unnecessary expectations onto yourself or them. Reconnect with old friends, visit your relatives, or join a group where you can participate in a shared interest with like-minded people.
Move Your Body
Although low self-esteem feels like an entirely mental issue, you can never separate the mind from the body. Caring for your physical health is an important part of improving your mental health. Whether you love fitness or hate it, getting out and moving your body regularly will help you distract from negative thoughts and give you a boost in positive brain chemicals. You can take a walk in your garden while feeding squirrels or go to the gym or just sign up for a dance class.
Improving your self-esteem is not something that can be achieved overnight. It takes practice and patience to retrain your mind, so don’t rush yourself. You will see progress eventually.