Do thoughts like “I’ll never be good enough,” “no one wants to hang out with me” and “everyone has a better life than me” plague your mind on a daily basis? If you’ve had these or other similar thoughts you may be struggling with low self-esteem.
Not having healthy self-esteem can interfere with normal living. Low self-worth can cause social anxiety and impair a person’s ability to form relationships. Moreover, someone who has poor self-esteem may struggle to build appropriate social skills, perform well in the workplace and navigate daily interactions.
The good news is that low self-esteem is reversible. There are things you can do to change your self-perception, and many of them you can do today. Here are eight ways you can improve your self-esteem right now.
How to improve your self-esteem
Identify your negative thoughts
One of the best ways to improve self-esteem is to address the cyclical negative thinking that contributes to low self-esteem. While we all are prone to criticize ourselves at times, it can get out of hand and affect our mental health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can improve your self-esteem by challenging negative beliefs you have about yourself. Either write down your thoughts throughout the day or address them as you think them. If you wouldn’t say them to a friend, you shouldn’t say them to yourself, either.
Learn about cognitive distortions
If you’re interested in doing a deep dive to break your cycles of negative thinking, consider learning about cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are problematic thinking patterns that are separated into categories like over-generalization, jumping to conclusions and emotional reasoning.
The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center has a helpful handout on cognitive distortions that you can access here to learn more. Try learning one each day and identify which categories you struggle with the most. The more you recognize your negative thinking for what it is, the easier it will be to change.
Take a break from social media
This step to improve self-esteem is counter-cultural, and that’s why it works. In a world that’s so caught up in endless scrolling, it can be easy to compare yourself to anyone and everyone. Try taking a break from social media for a week. Or better yet, delete it permanently.
According to the Journal Social Media and Society, a study of 388 Instagram users found that social comparison negatively impacted self-worth. While the same article states that social media use does not directly correlate with poor self-image, a tendency to compare oneself to others predicted negative outcomes. If you’re inclined to compare, taking a break from social media can help improve your self-esteem.
Learn to accept compliments
Being dismissive of affirmations is a sign of low self-esteem. When you can graciously accept compliments, you’ll appear confident to others and feel more confident yourself. Practice accepting compliments with visualization- imagine your loved ones giving compliments to you and accepting them gracefully (without joking).
You shouldn’t feel any tension when someone compliments you, and once you get to that place you’ll know you’ve overcome low self-worth.
We all know the saying “look good, feel good.” Sure it’s corny, but it’s also true. Your body and brain are the best resources you have, so treating them well can give you the confidence boost you’re looking for.
Feeling good about your body will take some time, energy and money, but you can decide how much you want to invest. Consider joining a gym, splurging for fresh fruits and vegetables, doing early morning stretches or buying all-natural products.
Sometimes low self-esteem sneaks in when we feel like our lives are stagnant. A humdrum job or a dreary daily routine can start to feel like a reflection of who we are – boring, dull, sad. Try adding some variety to your life for an easy method for how to build self-esteem.
Pick up a new hobby or create something, rearrange your room or take a new route to work. The changes don’t have to be complex, just enough to pull you out of a stupor. Stimulating your brain by engaging in new things can jolt you awake when you’ve fallen into a rut. When you’re doing things that are fun and spontaneous, it’s a reflection of your personality.
Write down and work towards a goal
Nothing will help you feel good about yourself quite like accomplishing a goal. When you write down your aspirations and take concrete steps to work toward them, you’ll have the ammo you need to combat negative thoughts about yourself.
Get your confidence back in treatment
It’s normal to feel down every now and then, it’s part of life. If you struggle with self-worth on a day-to-day basis, though, it might be time to get help. In fact, feelings of worthlessness could be indicative of depression or substance use disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
If low self-esteem is contributing to problematic substance use or mental illness, reach out to October Road. At October Road you’ll have access to the best treatment available so you can start feeling good about yourself again. Call today at 888-201-5086.