Five Ways to Improve Your Self-Esteem
There is perhaps nothing more important to your happiness than your self-image. Those who view themselves positively lead happier lives, and we should all strive to improve our self-esteem with everything we do. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with self-doubt and often fall prey to our own unhealthy, unrealistic expectations that we’ll never be able to live up to. Our self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves, our perception of who we are and what we can become.
- Why Should You Work on Your Self-Esteem?
Having a high opinion of yourself affects you and the lives of those around you. You’ll be happier, more attractive to others in terms of relationships, and find yourself stressing less about the little challenges that come your way. With confidence to overcome life’s curveballs, you’ll find yourself better equipped to face each day with a smile on your face. With higher self-esteem, you’ll excel in every facet of your life, from the personal to the professional. Could you need any more reason?
- Give Back
Studies have shown that the kinder we are to others, the kinder we are to ourselves. It could be in the little things like holding open a door for someone or letting the other car in the parking lot have that last parking space. Even something as simple as sending a surprise gift to a friend going through a tough time can help you feel better about the impact you’re having on the world around you. It could be sending a batch of cookies from Doughbies.com to a friend in the hospital, or ordering a delivery of fruit from Berries.com to a coworker who is facing a tough divorce. You never know the impact little acts of kindness can have on the people around you, and being the cause of other’s happiness—even if just for an hour—can lift your spirits exponentially. In fact, a Harvard study done back in 2008 found that giving money to someone else can make you feel happier than if you had kept the money for your own use. Once you start giving back, you won’t want to stop—plus, you’ll feel immensely better about yourself.
- Dress Up
When feeling down or suffering from something more serious such as depression, getting dressed up can feel like the last thing you want or are even able to do. But putting in the effort to get yourself dressed and ready every day has its benefits, and may be worth the effort. A study done by the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that clothing greatly affects our feelings, and we assign symbolic values and emotions to certain pieces of clothing that we feel indicate status, power, and attractiveness. Purchasing and wearing clothes that make you feel powerful can be the key to “faking it until you make it”, and bit by bit could see you improving your self-esteem.
- Talking Yourself Up
We can be our worst critics, and if you have a little voice in your head telling you negative ideas all day, you may find it hard to combat against this. Every time you start thinking negative thoughts, make the effort to fight these ideas with positivity. When you’re feeling down about missing a goal at work, tell yourself over and over again “You’ll get them next time.” You can be your own worst enemy, or your most inspiring cheerleader—which do you choose?
- Improve Your Physical Health
Exercise is good for the body and soul. For many, self-esteem can have a direct relation to how their body looks, and exercise can transform our bodies into the shapes and fitness level we deem to be attractive. Not only does a regular exercise regimen help you look your best and keep you in good physical shape, but it also has major psychological effects that we can all benefit from. When we exercise, our brains release feel-good hormones that help us combat anxiety and depression. Ever experienced a rush after going on a quick jog? Those are hormones at work. Making a commitment to your physical health can see your mental health improving in leaps and bounds, so join a gym today and start making a difference.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your self-esteem, incorporate these tips into your daily life and raise your spirits in no time.