5 Strategies to Improve Your Self-Esteem

By Melody Foster

Eating right and getting regular physical activity are two keys to living healthy, but here’s a little secret for you: having positive self-esteem can have some real health benefits, too.

A healthy self-esteem isn’t just about celebrating your strengths; it’s about balance — having a realistic view of yourself, recognizing your weaknesses and acknowledging your strengths. When you achieve this balance and have a healthy, positive self-esteem, it will no doubt impact your overall health and well-being.

If you have a low or negative self-esteem, you probably find it easier to call out your faults, giving little credit to your strengths and skills. You believe others are more capable than you and you might have difficulty accepting positive feedback. A low self-esteem affects every aspect of your life, from your personal relationships to your career. When you have a healthy self-esteem you will find freedom to excel in your strengths, seek help in the areas you are week and be confident around others.

And as for your health, here are a few of the mental and physical benefits of a healthy self-esteem:

• Less likely to develop an eating disorder.
• Better able to handle stress and avoid the unhealthy side effects of stress.
• Able to develop strong, healthy relationships and have the courage to walk away from unhealthy ones.
• More likely to be assertive, expressing what you think, need or want.
• Greater confidence in your ability to make good decisions and healthy choices.
• More likely to take care of your body with proper hygiene and regular exercise.

How is your self-esteem? If you have low self-esteem, there are some steps you can take to help you feel better about yourself.

1. Identify your “triggers.” What are the conditions or situations that deflate your self-esteem and cause you to feel poorly about yourself? Consider work, school, home relationships and life circumstances.

2. Become aware of your thoughts and beliefs. Pay attention to your thoughts, your interpretation of situations and any self-talk.

3. Challenge negative thoughts and adjust your way of thinking. Keep your thoughts in check and make an effort to turn negative or irrational thoughts into positive, realistic and rational thoughts and beliefs.

4. Encourage yourself. Identify and consider your strengths. What are the things that make you feel good about yourself? Celebrate those.

5. Count your blessings. Sometimes all it takes to turn a negative mood around is to spend some time being grateful the blessings you do have in life. Relationships, career, hobbies, food to eat and a roof over your head. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the negative and forget to appreciate all that is good and right in your life.

If you struggle with self-esteem, it may seem awkward or even conceited to take these steps toward a positive self-esteem. But as you begin to work through your negative thoughts, replacing them with positive, you’ll begin to value yourself once again and your well-being will improve.

About the Author

Melody Foster is a Dallas-based freelance writer and contributing author to the Nicholson Clinic blog. Melody researches and creates content for clients in industries ranging from health care, fitness and nutrition to interior decorating, legal and social good.