Emma Djukic is a Clinical Psychologist with a special interest in working with children, adolescents and their families in Sydney.
Are you excessively critical of yourself? Do you tend to focus on what you didn’t do well rather than feeling good about what you did? Do you compare yourself with others? Do you have trouble accepting compliments?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, you might have low self-esteem, which can be a serious issue. It can lead to difficulties with social life, school work, and even in enjoying the things you love to do most, such as hobbies or sports. If you have low self esteem, it’s an issue that you should work to improve for the sake of your quality of life. You’ll feel better if you build up your self esteem.
The good news is that there are ways of improving self-esteem. Here are a few tips on how to feel better about yourself.
1. Change the way you talk to yourself
Try to avoid using negative labels for yourself such as stupid, lazy, or boring. Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a really good friend. Be kind to yourself in your thoughts and speech.
2. Avoid comparisons with others
We’re all different, and all have things we’re bad at and other things we’re good at. Rather than comparing to others, strive for self-improvement by challenging yourself.
3. Know your strengths
What are you good at? What are you proud of? Think about these things when you feel down.
4. Don’t strive for perfection
Nobody is perfect. Do the best you can, but keep in mind that perfection isn’t possible. Find contentment in other areas of life.
5. Get active
Any form of exercise will help you to feel better. Sitting around won’t help you feel better, so get up and move.
6. Do things that you enjoy
Have fun! Pursue your interests and hobbies and hang out with people who can enjoy these activities with you. Don’t let people who judge you get you down. There are better people around.
7. Be fair to yourself
Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make one too.
8. Surround yourself with supportive people
Hang out with people who help you to feel good about who you are. Avoid the people who only bring you down. You deserve to be treated well.
9. Try not to over-think things
If you notice that you tend to dwell on things in a negative way, try distracting yourself with music, reading, sports or other activities. Negative thinking is a pattern that becomes a habit. Break the pattern often enough, and you may break the habit altogether.
It can take a while to start feeling better about yourself. Sometimes, what we know will help us is not easy to put into practice. If you think you need some help or would like to learn more about improving your self-esteem, have a look at websites like reachout or headspace. If you need more support, contact us at RWA to book an appointment. We’re here to help.
(This article was adapted from reachout.com.au)