Tips for Developing Healthy Self-Esteem

We are often told that focusing on ourselves is “selfish.” From time to time, reflecting on cultivating a positive self-image and nurturing self-worth is essential and beneficial. Self-esteem is crucial to our mental health, interpersonal relationships, and overall well-being. When we have healthy self-esteem, we are better equipped to navigate the ups and downs throughout life, assert our needs, and confidently pursue our goals. Research suggests there are more than just psychological benefits. Individuals with healthy self-esteem are likelier to engage in health-promoting behaviors such as regular exercise, healthy and mindful eating, and adequate daily sleep. These behaviors promote stronger immune function and improved physiological responses towards stress.

When meeting someone with strong, healthy self-esteem, it may seem like their confidence comes naturally. The truth is, that having a solid sense of self-worth requires building and maintaining it through self-awareness, self-compassion, and intentional effort. However, attempting to foster this can seem daunting and fruitless if you feel bad about yourself.

Here are a few tips for boosting your self-esteem:

Increase positive self-talk and personal beliefs.

Journaling, mindfulness practices, and therapy are great ways to develop awareness regarding our internal messages that contribute to or hinder our self-worth. Practice noticing your thoughts without judging them. Record what your inner monologue says about how you view yourself. Ask yourself, “Are these hurtful or helpful?” Hurtful thoughts and beliefs hinder, while helpful thoughts and beliefs foster self-esteem. Find ways to challenge and reframe hurtful narratives into helpful, empowering narratives.

Cultivate self-compassion.

When we struggle or make mistakes, it will be difficult times to maintain a helpful narrative. Self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness and acceptance during difficult times. Begin journaling and exploring your internal self-criticism. Rather than being hard on yourself, practice approaching yourself with compassion that you might offer to a friend. You can be frustrated and disappointed in yourself; however, remember that everyone experiences mistakes and setbacks while chasing goals. When responding to these situations with kindness, we foster resilience and inner security of self. Practice responding to yourself differently, remembering you will still experience mistakes and setbacks. Being patient with yourself is an expression of self-compassion.

Explore how past relationships make you feel about yourself.

Throughout our lives, we must learn everything we do. How we view ourselves is often learned through how we believe others view us. Whenever you recognize negative self-talk, get curious and ask yourself, “Where does this message come from?” When experiencing rejection or criticism from important individuals, we might struggle to give ourselves the encouragement or self-acceptance we deserve. We often perceive that others will view us in the same critical ways we view ourselves. Therapy allows for exploring and understanding these experiences while gradually replacing them with more self-affirming beliefs.

Contact Pinnacle Counseling for Help with Healthy Self-Esteem

If low self-esteem negatively affects your life, reach out to Pinnacle Counseling for individual therapy. Our compassionate, knowledgeable therapists can help you navigate your feelings and give you the tools to live a healthier life.



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