Self-esteem is about how you feel about yourself. Balanced self-esteem means that you have positive, healthy self-perception and feel good about yourself. People with healthy self-esteem are self-assured, with a developed sense of self-worth and self-acceptance. These individuals have a realistic and well-balanced perception of their abilities and personal qualities.
People who struggle with low self-esteem, on the other hand, tend to see themselves as unworthy, inadequate, or unlovable. These people often experience self-critical thoughts of unworthiness and failure that affect their emotional state, life choices, and behavior, further diminishing their self-esteem. In turn, low self-esteem usually triggers feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation, and other mental health challenges.
However, there are strategies available to help you boost self-esteem and nurture self-acceptance. Learning techniques that can help you change your mindset and take a different view of yourself can significantly improve your life satisfaction and overall wellbeing.
Self-Esteem Boosting Strategies
Effective strategies for improving self-esteem involve mindset shifts and certain lifestyle changes. Some of the most effective confidence-boosting strategies are mindfulness meditation, positive affirmations, visualization (mental imagery), and recognizing and challenging negative thoughts.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Continual self-criticism can negatively affect your self-esteem. Research shows that regular mindfulness exercises can help you train your mind to observe your thoughts and emotions as they appear in your consciousness, without self-judgment. In other words, mindfulness allows you to recognize and acknowledge your negative feelings instead of trying not to feel upset about them. This can boost your self-awareness and build up your self-compassion.Mindfulness exercise allows you to acknowledge how you are feeling in the present moment. So, when you recognize negative emotions, remind yourself that those are nothing more than that – emotions. Once you learn to acknowledge your feelings and thoughts without self-criticism, it is more likely for those feelings and thoughts to settle down and pass.
2. Positive Affirmations
One of the best strategies to boost self-esteem is to practice positive statements about yourself. These empowering statements about yourself, also known as affirmations are a great way to promote self-acceptance and self-compassion because we tend to think and behave in accordance with our self-perception.By repeating self-affirming statements daily, you will reprogram your subconscious mind to accept these positive statements as the only truth and deliberately establish a positive self-image. This will promote self-compassion and enhance your self-esteem.
Visualization, also known as mental imagery is a powerful way to boost your self-esteem because it can help you to construct a positive version of yourself in your subconscious mind.To practice visualization, focus on the things you are good at. Practice imagining yourself as a confident, self-assured, and self-contained individual. Visualizing yourself as a person you want to become has the power to increase your motivation, and boost your self-appreciation.
4. Recognizing and Overcoming Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)
Unintentional thoughts that appear randomly, flooding your mind and making you feel anxious are called automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). These negative thinking patterns usually lead to an insecure and anxious mindset. Using principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, you can learn to recognize and then correct these unhelpful thoughts, which can help reduce anxiety and boost self-esteem.