Build Steam With the Right Self-Esteem
There is so much to living in positivity than just thinking positively. We must turn our thoughts into actions if we are to truly realize the tremendous impact that a realistic and healthy self image can do for us and our families and communities. That’s right, a healthy self-esteem not only helps you but those around you. When we allow ourselves to feel the best of us, our family and those we love feel that as well. Building up your self-esteem takes a little work but with each step in the right direction it becomes easier and easier. Our clinicians at Morningstar Counseling have put together a list that you can use to start taking action to feel the vibrancy you deserve.
Start a Journal.
Monotony can sometimes take hold of our lives and before you know it, days can melt into weeks and months. For all of the tips that follow it can be helpful to keep a journal. Journaling is a great way to dissect our day to day experiences and reflect on what we learned. It can help us think about what influenced us in a positive way, and what to keep in our lives as well as bring attention to the negative so we can eliminate it or at least minimize its impact.
Think Positively, But Be Deliberate.
Thinking positively isn’t a passive process. It takes discipline and introspection. We have thousands of thoughts each day and the smallest of negative thoughts can have a snowball effect on our entire day. Start by trying to journal about self-limiting thoughts you know you have each day. After you have identified those, then carry your journal around with you and write down the ones you keep saying that might be so automatic you forget about them. After you get in the habit of writing them down as you think them, it will be easier to limit them altogether and start thinking positively with a purpose.
Be Weary of Comparisons.
You may not notice all of them but we are constantly bombarded with comparison. When we’re stuck in traffic we long for the new vehicle beside us at the red light. On our lunch breaks we see smell the rich homemade meal of a co-worker while we choke down our cold sandwich. Comparisons are all around but with constantly developing technology, it can be hard to retreat from comparison when we make it home after a long work day thanks to social media. When we scroll through our social media we see the very best parts of peoples lives and then construct a view of them that robs us of our joy when compared to our own lives.
What we don’t see is that most people are struggling with many of the same things we are, we just don’t see it. We are only seeing the highlights that individuals want to share with the outside world. To ground yourself, a great journaling exercise can be to identify the different comparisons we make every day and try to eliminate them. This can look like “cleaning” our social accounts and getting rid of accounts that consistently make us feel negative. Another tactic is to write down the highlights of your own life. When doing this, don’t forget the small things.
Being grateful can not only help us eliminate comparison but put us in a better overall mood and make thinking positively much easier.
One exercise that Morningstar Clinician, Sydney Keller likes to practice is journaling 5 things that she is grateful for every morning.
“It helps ground me. Writing down these simple things help me not take them for granted and quickly help me turn my day around if it’s off to a bad start.” Says Sydney.
Look After Yourself.
You’ve probably seen it in your social media. “Self care.” Many people post about the indulgent side of self care, sharing pictures of a salon day or some so called retail therapy. Although, there isn’t anything wrong with that, self care doesn’t stop there. Self care is staying hydrated, staying on a med schedule if you have one, getting enough sleep, exercise and socialization. As Morningstar therapist, Ashley Grundmayer likes to say,
“Self care is taking care of yourself so you can give the best of yourself.”
When we are at our best we feel empowered to stand up for ourselves, make tough decisions with confidence and try new things in order to better ourselves. All of which can do wonders for our self-esteem.
Give of yourself, but not too much; Be flexible, but assertive. Each day should have some element of surprise to it. As humans, we have evolved to take things in stride and adapt. Sometimes that means stretching ourselves too thin and saying yes a few too many times. Learning to be assertive can take time so start now and start small. Practice saying no to things you truly do not have time for. Do so assertively but respectfully. Sticking up for yourself and your own schedule can be very empowering.
Learn Something New.
It may take time but getting out of our comfort zones is great for self-esteem. Trying something new whether it is a new sport or an art class does a great job of bolstering our confidence. This can be easier said than done. If you’re not quite feeling up to the task then ask a friend to tag along. Sign up for that class or club together so you both have something familiar when diving headfirst into a new community. When we put ourselves in unfamiliar environments and meet new people in the process, it gives us more power in our ability to operate in the face of the unknown. This is the essence of self-esteem. Having faith in ourselves despite what we may come to experience.