Self-esteem is described as the manner in which an individual feels about his/her own self-worth. This is an incredibly important emotion that comes into play in many areas of our life. A high self-esteem is something positive and should be sought after. It can make us feel good about ourselves and improve our self-image. On the other hand, low self-esteem can be incredibly detrimental. When an individual has a low self-esteem, they are less likely to see themselves in a positive light. This can lead to other self-limiting habits.
The good news is that self-esteem can be learned and built. Just like any other mental skill, some people seem to come by it more naturally than others. This reality leads some to the wrong conclusion that a high self-esteem is something an individual has or doesn’t have. Fortunately, this simply isn’t the case. Those that have high self-esteems may have worked hard to develop that sense and to maintain it. Regardless, high self-esteem is something that can be learned.
Here are five powerful habits to help boost up your self esteem quickly.
1. Postures of Confidence
There have been many studies on the positive effects that confident body postures can have on our hormones. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard psychologist recommends feeling you feet on the ground, keeping the body relaxed and open, and be on the lookout for those feelings of confidence. The main underlying thesis purported by Cuddy suggests that our physical postures and our mental states are in a state of constant feedback. It’s not just that our bodies take the form of our internal feelings, but our postures have the power to effect how we feel inside. In order to boost self esteem, postures of confidence can be practiced to help elicit positive feelings about ourselves from the outside in.
2. Get more Exercise
Exercise seems to be a solution for many ailments in the human body and psyche. The same is true regarding our self-esteem. Regular exercise releases endorphins within the human body. These powerful chemicals have the ability to reduce our perception of pain and provide us with a euphoric feeling. That sensation known as ‘runner’s high’ often experienced at the end of a difficult workout is the emotional manifestation of these endorphins at work. Exercising on a regular basis has been shown to have a host of benefits regarding self-esteem. These include reducing stress, fighting off feelings of depression, lower anxiety and improve sleep.
3. Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation is a spiritual practice that has been around for thousands of years. Over the past few decades however, meditation and mindfulness have become popularized in the western world. One of the touted benefits of this practice is a higher self-esteem. At its core, meditation helps the practitioner to find a state of awareness known as mindfulness. The psychological benefits of this practice come to life as meditators can begin to ‘sit’ with their problems and determine the causes of pain. This state of awareness can help build self esteem as practitioners come to learn more about themselves and how they think.
4. Positive Inner Dialogue
Inner dialogue has a tremendous impact on our overall evaluation of self-worth. Just as the words from an external person can impact our inner feelings, so can the way in which we talk to ourselves. For example, an inner voice that always points out the negative of a person can result in a constant sense of low self esteem. However, engaging in a positive inner dialogue can help to build self esteem. This practice can be as simple as starting everyday with a positive affirmation such as ‘I am strong person’. Not only will these positive affirmations help to improve self-esteem, they will eventually begin replacing the negative affirmations. This practice may feel forced at the beginning, but the old adage ‘fake it until you make it’ reigns true.
5. Clarify Goals
Self esteem is sometimes built around our perception of personal accomplishments and how close we are to succeeding in our goals. Through this perspective, the closer we are to attaining our goals, the higher our self-esteem. Without a clear framework for our goals however, it is easy to feel lost. Clarifying goals can help to provide a clear path to attainment. Each triumph along the way can help build self esteem.
Self-esteem is a very important part of an individual’s psychological well-being. The more positive we see ourselves, the healthier our minds tend to be. There is a common misconception that self-esteem is an unchangeable factor in our lives. Fortunately, there are ways to build and maintain a high self-esteem. The flip-side of this truth is that self-esteem can also be destroyed and reduced. It is important to focus on the positive habits that correlate with a higher sense of self esteem.