Self-esteem is described as how an individual feels about his/her self-worth. This is an incredibly important emotion that comes into play in many areas of our life. 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 low self-esteem, they are less likely to see themselves positively. This can lead to other self-limiting habits.
The good news is that self-esteem can be learned and built. Like any other mental skill, some people come by it more naturally than others. This reality leads some to the wrong conclusion that high a healthy sense of worth is something an individual has or doesn’t have. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Those with high self-esteem may have worked hard to develop that sense and maintain it. Regardless, high self-esteem is something that can be learned.
Here are five powerful habits to help boost your self-esteem quickly.
1. Postures of Confidence
Many studies prove the positive effects of confident body postures on our hormones. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard psychologist, recommends placing your feet on the ground, keeping the body relaxed and open, and being on the lookout for those feelings of confidence. The central underlying thesis proposed by Cuddy suggests that our physical postures and mental states are in constant feedback. It’s not just that our bodies take the form of our internal feelings, but our postures can affect how we feel inside. To boost self-love, practice confident postures to help elicit positive feelings about ourselves from the outside in.
2. Get More Exercise
Exercise seems to solve 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 can 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 strenuous workout is the emotional manifestation of these endorphins at work. Exercising regularly creates a host of benefits regarding self-esteem. These include reducing stress, fighting off feelings of depression, lower anxiety, and improving sleep.
3. Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation is a spiritual practice that has been around for thousands of years. Over the past few decades, meditation and mindfulness have become popularized in the western world. One of the touted benefits of this practice is 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 how we talk to ourselves. For example, an inner voice that constantly points out a person’s negative can result in a constant sense of low self-value. However, engaging in a positive inner dialogue can help to build self-love. This practice can be as simple as starting every day with a positive affirmation such as ‘I am a strong person’. Not only will these positive affirmations help to improve self-esteem, but they will also eventually begin replacing the negative affirmations. This practice may feel forced initially, but the 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 reach our goals, the higher our self-esteem. However, without a clear framework for our goals, 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 confidence.
Self-esteem is a very important part of an individual’s psychological well-being. The more positively we see ourselves; our minds tend to be healthier. There is a common misconception that self-worth is an unchangeable factor in our lives. Fortunately, there are ways to build and maintain high self-esteem. The flip side of this truth is that self-esteem can also be destroyed and reduced. Focusing on positive habits that correlate with a higher sense of self-esteem is essential.