These Low Self Esteem Activities Will Change You Today
There are some self esteem activities that can completely rebuild the way you feel about yourself.
Everyone suffers from low self esteem at times. Life occasionally turns sour, we make mistakes, and it’s all part of the grand roller-coaster ride of this thing called life.
As Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Alice Boyes Ph.D states, “People tend to feel good when they’re having success and then feel awful when they’re not getting the response they desire from the world.”
Right now your self esteem is in transition. It’s simply human nature that at times our self esteem will be high, and at other times we will have low self esteem. Activities can help you to make sure that you get more of the good times and less of the bad.
It’s about having self love, self care and self esteem.
That said, there are truly fascinating facts about self esteem that you need to know. Let’s take a look.
10 Facts about self esteem
- One of the main causes of low self esteem is negative people, like Gaslighters, who emotionally abuse you.
- There are two main kinds of self worth. A general or global sense of our own worth. And a sense of our worth in specific ways. That’s why you might feel good about yourself in general but bad about yourself in specific ways.
- Scientific research shows that people with too high self worth are more likely to commit crime.
- Your overall sense of self worth is mostly made up of how you value yourself in ways that are important to you. If you think (as I do) that family is everything, and you are a good family person, you will have high self esteem even if you are shockingly bad in other areas (as I am, ha ha)
- If you’ve ever wondered why your self esteem is high sometimes and low other times, it’s because self worth changes throughout the day.
- It is just as bad to have too high self worth as it is to have too low self worth. Narcissism is a problem for many people (I’m looking at you, Trump).
- Even if you have problems with self image, your self esteem has nothing to do with your looks. It is entirely psychological.
- People with low self worth tend to ignore compliments.
- People with high self esteem are less sensitive to insults. If you have ever wondered why insults do not upset you, it’s because you have high self worth.
- If you have low self esteem, reciting positive affirmations of mantras will make you feel worse, not better.
What are the symptoms of low self esteem?
In a moment we will look at the best low self esteem activities.
But first you might wonder whether you do truly have low self esteem.
You will know you have low self esteem if you suffer from the following low self esteem symptoms:
The basic foundation of low self esteem is a lot of fear. If you have low self esteem you will find that you are very prone to fear and anxiety. You may fear that there is something wrong with you (without any evidence thereof). And you may fear that something bad is going to happen, even though there is no reason for such thinking. Because people with low self esteem are often afraid, they may withdraw from situations because they fear something bad will happen.
Low self esteem activity for fear: Read our guide to overcoming fear in life.
Self Esteem Attacks:
Many people who suffer from low self esteem often think they have panic attacks. But actually, what you think is a panic attack is often a self esteem attack.
These are related to feelings of depression. Self Esteem Attacks usually occur when you think you have done something wrong. For instance, you may feel that you have said something stupid or that you have behaved in an inappropriate way. This then leads to feelings of self loathing. You may try to remove yourself from other people and to be quiet for abnormal periods of time, or you may choose to stay in either a bad relationship or a bad job because you think it is what you deserve.
Best low self esteem activity for this: Read our guide to positive self talk.
Putting Up With Unfair, Abusive, Or Negative Relationships Or Situations
Do you put up with abuse like gaslighting?
We all have that one friend who is in a negative job or a negative relationship. And we just do not understand why they don’t change the situation. But the reason that they don’t change is because they believe that they do not deserve to be better.
Many people with low self esteem believe that they do not deserve to be happy. And if they believe that they do not deserve to be happy, then they believe that they deserve to suffer negative situations. That is why they stay in bad relationships and bad jobs. So if you are in a bad relationship or a bad job and you think you should leave but do not, then it may be a symptom of low self esteem.
Best low self esteem activity for this: Read my guide to how people gaslight you
One of the most common low self esteem symptoms is depression.
In fact, one of the most common causes of depression is low self esteem. If you are constantly telling yourself that you are not good enough, then inevitably you are going to end up feeling depressed. Low self esteem can also make it feel like you have depression for no reason.
Best low self esteem activity for this: Start to feel good about yourself. And change negative self beliefs that are holding you back.
One symptom of low self esteem that is often missed is materialism. People with low self esteem often base their opinions of themselves on the amount of money they make or the amount of money they spend. That’s why people with low self esteem symptoms are sometimes addicted to shopping and also may measure success on money.
Best low self esteem activity for this: : Develop a sense of self worth that is based on you, your personality, your personal values, rather than on money and materialism.
Lack of Assertiveness:
Because people with low self esteem lac confidence they also lack assertiveness. They may be deeply afraid of upsetting others or of doing something that is inappropriate or offensive. Because they lack assertiveness they are likely to keep their emotions inside, which causes their emotions to grow out of control. This can then lead to a blow-up.
Best low self esteem activity for this: : The way to become more assertive is to take control of your emotions so that you know when and how to release your anger and other emotions in a healthy way. And try reading my article on How To Become Super Confident.
People with low self esteem genuinely feel badly about themselves. So whenever somebody says something negative to them, they take it as a validation of their negative thoughts. For instance, if a friend is momentarily angry at them and say, “Oh, you’re so stupid”, a person with low self esteem will take it seriously and will presume that the offense is meant and is warranted. In other words, they take everything too seriously, which leads them to being easily upset.
Best low self esteem activity for this: : Take our test for overly sensitive people. And learn why being a highly sensitive person can be a good thing, when you know how to handle it.
Low Self Confidence:
One of the most common low self esteem symptoms is a lack of self confidence. This lack of self confidence can manifest in aggression and in underachievers. Again, because people with low self esteem have low confidence they are far more likely to stay in bad jobs or in bad relationships.
Best low self esteem activity for this: : Use our guide to developing self confidence.
One of the most common symptoms of low self esteem is negative thoughts. This is also one of the easiest symptoms to spot. Essentially, a person with low self esteem is always thinking negative things about themselves. But this does not mean that all negative thoughts are related to self esteem. Many negative thoughts are entirely healthy. It is natural to thing negatively about yourself when you make a grievous error. However, dwelling on negativity is not normal. People with low self esteem may obsess over one or two negative thoughts. For instance, a person who is overweight may dwell on their weight and may obsessively think about how fat they are. They will then downplay all their successes because “I’m still fat”. Such obsessive negative thinking is a key symptoms of low self esteem.
Use these 24 low self esteem activities to stop the problem.
Try these exercises for self esteem one at a time. Some will be more effective than others. They will eliminate the symptoms of low self esteem.
1. Meditation for self esteem
One of the best low self esteem activities is meditation.
Low self worth is often caused by negative views and negative thoughts about ourselves. One way to change those bad thoughts about ourselves is to meditate.
Many people claim that Loving Kindness Meditation is the best meditation for self worth.
Loving kindness is a technique in which we think good things about ourselves and others.
Loving kindness is helpful. But there is a better technique. It’s called Karuna.
Karuna is the best meditation for self worth. This is a Buddhist technique in which we increase self compassion (as well as increasing compassion for others).
2. Practice the Karana Mudra
Mudras are body and hand gestures used in yoga and Buddhism.
Studies show that different mudras create different psychological effects.
One way to use mudras is to improve self esteem.
The Karana mudra is the best mudra for self esteem. This hand position removes negative energy and negative thoughts from the mind. This naturally reduces the symptoms of low self worth.
3. Practice Yoga For Self Esteem
Yoga is one of the very best activities for low self esteem.
There are many psychological benefits of yoga. Self worth being one of them.
Yoga opens the body, heart and mind to a more positive state of being.
The best yoga poses for self esteem are the large, open, whole-body asanas, such as Warrior, Half-Moon, Chair Pose, and Reverse Triangle.
Here’s how to use yoga for positivity.
4. Buddhist tips on how to build self esteem
“You, yourself, as much as anyone in the universe, deserve your love and affection”
There are many Buddhist tips for self esteem. These tips train us to see the world (and ourselves) in healthier ways.
Best low self esteem activity for this:
- Practice self acceptance
- Recognise that it change is inevitable (if for instance, you feel badly because you have put on weight, realise that weight fluctuations are a part of life, and that your weight will change again for the better)
- Realise that your sense of self is actually just a thought or idea in your mind, and that those thoughts do not reflect reality.
5. One of the very best low self esteem activities is to study the problem
It is a fact of low self esteem that we judge ourselves based on things we think are important.
What matters to you probably isn’t what matters to me. We’re all wonderfully unique individuals. Whatever matters to you, that is what you should focus on.
If you care about animals, volunteer at an animal rescue.
If you think you’re worthless because you don’t have any money, focus on that. Incidentally, I’ve been there!
Whatever it is that you think makes a person valuable, achieve that thing in yourself.
Decide how you personally measure success and focus on that.
6. Build self esteem by being true to yourself
The world is full of fakers. Just take a look around. People are wearing the same fashion labels. Why? Because that’s what everyone else is doing.
People are watching the same TV shows (as though we’re completely oblivious to the benefits of giving up TV). Why? Because they don’t want to be that one person in the office who didn’t catch the show.
We’re spending half our time trying to be someone else.
We should be spending 100% of our time being true to ourselves.
7. Have the guts to follow your heart, despite what everyone says
It takes courage to follow your heart. (Read: How to be more courageous)
Your heart leads you to an individual place, a place where a lot of other people won’t be able to follow.
When I finished university all my friends immediately got jobs. I went a different route. I took to the stage and toured England. That was a scary time because I was going against the mould, but I’m glad I did it. It made me me. It made me different, unique. And even though fame and fortune didn’t land at my feet, I did it my way (Frank Sinatra, anyone?).
8. Don’t even think about being “normal”
Why is everyone so hell bent on being normal and fitting in?
We are all unique and beautiful people.
We’re all splashes of colour on a grand canvas called Earth.
Don’t deprive Earth of your colour. Light up the world with your individuality.
9. Never let anyone tell you you can’t
People have good intentions. Most people won’t intentionally try to set you back. But people are full of fear.
When your friends or family say “You can’t do that it’s too risky” take it with a pinch of salt. Remember: that’s their fear talking, not yours. Just because someone else thinks you can’t doesn’t mean you can’t.
10. Say no
Saying no takes courage.
It’s pretty easy to let yourself be pushed around.
We’re all worried about being disliked and the easiest way to avoid being disliked is to be agreeable.
Reality is that if you just say yes to everything no one will respect you, and you’ll pretty much destroy your self esteem too. Say no.
11. Don’t date someone who isn’t sure about you
I’m constantly meeting people who are truly beautiful inside and who could give so much to the right person, but they’re stuck in dead-end relationships.
- 60% of people stay in bad relationships, studies show
- 23% of people stay in relationships despite being lied to
- 37% of people stay in relationships when their feelings are ignored
- More men tolerate bad behaviour than women. 57% of men say they would break up with someone over infidelity, compared to 73% of women.
If your relationship isn’t working now then honestly I’m sorry but look it’s just not working and it’s never going to work. Get out. Have enough self esteem to say “I deserve better than this”.
12. One of the best ways how to build self esteem is to forgive yourself
You’ve messed up in the past. You’ve done things you never thought you would do. You’ve hurt people. You’ve done harm. You wish you hadn’t but you have.
Guess what? That’s life.
It’s an unfortunate and painful but ultimately unavoidable reality. At times you mess up. It’s just that simple.
You have to be able to forgive yourself.
Accept all the times you messed up. Say “I forgive myself for that”. You’re not perfect. You were never meant to be.
[bctt tweet=”If God had wanted me differently, he would have made me differently” username=”t_d_meditation”]
13. What you achieve today is enough for today
Having good levels of self worth means not being so darn hard on yourself and not berating yourself just because you didn’t achieve everything you wanted to achieve today.
How about showing yourself some self compassion instead?
How about saying, “Hey. I didn’t do everything. But I did enough, and I’m pleased with what I accomplished”. Not only will that make you feel better about yourself, it will motivate you to get more done tomorrow too.
[bctt tweet=”Hey, I was imperfect today. And I’m cool with that, okay?” username=”t_d_meditation”]
14. You are not your genes
You could spend the rest of your life trying to make amends for things that happened in the past, but you have to realise that a lot of your past was not your fault. If your parents made mistakes your parents made mistakes. You’re not your parents. You’re you.
You deserve to have a healthy degree of self worth. You’re a unique and valuable individual.
Treat yourself the way you’d want other people to treat you. When you focus on your flaws, you put your flaws up for all else to see. Focus on the good instead. Let your brilliance shine.
15. To build self esteem quickly, compliment yourself
You know precisely what you would do if a friend were feeling bad about themselves, right? You would pay them a compliment. Say something nice and from the heart to make them feel better. At times, try turning those compliments inward. Say something nice about yourself.
Motivational speaker Louise Hay teaches a concept called “Mirror Work.” It’s a simple system. You simply walk up to a mirror and compliment yourself. For instance, say to yourself, “Hey, you’re looking good today” or “I’m really happy with all the hard work I’ve done recently.” As Louise Hay says, “Look into your eyes in the mirror, and love yourself within.”
16. Build self esteem by respecting yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others
Spiritual leader Daisaku Ikeda said, “Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Be true to who you are.”
Every petal in a garden is unique in its construction and form. You too are one beautifully unique part of this grand canvas of a universe. Not to get all Chesney Hawkes, but you really are the one and only.
In reality it is easy to tell yourself not to compare yourself to others, but much harder to pull it off. The problem is that we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others in order to get an idea of our place in the world. “Without others, we have no way of knowing how we ‘measure up,” says clinical psychologist Christina G. Hibbert, P.hD. The key is to recognise that those thoughts that take place in your mind are not real. “Listen as your mind comments, judges [and] compares,” says Hibbert. “When we realize we are not our thoughts — that we are so much more than our constantly thinking mind— we begin to see others as the same.
Here’s a great mind hack. When you notice that you’re about to compare yourself to someone else, stop and say to yourself, “I’m happy I am my own unique individual, and I’m happy that everyone else is a unique individual too.”
Celebrate the beautiful individuality of existence. Your composition is as priceless as an original Picasso—and probably a lot less messed up.
17. An easy self esteem activity is just to smile
One of the most natural exercises for your self esteem is simply to smile. Studies have proven that smiling doesn’t just make you look happy, it actually activates the parts of the brain corresponding to positivity and happiness.
Scientists at the University of Cardiff Wales researched the effects of cosmetic botox injections on emotions. Their tests showed that people who have had botox injections that prevent them from being able to frown are actually happier than the average person. Conversely, fMRI studies conducted by scientists at the Technical University of Munich in Germany showed that people whose botox injections prevent them from smiling have much lower activity in the brain circuits involved in emotional processing and responses—in the amygdala, hypothalamus and parts of the brain stem.
Smiling is the easiest and quickest way to boost your self esteem. You’d be crazy not to use that natural blessing.
18. Build self esteem by being good to yourself
If you want to know how to build self esteem, start by having self compassion.
Give yourself a break. Sure, you want to force yourself to move mountains and transcend worlds, but really you are just one person out of six billion. A little perspective goes a long long way. The more you burden yourself with ideas of what you must be and what you must achieve the more you wear down your mind until it’s too battered and beaten to even think straight. Give yourself a break. You wouldn’t go around damning other people, so don’t do it to yourself.
One of the best ways to be kind to yourself is to practice a technique called Loving Kindness. It’s a meditation technique that boosts both self compassion and external compassion. Positive psychologist Barbara Frederickson researched the effects of loving kindness in a benchmark study in 2008. She and her team of researchers had participants practice loving kindness meditation for seven weeks. The results showed a significant rise in positive emotions like mindfulness, social well-being, and compassion.
Always bear in mind, it is a psychological fact that self compassion is the key to self esteem.
19. Build self esteem by focusing on your achievements, not your shortcomings
If you need to move a mountain you first have to chop it into smaller pieces. So you want to be a New York Times Bestselling author, maybe first you need to get a short story published. And when you do, be proud of that achievement. It’s one step on the road. And, not to flog a dead horse, but life really is about the journey and not the destination.
Look back. Think of all the things you’ve accomplished. Probably quite a lot, right? Smile. Tell yourself, “I’m so proud of all the great things I’ve done.”
If you tend to focus on your weaknesses, read my guide to stopping self criticism.
20. Realise that Support comes in lots of difference shapes and sizes
Everyone needs support. There are many professional support groups around the world, and they can be very helpful. But some of the best support comes closer to home. Maybe you’ve got a loving family, or a good group of friends, or maybe you just have the cutest and cuddliest cat in the world. Or maybe you have a sense of support from a higher power. There are many different forms of support. Who’s there for you in your life? Rely on those people. They could rely on you, I’m sure. And know that by allowing them to help you, you’l be helping them too. Studies show that one of the times that people are at their happiest is when they are able to help others.
Back in 2010, the Do Good Live Well Survey researched the effects of giving. They took 4500 American adults and asked them to volunteer 100 hours a year to a cause. The results were clear. 68 percent reported that the act of giving made them feel physically healthier; 89 percent stated that it “improved my sense of happiness,” and 73 percent that it “lowered my stress levels.”
So, when you need help, let others help you, because the experience will make both them and you happy. Everyone’s a winner.
21. Appreciate beauty and excellence
Positive psychologists have proven that the ability to perceive and to appreciate beauty and excellence is one of the core components of happiness. In the positive psychology world this concept is called “Appreciation of Beauty And Excellence.”
Dr Claire Weeler M.D Ph.D says, “Appreciation of beauty and excellence is a highly individual thing. What inspires me may leave you cold, and vice versa. It’s not the object that matters. What matters is this – being able to have feelings of awe, admiration, or wonder in response to the world around you. Those feelings will make you happier and more connected.
22. Eat healthy, organic foods.
Happiness is produced by the brain, and the brain is dependent on chemical balance. By eating healthy you allow your brain to operate properly, naturally balancing your moods and emotions. It can be difficult to appreciate the fact that something physical, like food, can directly influence something as intangible as happiness and other emotions. As “Recipe Doctor” Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, states, “Dietary changes can bring about changes in our brain structure (chemically and physiologically), which can lead to altered behavior and moods.”
Eating healthy, organic foods and cutting out on chemical-laden packaged products will help to ensure balanced brain chemistry
23. Live active, live strong
If you want to feel your best you have to put in the effort. Physical, mental, and spiritual activities help to activate regions of the brain that control emotions and mood. Do, do a little exercise today, maybe try yoga, tai chi, or dance, and keep your brain active too. Incidentally, if you do dance, you’ll be fascinated by our recent article about why dancing makes you happy.
Whenever I’m not active enough, I always watch inspiring movies to give myself a boost.
24. To build self esteem, follow your passion
The number one way to boost your self esteem is to make your life about your passion. When you live with a sense of purpose, with a passion, you have a reason to get out of bed, a reason to work hard, a sense of direction, and the knowledge that everything you do has meaning. If you’re not certain what your purpose and passion is you’ll find this article very elucidating.
Use these exercises for self esteem and you will very quickly boost your confidence. And guys, let’s always remember the truth: We’re not perfect. But we are unique, beautiful, amazing individuals that the world simply wouldn’t be the same without.
Empower Yourself With The Self-Worth Mindset
What do you believe is in control of your life?
Are you at the mercy of external circumstances or are you master of your own destiny?
In order to succeed in life you need to believe that what you do is ultimately what controls your destiny.
As the famous William Shakespeare quote goes:
[bctt tweet=”"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” ” username=”t_d_meditation”]
When we are self empowered we:
- Find the motivation to work hard
- Are able to deal with challenges better
- Have less anxiety because we are in control
- Are less prone to stress and depression for the same reason
- Take control of our own lives
When we lack self empowerment we:
- Find it hard to be true to ourselves
- suffer from anxiety, stress and depression because they believe they have no control
- don’t bother working because “What’s the point?”
- blame other people for everything
- feel zero motivation
- lose control of their own lives
Build self esteem by achieving self efficacy
Self efficacy is your belief in your self, your belief that you will be able to success even in difficult situations.
Do you believe that you will conquer even the hardest times? Then you have a high degree of self efficacy.
But many people lack self efficacy. Many people believe they are not equipped to cope.
You must be able to believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. We need to believe we’ll meet our targets, overcome our obstacles and achieve success.
It really does all come down to that Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”
And if you ever think I can’t, if you find it hard to have self esteem, do yourself a favor and read my story about how I fought through depression to regain my self confidence.
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And why not try this new technique that will give you amazing confidence?
The Difference Between Self Love, Self Care, And Self Esteem
Good self esteem is all about how highly you think of yourself. (read: 10 exercises for self worth)
Are you proud of your accomplishments? Do you consider yourself a valuable person? When you compare yourself to other people whom you respect, how do you stack up?
To say we respect and value someone means we hold them in high esteem. And if we hold ourselves in similarly high esteem, then we can say we have good self esteem.
Self love is different self esteem.
With self love we’re not focused just on our character strengths, we are also accepting of our character weaknesses.
Think about someone you love.
You love them because they are a good person with morals you agree with, and you see the good in them even if they have some character weaknesses, right?
Like my mother. Flies off the handle far too easily. Love her to bit anyway.
That’s the difference between self love and self esteem.
We can love someone even if we do not hold them in particularly high esteem. We all know people who perhaps are not overly successful or who have flaws but we love them anyway.
Similarly, we can recognise our own imperfections and love ourselves anyway.
If we love someone, there is a good chance we hold them in high esteem as well.
- We tend to love people who we see the good in. And when we see the good in people, we tend to hold them in high esteem.
- However, we can hold someone in high self esteem without loving them. We might respect the government, for instance, but few people love them.
The key difference between self esteem and self love is that self esteem is based on valuing your good points over your weak points, where self love is not.
If we have healthy levels of self esteem, we think we are good at important things. Maybe you hold yourself in high esteem when it comes to your work, but hold yourself in low esteem in terms of your social life.
Genuine self love, however, is not about whether we are good or bad at something. We don’t stop loving family members when they make a mistake. And if we have genuine self love we do not stop loving ourselves for mistakes, either.
When You Have Self Esteem But Not Self Love
I used to have self esteem but not self love. It was brutal
I used to think I was pretty awesome (well… I am pretty awesome, ha ha). I truly valued my sense of morals, as someone who spent a good portion of my life helping others. And I valued my body, being a guy who was in the gym 12 hours a week.
But I did not have self love.
I expected myself to be perfect. I was vicious to myself every time I made a mistake. I would actually punish myself badly for my mistakes.
That’s not self love.
In THE DAILY MEDITATION’s, definition of love, love is described as unconditional compassion.
This is vital because of how important compassion is in life.
We can have high self esteem and actually have zero self compassion. (if this is you, try Karuna meditation to massively increase your compassion).
While I thought highly of myself, I didn’t have self love.
Self love would mean I forgave myself for my mistakes and accepted both my strengths and weaknesses. I did not. And as a result, when things got bad I hit rock bottom and had to take massive steps to regain self confidence.
How To Know If You Have Self Love, Self Esteem, Or Both
It’s import to know whether you have self esteem, self love, or both. When you know what you’re lacking you can fill in the gap.
If you have high self esteem but no self love, you will be very aware of your character strengths but you will either hate or straight up try to reject all character weaknesses (which prevents you from growing because you need to accept your weaknesses in order to work on them).
At one point in my life I was extremely fit but also painfully shy. I would focus entirely on my fitness (my strength) and completely ignore my social life (my weakness).
That’s self esteem, not self love.
Self love is accepting both your strengths and your weaknesses.
On the other hand, you might find it very easy to forgive yourself of your weaknesses and to be proud of your strengths, but at the same time you might downplay your abilities In certain situations.
At another point in my life, I was very loving to myself, and forgave every weakness, but I also lacked the confidence to do certain things.
- When we have self love but not self esteem we do accept ourselves, but we also tend to think we are incapable.
The critical difference between self esteem and self love is compassion. If we have self love we are compassionate to ourselves, even when we made mistakes.
Self Esteem VS Self Love Test
Ask yourself these questions.
Answer out of 10 (10 is “absolutely true” 0 is “not at all true”)
- You value your strengths
- You accept your weaknesses
- You are happy to talk to others about your character strengths
- You are happy to talk to people about your character weaknesses
- Rate yourself out of 10
- You are compassionate to yourself
- You trust yourself implicitly
- You’re happy to ask for help when you need to
- If you were in a room full of people you value highly, you’d fit in
- If you made a terrible mistake, you would be able to forgive yourself
Answer all questions yes or no
- Add up your answers from questions 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. This is your self esteem, rated out of 50. If you have above 40, you have very high self esteem. Below 15 means you need to work on your self esteem.
- Add up the answers from questions 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. This is your self love, rated out of 50. If you have 40, you have very high self love. Below 15 means you need to work on your self love.
Which Is More Important, Self Love Or Self Esteem?
If we want to have mental strength and happiness, we need both self love and self esteem.
A lack of either self esteem or self love is linked to suicide, depression, negative thoughts, anxiety, anti-social lifestyle and other complications.
Now here’s the fascinating thing:
Some research suggests that self compassion might trump self esteem. One longitudinal study followed 2448 ninth graders and found that low self esteem did not cause mental health problems in those who had high levels of self compassion. Even if we suffer from low self esteem, its effects will be significantly reduced if we have self love.
While self esteem is very important, the research suggests self love is even more so.
How To Increase Self Esteem
As someone who has suffered from low self esteem, I wanted to help you if you are suffering from this issue.
I’ve written an in-depth guide to 10 psychologically tested ways of improving self esteem.
That guide is real life changer. Take a look.
How To Increase Self Love
One of the best ways to improve both self esteem and self compassion if through Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM)
Another way to improve self compassion is to practice a technique called ACT: Acceptance And Commitment Therapy.
Russ Harris has written an excellent guide to ACT on ActMindfully.com. I highly recommend you read Russ’s work. He is an expert in the field and the author of the transformative book, The Happiness Trap, a must-read for anyone who wants to change their thought habits and purse better mental health.
To briefly introduce ACT,
ACT is a process of accepting our thoughts and feelings.
How to do ACT:
- Take 30 mindful breaths
- Focus on your thoughts and feelings
- When you come across a core value (a moral code or something important to you) make a note of it
- Once you get to 5 core values, stop meditating
- Starting with your first core value, find one way to act it out.
- Now move on to the next, and so on.
Research has shown that ACT is a powerful way of boosting self compassion.
* I’ve modified this slightly to make it a meditative practice
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