We reveal the best activities and exercises for self esteem. These are the very best way of improving your self esteem, with exercises and activities
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 low. What goes up… eh, I’ll save you the cliché. Needless to say, at times we all suffer from low self esteem.
If you’re in need of a bit of a touch-up at the moment, in need of an injection of good feeling, then these ten exercises for self esteem are precisely what the councillor ordered.
What are the symptoms of low self esteem?
Take a look at this list of low self esteem symptoms. Check how many of them you have. And use the suggested materials to help alleviate the any problems you may have.
NOTE: I refer to a lot of meditation techniques in this list. If you would like to know how to do those techniques, take a look at my guide to the different types of meditation.
Fear: 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.
The Cure: 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.
The Cure: Make us of these psychological exercises for self esteem today.
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.
The Cure: Read my guide to developing self worth right away.
Depression: 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.
The Cure: Start to feel good about yourself. And change negative self beliefs that are holding you back.
Materialism: 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.
Cure: 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.
Cure: 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.
Overly Sensitive: 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.
Cure: 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.
The Cure: Use our guide to developing self confidence.
Negative Thoughts: 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.
10 Exercises For Self Esteem That Will Boost Your Confidence Right Now
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.
- 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.”
If you struggle to give yourself compliments, read my guide to developing your self worth.
- Respect yourself as an individual and 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.
- Smile, smile, 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.
- Be good to yourself
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.
- Focus 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
And why not try this new technique that will give you amazing confidence?
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