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Self Esteem and Self Confidence

Lots of us struggle with self-esteem and self-confidence at some point in our life.  It’s that point when a critical voice in your head tells you that you’re no good, that you’re too fat or don’t deserve a promotion or whatever the issue may be. It can leave you feeling worthless.

Here are some simple things that can help:

Be your own good friend

Self-esteem is the way you feel about yourself.  The best way to improve your self-esteem is to talk to yourself as you would to a really good friend; in a positive but honest way.  Notice when you’re putting yourself down.  If you find yourself thinking: “You’re so stupid for not getting that job”, stop and ask yourself, “Would I say that to my best friend?”. You’d probably come up with something much more supportive like “Ok, so you didn’t get that job but what can you learn from it so you get the next one?”.

Enjoy yourself

Doing things that you enjoy is good for your emotional wellbeing; simple activities like watching sports with a friend, having a soak in the bath or meeting up with friends for coffee can all improve the way you feel.  Doing something you’re good at, such as cooking or dancing, is a great way to enjoy yourself and give you a sense of achievement.

Avoid alcohol

Don’t drink too much alcohol.  When you’re struggling it’s tempting to drink alcohol because it “numbs” painful feelings but as we all know it often makes you feel more depressed. Other ‘fixes’ like drugs and gambling don’t help either.

Eat as well as you can

Making healthy choices about your diet can make you feel emotionally stronger. You’re doing something positive for yourself which lifts your self-esteem.  A good diet helps your brain and body work efficiently, too.

Do some exercise

People talk about taking regular exercise but this is because it works.  Even moderate exercise releases chemicals in your brain that lift your mood and boost your sense of self-worth. Also – take time to yourself. These are positive changes and can make a difference to how stressed you may feel and the way you view yourself.  Choose an exercise that you enjoy. If it helps, do it with a friend or listen to music. Adults should aim for 150 minutes a week.

Talk and share

Communication is important.  Talking things through helps you to release tension rather than keeping it inside. It can give you a very different perspective on what’s worrying you. It helps strengthen your relationships and connect with people.  If you don’t feel that you can talk to friends or family then many people find talking to a counsellor about things that are troubling them very helpful.  CBT, psychotherapy, counselling or coaching can all help with self- image and confidence.