Low self-esteem is a problem that many people around the world suffer from. In small doses, it can be a good thing – giving us a spur for self-improvement and helping us to check our egos. But if your view of yourself is overwhelmingly negative, then it can feel as though you’re carrying around an enormous weight.
Let’s take a look at a few steps that can help you to reverse this situation, and view yourself in a more positive light.
As well as being something that’s caused by happiness, smiling is also something that causes happiness in and of itself. The act of smiling releases serotonin and dopamine, giving you a natural (though slight) high. Thus, through smiling, you’ll be able to ‘trick’ your body into feeling great.
Of course, there’s a limit to how effective this can be. Trying to force a smile when you’re on the verge of tears can make you feel even more miserable. And what if you’re not happy with the way that your smile looks? Broken tooth repair will restore your teeth to their best, and allow you to flash that smile more often.
In much the same way, exercise releases those positive hormones that’ll make you feel fantastic. The so-called ‘runner’s high’ can give you a positive glow for hours after a workout session. Plus, exercise will make you look better, too. Exercise isn’t just something that you do at the gym – try to work in small bursts of activity throughout the day. This might mean walking or cycling to work instead of taking the car. Exercise should be accompanied by the right nutrition, and consistent, quality sleep.
While trying to make yourself look better through exercise and diet is, generally speaking, a laudable aim, it’s easy to take things too far. Body dysmorphia is a real problem that too many of us suffer from, often undiagnosed. Tackling it requires accepting the things you cannot change, like changing your bone structure, and persisting with changes which take a very long time, like losing weight.
If you’re struggling to maintain a positive outlook, there are various exercises you might consider. Perhaps the easiest is listing things you like about yourself. Take a pen, write them down. Doing so may help to pull you out of a spiral of negative thoughts, where you exaggerate every bad quality and ignore all of the good stuff. Come up with five things you like about yourself every night before bed, and another five things you’re going to work on.
The fact is that repairing your self-confidence alone can be tricky, and occasionally it’s okay to ask for help. Talking to friends can be enormously therapeutic, but talking to a professional therapist might be even better. If your leg suffered an injury, you’d go to a doctor: the same should apply to an injured sense of self-worth.