Not every day can be a great self-esteem day. Sometimes your hair looks bad, or you miss the bus (again), or you can't seem to do anything right at work. When life's going downhill, the only thing you can do is think of all the ways you're awesome, and hopefully feel a little bit better.
It is OK, however, to give into it all for a second. (I mean, did your boss really have to call you out in front of everyone?) But don't sulk for too long, and try not to take everything so personally. That's rule number one, and rule number two. The third rule? Start looking for ways to boost your self-esteem.
Because when you think about it, most sh*tty things in life are purely external — your boss was in a bad mood, the bus schedule was messed up, you had a bad hair day. Once you realize these things, it'll be easier to see there's nothing inherently wrong with you.
Of course, for many of us, a self-esteem boost can be necessary, bad day or not. When that's the case, don't give up. Reminding yourself about your awesome qualities, as well as focusing on the positive, can really help keep your confidence permanently boosted. Sound good? Then check out these ways to feel better, and get your self-esteem going in the right direction.
1. Give Yourself A Compliment
If you're feeling exceptionally low, try this trick — stand in front of the mirror, and give yourself a compliment. If that sounds super embarrassing (or you're in public), then try sneaking away to a distant bathroom before blurting it out. Or, if you can't handle the thought, try writing a nice note to yourself. "Many times, we’re quick to compliment others on their success, but hesitate to do the same for ourselves," said Dileen Simms on HuffingtonPost.ca. It really can help to share such niceties with yourself, too.
2. Make A List Of Your Goals
Sometimes it can help to get out of your head, and start focusing on the future. This is why making a quick list of goals can be a good way to spend ten minutes. "Start with the ones you've already accomplished and cross them out," says Kim Chronister, Psy.D., in an email to Bustle. "Then write the rest of the goals you are able to accomplish by the end of the year ... By the end you will have a better sense of direction, accomplishment, and purpose."
3. Jot Down Your Thoughts
Are you overwhelmed by your nagging, crappy thoughts? Then try writing them all down. "Start writing a journal about yourself ... and analyzing the negative thoughts and where they are rooted in," says Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle. Apart from analyzing them, it can help to simply get it all out.
4. Do A Quick Workout
Or a long workout. Whatever makes you happy. The only thing that's important is that you get moving. "Find one you love and do it, even if it's the last thing you feel like doing," suggests Lauren Minchen, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., in an email to Bustle. "Chances are you'll feel better, stronger, and happier afterwards. Exercise boosts endorphins, and we could all use a little more of those."
5. Call A Friend ASAP
If you are feeling super low, call up that one friend who always knows just what to say. Not only will she cheer you up, but the social connection can work wonders. "Happiness is linked to connection with others, purpose, spirituality, and activity," Chronister says. So take it one step further, and meet up with her in real life. Not only will being social help you feel better, but getting out of the house might, too.
6. List All Your Amazing Qualities
When you don't feel great about yourself, it can be tough to sit down with a pen and paper and write down your positive attributes. But do try. "I like to ask people to make a list of 10 good qualities about themselves, or 10 accomplishments, but none can be physical," says Martinez. Maybe you're an amazing friend, or you make a mean banana bread. Whatever it may be, write it all down. It can really help to see that list grow.
7. Find Something To Donate
This tip has three benefits: a cleaner apartment, a better mood for you, and new things for those in need. Pretty great, right? All you have to do is throw open your closet, and start taking out items you no longer wear. "Go through your closet and make a collection of clothes to donate," suggested Sarah Lipoff on PopSugar.com. "You'll feel better knowing your clothes will go to someone in need."
8. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
Remember what I said about everything going wrong at work? When stuff like that happens, it's hard not to take it personally, and/or feel like a giant failure. But if you do, start challenging that thought process. "Start thinking about your limitations, and whether they’re real limitations, or just ones you’ve allowed to be placed there by others, or negative self-talk," says Martinez. "Dig deep. be honest, work hard, and you will build your self-confidence, in no time."
9. Smile, Even If You Hate It
You may not feel like it, but a quick smile can help turn your mood around. "The mere act of smiling changes blood flow to the brain and can actually makes you feel happier and relieve tension," said Simms. "A smile sets off chemical and physical reactions within your mind and body, releasing endorphins that boost your mood." Trust me, it works.
10. Focus On What's Around You
One of the best things you can do is get out of your head. Take a little vacation from your thoughts, if only for a second. "Just spending a few moments appreciating nature, unique faces, and the hustle and bustle gets your mind off things," said Lipoff.
11. Walk Around With Confidence
I know, I know... you are feeling anything but confident right now, and are probably tired of faking it. But that's all the more reason to walk around like you are feeling great. (And it will start to sink in.) As Lipoff suggested, "Put your shoulders back and act like you're walking the red carpet. Even though you're faking it, you'll help elevate your mood." Hey, it's worth a try.
As are all of the above tips. When your self-esteem isn't doing so great, it's necessary to look for ways to feel better about yourself — no matter how silly they might be.
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