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Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. You may have high self-esteem—you believe you are a good person—or it may be low, and you question how "good" or "worthy" you are.
Everyone has low self-esteem at times. It may happen when someone says something bad about you or questions how well you do something. But if you often feel bad about yourself, you may stop believing in yourself. You may find it hard to meet your goals and enjoy life.
Building self-esteem is a lifelong process, but it can help you feel better about yourself and your life. Here are some ways to build your self-esteem. Start by picking something you'd like to try now. Later you can decide if you'd like to try other ways.
Think about yourself
Try to do things that keep you healthy, that show you respect yourself, and that give you pleasure.
- Eat a balanced diet, and be active.
- Wear clothing you like and feel good in.
- Make your room, apartment, or home special for you.
- Help someone or do a favor for somebody else.
- Take time to do something you enjoy.
- Spend time with people who like you and make you feel good about yourself.
A positive affirmation is something good you say about yourself. It can be a good quality you have, something good you believe about yourself, or something good you've done. It also can be about a quality you would like to have or something you would like to believe or do. Here are some examples:
- "I am lovable."
- "I am doing the best I can."
- "I am a compassionate person."
- "People care about me."
Here are some types of affirmations. See if you can come up with at least five affirmations for each type.
- Things you've achieved in your life, such as getting a high school degree, paying off a debt, or learning a new skill
- Your strengths, such as being loving, organized, or creative
- Things you're proud of, such as your good relationship with your family, volunteer work you've done, or the home you've created
- Things you do that make you feel good about yourself, such as working out, growing flowers, or going to church
Make a list of your affirmations, and keep it where you can read it often. The more you read your affirmations, the better you will feel about yourself and your life.
Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
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