How to Boost Your Self-Esteem

The power of your mind should not be underestimated. The human body is a lot like a cellphone. It comes packed with excellent specifications, but even the best iPhone or Android device will freeze and overheat if you pack it full of sketchy and malicious apps.

Your image of yourself works like a bad app, sapping your energy levels, and reducing your overall health. There’s been plenty of research showing that both stress and negativity can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

What can you do about it? Is self-esteem something you can just get, like downloading a new app? No, of course not. Reality is not that simple. However, there are habits and mentalities you can adopt in order to build up your self-esteem over time.

Step 1: Beware of comparisons

Humans are pattern seekers; we understand things by comparing them with other things. We use the same approach when trying to understand ourselves by comparing our present self with the people around us and the people on TV. Such an approach can be helpful, but it also leads to quite a lot of negativity and feelings of inadequacy.

Looking at others for inspiration is good. But remember: everyone has a different life, different strengths and weaknesses. Looking at the success of other people does not tell you their life story, what they had to endure, and what they had going for them and against them. In other words, you don’t know those people, and when trying to compare yourself to them, you aren’t comparing yourself to a person. You’re comparing yourself to the image of that person that you built inside your head. An image that may have little to do with objective reality.

As far as comparisons go, you should decide your worth based not on what other people are like today, but on how you were yesterday. Compare yourself to your past self, and if you have been trending up, feel good. If not, proceed to step two.

Step 2: Build positive habits

One way to feel good about yourself is to build habits that make you proud to be you. What those will be depends on what you value the most. Maybe you appreciate hard work and should start working out more or putting more effort into your job. Or perhaps you appreciate generosity, and should start doing more charity work.

Whatever traits you admire in others, you should start building them in yourself. Looking at your favorite movie characters may help; we often admire characters who we would like to become. If your favorites are all villains, you should look into becoming more disagreeable and assertive, as those are admirable traits in the right circumstances.

Step 3: Get your health in order

We often underestimate how much our biology affects our outlook on life. Regular exercise, meditation, and following a healthy diet can all reduce the level of stress hormones in your bloodstream, helping you relax and feel more comfortable in your own skin. You may find that what you thought were problems in your psychology were just side effects of poor eating habits.

The use of natural calming remedies, such as lavender essence, chamomile extracts, and products can also reduce your stress and anxiety, which can have a positive effect on your self-esteem.