How to Maintain or Improve Your Positive Self-esteem
Generally, people feel bad about themselves every now and again. When we experience difficulties with low self-esteem, the feelings and symptoms can sometimes haunt us. This is particularly relevant for those who may experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, psychosis, and delusion. Having low self-esteem may keep you from enjoying life activities and setting personal goals.
Activities That You Can Do Every Day to Raise Your Self-Esteem
- Pay attention to your own personal needs and wants - It’s important that you listen to your mind and body. If your body is expressing exhaustion and tiredness, consider giving yourself time to rest. If your mind is telling you to complete a task (i.e., an assignment or chores), consider completing those tasks.
- Take care of yourself - Write out a list of activities that you could do to better take care of yourself. Consider completing some of the activities you listed. This may include: eating healthier food, avoiding junk food, participating in an exercise activity, practicing good personal hygiene, having a physical examination completed, or playing a fun activity.
- Take time to do activities that you enjoy - We recognize that our busy schedule doesn’t permit us to do all the activities that we’d like to do, but taking time to participate in activities you enjoy or used to enjoy is important for improving/repairing your self-esteem. You may consider playing an instrument, going for a walk, painting, or playing a sport. Consider making a list of activities you enjoy and completing one activity each day. Add anything new that you discover you enjoy.
- Complete an activity that you’ve been putting off - Get it out of the way so it’s no longer on your mind. If you feel that it’s something that can’t be done right away, write it down and set a deadline to ensure that it gets completed.
- Do things using your own special talents: If you’re an excellent writer, perhaps you can write a piece for the local newspaper. If you’re good with your hands, try building something.
- Dress to impress…yourself: It’s important that you dress in clothes that makes you feel good about yourself. If you have little money to spend on clothes, try visiting your local thrift store.
- Prepare rewards for yourself: You may consider buying yourself a gift or going for a massage.
- Spend time with new people, friends and family: Consider spending time with people who treat you well and honour your presence.
- Create the living space that you’d like to live in: It’s important to create a space that is comfortable and peaceful. This place could even be your bedroom. Make sure that this place provides you with the security to store items that will not be disturbed. Create time to decorate or redecorate, this can be a powerful motivator.
- Create displays that you find attractive: create a space where you can have items that represent your accomplishments. This may be a wall with awards, plaques, pictures, or paintings. If you find it difficult creating this space, try to reflect on all your accomplishments in life, including friends, family and goals. Collect and display items (i.e., pictures) that represent these accomplishments.
- Savor your meals: Turn off all your electronic devices and allow for some time to be mindful of the meal you’ve ordered or made. Consider inviting friends and family over to enjoy.
- Learn something new or improve your skills: Take time out to go to a seminar or class. You may meet a new friend.
- Do something nice for another person: Performing an act of kindness (i.e., writing a card to a loved one, doing a chore for someone, preparing a meal for a friend, or volunteering) will help bring more joy to your environment.
- Make it a point to treat yourself well everyday! Before retiring for bed, write out what you’ve done to treat yourself for that day.
Curie, Charles. Building Self-esteem: A Self-Help Guide. SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center. Rockville, MD
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Vaughan's Anxiety Clinic - Counselling Services for York Region
Anxiety is not all about being ‘anxious,’ it’s about focusing on worry, avoiding situations, and uncontrollable unwanted thoughts. Our treatment model will help you reduce the emotional sensitivity you may experience during a stressful situation, any anticipatory anxiety, and the avoidance behaviours associated with your anxiety.
Our trained therapists will teach you the techniques necessary to succeed in your recovery.
- Reduce your symptoms related to your anxiety
- Reduce the disabling effects it may have on you
- Enhance your quality of life (as demonstrated in clinical trials - internet search 'cognitive behavioural therapy and anxiety' and 'mindfulness and anxiety')
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Selective Mutism
- Specific Phobia (i.e. animal, environment, blood, situational, other)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Panic Attack
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
What’s Special about Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy?
There are many different therapeutic approaches that you may want to consider when choosing a counselling option. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is fairly new to the counselling realm, having only become more readily accepted in the mid-1950’s. The approach has helped many people better understand how their thinking influences how they feel about a situation. Once people are better able to understand and challenge their thinking, they are better able to reduce their symptoms. The behavioural component helps patients by challenging them to perform behaviours that will help them reduce their symptoms of anxiety. This repeated exposure is needed to help patients challenge their thinking and feelings. This is sometimes done by persistently exposing patients to somewhat anxiety provoking situations. Careful attention is given to these situations, so patients feels comfortable, confident and challenged when presented with an exposure exercise (i.e., having a client who fears elevators to step in and out of an elevator). A skilled therapist will prepare a client for exposure by teaching them methods to help manage their anxiety in the moment.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Thearpy?
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a form of therapy that helps individuals live the life they want to live despite the anxiety symptoms being present. The purpose of this therapy is to challenge emotional avoidance and to help clients live fulfilling lives. Our goal is to help you live a more full and meaningful life, while managing your symptoms of anxiety. This type of therapy has helped many cancer patients in remission, manage their anxiety of the cancer returning at a later time. This has also displayed effectiveness with individuals with specific phobias.
Mindfulness is a way of managing and directing your attention. The techniques and learnings help patients better understand how to intentionally focus one’s attention to the experience of the present time. This is done without judgement and in an accepting way. There is evidence to suggest that if a person accepts their anxiety, that symptoms tend to reduce. An example of this is when an individual performs a public speech and notifies their audience that they ‘should be forgiven if they make a mistake, because they are anxious.’ This awareness and acceptance, tends to bring forth relief. Similarly, if this type of positive accepting self-talk is taught to the patient, they too may experience a relief in their anxieties. This self-talk and practice often require the patient to meet their symptoms of anxiety with compassion, interest, friendliness, and an open-heart. Being kind to yourself when anxious is important in this process.