You might also try these steps, based on acceptance and commitment therapy.
1. Identify troubling conditions or situations
Again, think about the conditions or situations that seem to deflate your self-esteem. Once you've identified troubling situations, pay attention to your thoughts about them.
2. Step back from your thoughts
Repeat your negative thoughts many times or write them down in an unusual way, such as with your nondominant hand. Imagine seeing your negative thoughts written on different objects. You might even sing a song about them in your mind.
These exercises can help you take a step back from thoughts and beliefs that are often automatic and observe them. Instead of trying to change your thoughts, distance yourself from your thoughts. Realize that they are nothing more or less than words.
3. Accept your thoughts
Instead of fighting, resisting or being overwhelmed by negative thoughts or feelings, accept them. You don't have to like them, just allow yourself to feel them.
Negative thoughts don't need to be controlled, changed or acted upon. Aim to lessen the power of your negative thoughts and their influence on your behavior.
These steps might seem awkward at first, but they'll get easier with practice. As you begin to recognize the thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to your low self-esteem, you can counter them or change the way you think about them. This will help you accept your value as a person. As your self-esteem increases, your confidence and sense of well-being are likely to soar.
In addition to these suggestions, try to remember on a daily basis that you're worth special care. To that end, be sure to:
July 12, 2017
- Take care of yourself. Follow good health guidelines. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Limit sweets, junk food and animal fats.
- Do things you enjoy. Start by making a list of things you like to do. Try to do something from that list every day.
- Spend time with people who make you happy. Don't waste time on people who don't treat you well.
See more In-depth
- Building self-esteem: A self-help guide. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Building-Self-Esteem-A-Self-Help-Guide/SMA-3715. Accessed April 29, 2017.
- Benzon HT, et al., eds. Psychological interventions. In: Practical Management of Pain. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 29, 2017.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Psychological treatment of children and adolescents. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 29, 2017.
- Yovel I, et al. Examination of the core cognitive components of cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy: An analogue investigation. Behavior Therapy. 2014;45:482.
- Hayes SC. Acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory, and the third wave of behavioral and cognitive therapies. Behavior Therapy. 2016;47:869.
- Creagan ET (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 30, 2017.