Five Ways to Build Self-Esteem

     Many people want to increase their self-esteem. They find themselves picking apart everything they do, noticing their flaws, or feel insufficient. Here are some simple ways you can increase your self-esteem:
     1. Focus on your positive traits - Throughout the day, find positive things that make you beautiful and unique, Focus on your accomplishments, even the small ones, and things that you are doing well. Instead of focusing on the flaws, find how those things make you different and beautiful. When you look at yourself in a positive way, it helps increase your self-esteem. 
     2. Say "Good-bye" to negative self-talk - What you believe, you will live. What good comes from telling yourself that you aren't good enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, etc? Nothing.We get enough negativity from the world around us; we have to be advocates for ourselves. Instead, use self-encouragement and hopeful statements, like you would say to lift a friend's spirits. Be a friend to yourself!
     3. Understand that feelings come and feelings go - There's no doubt about it, feelings can be intense and strong. However, that doesn't make them fact or final. Know that negative feelings will go away. Negative feelings are not the truth, and you need to be careful you don't allow yourself to convert the feelings into negative thoughts and negative actions because they compound the situation. Positive feelings will return. Stick to the facts of the situation - the observable - and allow your feelings to "be" but not to control you. It's okay to have negative feelings, or mixed feelings, about something but time will change the situation and your feelings. People with high self-esteem understand this.
     4. Accomplish activities each day that line up with your values and beliefs - The actions that you take each day affect your self-esteem, so get those actions to line up with your values, morals, and beliefs. Help others, play with your kids, get homework done, get small goals done in order to work towards a big project at work. Even small accomplishments add up and help build self-esteem!
     5. Smile! - People who smile feel better about themselves. It's true. Researchers have also found that when you're feeling "blue," smiling can increase your outlook because it changes the chemicals in the brain. Plus, smiling boosts confidence! So show off those pearly whites!

(Adapted from GAIAM's "Top 5 Ways to Build Self-Esteem",


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