Self esteem is a fundamental building block to creating a happier life. If you experience dips in your self esteem this is quite normal at times of stress or change. Some of the following ideas may prove helpful for you or someone you know:
1. When you feel down, increase your activity levels. Avoid sitting and thinking – this is not the time to dwell on the past. Get up and active. Use distraction: play with a child, watch a funny film, put on some upbeat music and dance, go for a brisk walk, change a room around – seek a new perspective.
2. Stop automatically saying sorry! Don’t assume everything is your fault. If you have made an error, acknowledge it respectfully but don’t be the fall guy for everyone. Nobody needs to be perfect.
3. If you meet someone in the street you know and they don’t say hello, try not to personalise your reaction and view it negatively. Think for some alternative reasons for their behaviour. Perhaps they don’t have their glasses, they are focussed on something or distracted. What good does it do you to think negatively? Think of plausible reasons for their behaviour and you will avoid ruining your day!
4. When you receive a compliment or someone gives you a gift or helps you. Thank them and smile – show your sincere appreciation for the fact they care about you.
5. Learn to meditate – allow time to create a peaceful space for yourself where you will not be disturbed for 20 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your awareness of your breathing to quieten your thoughts. Allow tension and discomfort to dissolve in your breath. Breath at a natural pace. If you slip into a thought just come back to the breath. When time is up stretch, open your eyes and come back to the room refreshed.
6. Take a new view on problems and see them as opportunities. Rather than jumping to conclusions, looking at things in a black and white fashion or all or nothing thinking, think of problems as a voyage of discovery. Unravel the other possible reasons for things happening or ask people for alternative views. Sometimes problems shared and solved lead to a new way of thinking and seeing the world.