Self-Esteem Articles

Low Self-Esteem? Consider the Benefits of Actually Pampering Yourself

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Spa Treatments

She ran her hands over my cheekbones, her fingerpads expert after years of experience, and ever so soft.

And it was already outrageous, already almost unbearable, because it felt so fine.

The bubbly, fluffy notion of self-indulgence, which fuels the spa industry, literally terrifies many of us who struggle with low self-esteem. Some of us dislike being touched by almost everyone. We so fear and disdain our bodies — how they look, what they do, what they don’t do, the million ways in which we think they’ve failed — that we maintain a highly fractious relationship with them, despite their confounding proximity.

Try These 3 Tricks to Improve Your Self-Esteem

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Self Confidence

It’s time to clean off the mud to reveal the true you.

You are in many settings throughout your day, and whether you’re at home, at work, at the gym, having a meal, engaged in personal time, interacting with your kids, partner, friends, or co-workers, your self-esteem affects 100 percent of how you appear in those situations and relationships.

Some of these instances might involve conflict, and how you feel (good or bad, happy or sad, respected or taken advantage of, abused or abusive — physically, mentally or emotionally) has everything to do with how you’ll respond. This is your self-esteem.

Dealing with Betrayal without Betraying Ourselves

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

kenshin__trust_and_betrayal_by_imnoweebo-d7daqulBetrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. We suddenly discover that what we thought was true is not true. When a person we’ve trusted suddenly undermines trust, our world is turned upside down.

Trusting a person means feeling safe with them. We trust that they respect us, care about us, and wouldn’t hurt us, especially intentionally. We feel betrayed as our eyes are suddenly opened to a new reality: what we thought was safe and reliable turns out not to be.

Early Signs of Love Addiction

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Early Signs of Love AddictionAs I strengthen my relationship with my wounded child, I realize that my childhood showed signs of a developing love addiction. There were aspects of my home life that primed me for neediness and a tendency to define my value in the eyes of others. Deprivation played a key role. Here are some of the things I recall:

My mother was a perfectionist. She was ruthless in her oversight of our household chores. I remember one event from when I was a young adult. My mother had made a big issue about no one helping her. So I stepped in to help.

The Power of Befriending Our Feelings

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

feelings____by_LestaAs a psychotherapist, I often invite my clients to notice and welcome their genuine feelings. Many clients feel relieved that it’s okay to feel whatever they happen to experiencing. And they feel reassured that someone (namely, me!) is interested in hearing their authentic feelings without judging them.

But some people are troubled by the prospect of opening to their feelings. They ask some version of the following: “Why would I want to feel those feelings? Why would I want to experience pain, hurt, or sorrow?”

5 Tips for Changing Negative Self Beliefs

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Saving Yourself First

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”

- Robert Gary Lee

A year ago, I began to accept that I was depressed, and had been for a long time. It was scary. I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of almost three years, quit my job, and though I didn’t want to, I moved halfway across the country to move back in with my parents.

I was a wreck; all of the feelings that I had been suppressing for years, some literally since childhood, came flooding back. My only defense in the past had been to ignore these feelings, though I did so quite poorly and ended up being an emotional basket case most of the time anyway.

Mindful Self-Compassion and Parenting

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

right-way-feed-babySelf-compassion has three components:

1. The kindness we would show a friend is directed toward ourselves.

2. A recognition that pain and suffering is part of life — it’s something every human being goes through.

3. Mindfulness.

Here are the benefits I have gained from self-compassion:

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-Compassion

Friday, October 24th, 2014

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-CompassionAs I wrote in this piece on journaling prompts for self-reflection and self-discovery, part of building a healthy relationship with ourselves is keeping an open and honest dialogue. It’s continually asking ourselves questions and welcoming the answers. It’s getting to know ourselves, at our core.

Another part of building a healthy relationship is cultivating self-compassion. But I know that for many of us this is hard. Really hard. Being kind feels foreign, and unnatural. Instead, after many years, our automatic reaction may be to bash, berate and bully ourselves.

You Must Learn to Love Yourself Before Extending Love to Others

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

loves-me-loves-me-not-flower-woman

Sometimes joy is found, not in what you receive, but in what you finally let go.

I can pinpoint “the happiest moment of my life” almost to the second. I was on a plane taxiing down a runway en-route to visit my parents in Chicago. The airline attendant began the all too familiar announcement: “Should oxygen be required, a mask will drop down from a compartment above your seat … if you’re traveling with an infant or someone in your care, make sure to secure your own mask first.”

The depth of those words suddenly hit me. Secure your own mask first. Being a mother now, I can hardly imagine the idea of putting myself before my child. Yet, at that moment, I understood this profound truth: You must love yourself and make yourself happy before you can extend that love and happiness to others.

The Power of Kindness

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The FuneralThe last few months have been hard for me. I’ve had some issues with depression and paranoia. Living with schizophrenia is a rollercoaster and even little blips can turn into crises.

This depression, though, has had me feeling a deep sense of loneliness. The paranoia makes me feel ostracized from the world, and it’s really hard to feel like no matter where you go, you’ll never fit in.

This was weighing on me the other day until something happened that struck me. It put a long-overdue, sorely-needed smile on my face.

Are You Guilty of Low Self-Esteem Workarounds?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Sad Woman

Those of us who struggle with low self-esteem might not like ourselves very much. But, because we’re alive, we like other people and other stuff. As scathingly as we might view our reflections in mirrors or our performance at work, a few things out there in the world still bring us unadulterated joy.

No matter how harsh I’ve been to myself all day, no matter how much I’ve regretted a certain morning’s dialogues, let a crow land near me and I am rapt. Transported by its sleek black muscularity, its knowing eyes. Transformed. Make it a raven and I might treasure this moment all my life.

How Self-Compassion Builds a More Positive Body Image Than Self-Esteem

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Body Image

“Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.” — Diane Von Furstenberg

A new study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has touched on a somewhat taboo question: “What if women were to accept themselves with deep self-compassion — flaws and all?” In other words, what if we looked upon ourselves with kindness, compassion and forgiveness as we would a loved one or a dear friend? Would we gain a more positive body image?

The answer is yes.

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