Tips for Building Self-Esteem

By Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D.

In my work, I sometimes feel that there is an epidemic of low self-esteem. Even people who seem to be very sure of themselves will admit to having low self-esteem, a feeling that often makes them unhappy and keeps them from doing some of the things they want to do and being the kind of person they want to be. In fact, they may say that low self-esteem causes, or worsens, their bouts with depression and anxiety.

I know this has been a big factor in my life. I feel that I am always working on raising my self-esteem and that I will always need to do that.

There is no single way to build self-esteem. There are many different things you can do to work on this issue, and I, myself, am always on the lookout for new ways to raise self-esteem. This article will describe some of what I have learned to date.

Get Involved

Right now you have an opportunity to do something that will help you to raise your self-esteem. Once every four years, you can vote for the person you would like to be the next president of the United States. You also have the opportunity to vote for other national, state and local officials. Regardless of the outcome of the election, informing yourself about the candidates and voting for the ones who support issues that are important to you can make you feel good about yourself, raising your self-esteem.

Begin the process by thinking about the issues that are most important to you—education, health care, the environment, taxes, defense spending, etc. If you don’t know how you feel about these issues, read some related articles and talk with people who have the information you need. Then, when you know how you feel, find out which candidates support your views. Then vote for those candidates. If you feel strongly about certain candidates and have the time, you may want to volunteer to help them with their campaigns. Activism will give your self-esteem another boost.

Take Good Care of Yourself

Another way you can build your self-esteem is to take very good care of yourself. You may take very good care of others and put your own personal care last. Or your life may be so busy that you don’t take the time to do the things you need to do to stay healthy. You may feel so badly about yourself that you don’t bother to take good care of yourself.

Some of the things you can do to take good care of yourself include:

  • Eating three meals a day that are focused on healthy foods—fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grain foods and rich sources of protein like chicken and fish.

  • Avoiding foods that contain large amounts of sugar, caffeine and food additives. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you may want to avoid it.
  • Getting outside and exercising every day.
  • Spending some time each day doing something you really enjoy.
  • Spending time each day with people who make you feel good about yourself.
  • Having regular check-ups with your health care providers.

 

APA Reference
Copeland, M. (2006). Tips for Building Self-Esteem. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/blueprints-for-building-self-esteem/000293
Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.