Posted on July 07, 2020
Building self esteem is easier with therapeutic practice. Check out our top therapist recommended activities for self esteem building.
Whether you’ve realized it or not, self-esteem is the overall opinion of yourself and your abilities, and it affects nearly every aspect of your life. When you’re experiencing a period of healthy self-esteem, it’s easier to be self aware, acknowledging your strengths, limitations, and value. Overall, your level of self-esteem is tied to how worthwhile you feel, which is different than the idea of self-confidence, which has more to do with your ability to do something successfully.
So what causes low self-esteem? Low self-esteem isn’t just a bad mood, it can keep you from enjoying your life, socializing, and maintaining friendships. Self-esteem is an intrinsic quality that develops slowly over time, in both directions. Whether you’re feeling like you’re in a period of low self-esteem, or want to proactively work on maintaining high self esteem, there are several effective self esteem therapy activities. These activities are effective when coupled with the support of regular therapy for low self esteem. With our therapy matching service and effective self esteem therapy activities, you’ll be on your way to building esteem. Here are three of our favorite ones:
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to build self esteem and one of our go-to ways when it comes to how to overcome low self esteem. It’s all too easy to become someone focused on the glass being half empty, always looking at what others have and you lack. A gratitude journal can help remind you of all the wonderful things and people that surround you. Keeping a gratitude journal doesn’t need to be an every day commitment, and there’s no real right or wrong way to do it. Some days you can jot down a few notes, whereas other more inspired days might see long entries. In addition to practicing gratitude and boosting self esteem, you can use the journal as a way to meditate, wind down, and express creativity. As long as the activity is successful in keeping your mind focused on positive thoughts to help build your self esteem, it’s a great tool to have in your arsenal of self esteem activities.
Volunteering your time and energy to things outside yourself is a great way to force yourself out of your own head and space. If self esteem is how worthwhile you feel, engage in self esteem building activities and practices that make you feel very worthwhile. Find causes and organizations that resonate with your passions and experiences and give time, money, and attention without expectation of anything in return. Doing good for others instrinctly makes us feel good about ourselves, which is a win for everyone involved.
On the flip side of you seeking out others to help, it’s helpful to remember that you are already a valuable person to many people in your own life. When you’re feeling down, make a list of all the friends and family members who come to you for advice, support, or physical assistance. This self esteem building exercise will help improve your feelings of low self esteem and allow you to realize how impactful you are to so many people in your own community.
As mentioned earlier, self-esteem typically refers to how we think about ourselves. In essence, it is an aggregate of all the thoughts that continually run through our minds, day in and day out as we examine and evaluate how confident we are. Those who have low self-esteem levels often engage in excessive self-criticism that can result in other psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety if left without intervention.
Though the therapeutic activities mentioned above are very helpful in boosting low self esteem, they may not be a substitute for professional therapy, depending on the severity of the case.
Therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can be an effective treatment for some because it’s a brief, problem-focused therapy approach that targets the problems occurring in the present moment, as opposed to focusing on the past or childhood memories. In fact, cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most researched treatment modalities when it comes to helping to build self-esteem.
Overall, therapy can help you address low self-esteem and the problems related to it regardless of how, or when they may have evolved. Talking to a therapist about your thoughts and feelings can provide you with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of yourself and the issues you are struggling with. In therapy sessions, you can discover things from your past or beliefs that you have that may be acting as an obstacle in your present life.
A therapist will teach you tools to improve your self reflection and empower you to make changes to increase your self-esteem, like identifying negative self-talk and turning it into positive affirmations about yourself. Positive self talk and positive thinking may boost your self-confidence and play a large role in your mental health. Part of positive affirmation is having a growth mindset for yourself and realizing you have an arsenal of positive qualities. Therapy can provide you with the support necessary to develop self-compassion so you can set attainable goals, treat yourself with kindness, and find a sense of accomplishment to boost your confidence.
Change is not quick, or easy to do. However, participating in therapy can accelerate the process of self-discovery and help you learn to love and accept yourself for who you are. If you are looking to enter therapy for low self esteem, Advekit’s trusted, secure, and convenient matching system can help you get matched with a great therapist today.
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.