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Everyone has bad days and struggles with their self-esteem at one point. What can you do to boost your self-esteem? Let's take a look at what causes self-esteem and some practical tips.

Self-esteem is how you view yourself and your worth. You may feel generally cheerful and happy about yourself if you have high self-esteem, while if you’re struggling with self-esteem, you may think you’re worthless and a failure.

It’s no secret that good self-esteem is crucial for your mental health — regularly thinking you’re not good enough could lead to more serious problems like anxiety and depression.

Everyone has days when they might feel like they’re not good enough or have failed. This is entirely normal, and if you’ve ever had these thoughts, you’re not alone by a long shot. Usually, those thoughts will naturally pass over time, but what if they don’t?

Don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can use to increase your self-esteem.

So, what exactly can you do to boost your self-esteem?

What Causes a Lower Self-Esteem?

Many factors can lead to lower self-esteem, including bullying, trauma, an abusive relationship, or teachers and bosses who constantly criticize your work. Not one singular thing causes low self-esteem, but one thing is for sure — other people significantly shape your perception of yourself.

Middle schoolers and teenagers are the most likely to have low-self esteem, especially girls. Young adolescents are still growing up and trying to find their place in the world, which can be complex and scary. In addition, kids this age may face bullying in school or increased pressure from parents and teachers. This may lead kids and teens to interact less with their peers and perform worse in school.

Our childhood greatly shapes our opinion about ourselves. Children with support and a loving family and friends are more likely to grow up feeling confident than neglected kids. It’s essential to help kids out with their self-esteem because of this. However, it’s important to note that adults also struggle with self-esteem.

Social media is another significant factor in low self-esteem. In the modern age, the entire world is just a click away. The recent surge in social media made more people compare themselves to others. Gen Z is one of the least confident generations yet, and social media is one of the main reasons for this. Social media has us competing for likes and attention against other people who seem perfect and successful, which isn’t healthy.

How Can You Boost Self-Esteem?

Even if you know you’re struggling with low self-esteem, you may not know how to deal with it. If you’ve had a bad opinion of yourself for a long time, it may be hard to get out of that habit. Luckily, we’ve compiled some practical tips to boost your self-esteem, which you can do right now!

1. Deal With Negative Thoughts

Next time a negative thought pops into your head, acknowledge it but don’t feed it. Instead, try to turn the negative thought into something positive and challenge it. For instance, you may have had an important project only for it to go poorly. You might think to yourself: “I’m a failure. Nothing I ever do goes right.”

Stop and hold that thought.

Are you really a failure? Just because your project didn’t go ideally doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy. Try to think of all the times you succeeded and felt proud of yourself. You might reply to that negative thought: “I’m not a failure. I did well on that presentation last month. Just because I didn’t quite succeed this time doesn’t mean I’m worthless. It means I’m learning.”

2. Communicate Your Problems

People with self-esteem issues typically withdraw themselves from social situations. Although it may seem scary, talking to trusted people about your problems can be incredibly helpful. Spending quality time with those who truly love you can show you that you do matter.

Other people have a massive impact on our self-esteem. While we can’t control other people’s opinions, we can decide who we spend time with. Try spending some time with your family or call up that old friend. Chances are they’ll want to see you too.

3. Try Journaling

Sometimes your thoughts can be big, scary, and too much to process all at once. Writing them down is a great way to process your thoughts and think about what caused them. So, next time you feel upset, try writing your thoughts down. This can be surprisingly helpful.

You could also try writing down everything you’re good at if you feel unconfident in your skills. Affirmations are another way to give your self-esteem a little boost every day. All you have to do is write one positive phrase about yourself every day. One example is, “I’m a hard worker and deserve love and success.”

4. Quit Social Media

Social media is a big part of many people’s lives, but spending too much time on it can lower your mood and self-esteem. Examine your own time on social media. Do you actively enjoy it? What do you gain from it? Is there something else you could do with your time that you like more?

If you’ve noticed that social media generally evokes negative emotions, it may be time to quit. Not quite ready to let go of Instagram yet? Try limiting your time first. It’s hard to stop anything that used to be a daily part of your routine. So instead, you might try limiting your social media time to a few hours a day or only logging in on weekends.

It’s also important to note that everyone you see on social media is also struggling. People typically only share their good moments on social media, which may lead you to falsely believe that others have a perfect life while yours is useless. In reality, everyone else has struggled just like you.

Struggling with self-esteem can be challenging, but it will get better over time. Just remember that you’re not alone, and nothing will make you less worthy than others. You may want to look into going to therapy if you’re still feeling unhappy even after these tips.

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